Now, the last remaining title in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship has also been wrapped up: the Prema Powerteam secured the trophy for the best team. The Italians did so in an impressive way as their drivers locked out the first three places in the 29th race of the season: Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) won from Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) and Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam). The newly-crowned FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lando Norris (Carlin) was classified eleventh in the second race at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring in Germany.
Callum Ilott benefited from his pole position and took the lead while Maximilian Günther claimed second place. Under braking for the hairpin for the first time, the German tried an attack on the outside, but to no avail. In the course of the race, Ilott extended his lead so that he eventually crossed the finish line 11.339 seconds ahead of Günther and Zhou.
Slightly more entertaining than the situation at the front of the field was the battle for fourth place, initially held by Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix). It took rival Joel Eriksson (Motopark) until the eleventh lap to find a way past the Brit. Behind Hughes, Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix), Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix) and Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix) rounded out the top ten. Piquet and Makino received a five seconds’ time penalty added to their total race time for starting from an incorrect grid positions, so that the two young talents dropped back two (Piquet) and three (Makino) places.
Lando Norris only finished eleventh after locking up under braking on the opening lap and then finally managing to overtake David Beckmann (Motopark) after a duel over many laps.
Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good. Initially, I was still having problems with my brakes, but after a few laps, it was okay and I was able to pull away from the rest of the field. Overall, my car was very good and I was able to post consistent lap times. Moreover, it is great that we from the Prema Powerteam were able to take first, second and third place and have now won the teams’ title.”
Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good and so were the first few laps. When I then attacked Callum after a few laps, my left front wheel locked up. The tyre problems got worse and worse and my car started oversteering more and more, especially in right-hand corners. At the end of the day I am glad that I still managed to bring second place home. Joel Eriksson is still ahead of me in the drivers’ standings, but tomorrow, I will try to do everything to change that and still end up second in the final standings.”
Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy to be on the podium again for the first time after Norisring. In this race, I initially was able to follow Maximilian, but at the end, I had to be careful to prevent Joel Eriksson from attacking me. I am very happy with my third place and the teams’ title for our Prema Powerteam.”