Wehrlein moves into Formula 3 Euro Series title contention after claiming first win at the Nurburgring
|By Jamie O'Leary||Sunday, August 19th 2012, 10:06 GMT|
Pascal Wehrlein moved into contention for the Formula 3 Euro Series title after claiming his first win in the championship at the Nurburgring on Sunday morning.
The Mucke Motorsport driver took the lead early on and beat Carlin driver Will Buller by 9.4 seconds. He now sits just 12 points off the championship lead after Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello failed to finish.
The race started in chaotic fashion. First, Daniel Juncadella moved across on the fast-starting Mucke Dallara of Felix Rosenqvist, forcing the Swede towards the pitwall.
Contact ensued with Rosenqvist heading into the barrier and retirement and Prema driver Juncadella being handed a drive-through penalty for 'causing an avoidable incident'.
Seconds later, Prema team-mates Raffaele Marciello and Sven Muller banged rear wheels at Turn 4, putting the German out on the spot with a broken right-rear, and forcing the Italian into retirement at the end of the lap with terminal suspension damage.
Once Juncadella had served his penalty, Wehrlein was left in the lead with Buller, his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, and T-Sport's Alexander Sims steadily falling back.
Sims attempted to pass Sainz at Turn 1 on lap six, but contact between the pair spun Sainz to the tail end of the top 10 and forced Sims in for a new nose.
With Wehrlein and Buller comfortable in the top two spots, attention turned to a superb battle for third between Carlin's Jazeman Jaafar, Ma-con pair Emil Bernstorff and Tom Blomqvist and Michael Lewis, who recovered brilliantly after a delay at the start left him back in 13th on the opening lap.
The order did not change between the foursome, although Lewis did have an attempt at passing Blomqvist at Turn 1 on the final lap.
Behind the quartet, the recovering Juncadella and Sainz collided at Turn 3 at half-distance, Sainz running his Spanish compatriot unnecessarily wide and almost flipping the series leader. While the damage sustained by Juncadella's car put him out on the spot, Sainz was judged responsible and given a drive-through.
Those incidents left Luis Sa Silva to take his best finish of the year in seventh, ahead of Lucas Wolf, Sandro Zeller and Sainz.
Results - 28 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc 21m01.878s 2. Will Buller Carlin Dallara-VW + 9.474s 3. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 18.188s 4. Emil Bernstorff Ma-con Dallara-VW + 18.836s 5. Tom Blomqvist Ma-con Dallara-VW + 19.965s 6. Michael Lewis Prema Dallara-Merc + 22.389s 7. Luis Sa Silva Angola Dallara-Merc + 38.049s 8. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc + 41.182s 9. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc + 51.630s 10. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 53.000s 11. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m04.910s 12. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 1m05.730s Retirements: Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 16 laps Raffaelle Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 1 lap Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 0 laps Sven Muller Prema Dallara-Merc 0 laps Andrea Roda Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 0 laps