Norisring European F3: Max Verstappen completes hat-trick of wins
|By Marcus Simmons||Sunday, June 29th 2014, 14:39 GMT|
Max Verstappen made it six wins in a row by cruising to victory in the third Formula 3 European Championship race of the Norisring weekend.
The brilliant Dutchman got away smartly from pole position, and headed series leader Esteban Ocon and Jordan King from start to finish.
There was a huge gap to the bunch behind, and this was caused by a first-corner chain-reaction shunt.
Jake Dennis, from eighth on the grid, got two wheels on the white line - still wet from earlier rain - and sailed down the inside of the field, shoving perennially unlucky Carlin team-mate Tom Blomqvist out of second place and into retirement.
While King and Ocon scampered through unscathed, frontrunners including Felix Rosenqvist, Antonio Giovinazzi, Antonio Fuoco and Lucas Auer were all embroiled in a Dallara traffic jam on the outside.
Another incident before the first turn, where Jules Szymkowiak and Roy Nissany collided, sent the Israeli into the barriers, and the safety car emerged.
Verstappen's pace could not be matched by Ocon or King, and the Van Amerfoort Racing man headed the Prema Powerteam and Carlin machines all the way.
Santino Ferrucci was passed for fourth with a dive by Sean Gelael into Turn 1, but further into the race the American was able to get the Indonesian back on the exit of the chicane, and Gustavo Menezes took advantage to demote Gelael into the final turn.
VAR driver Menezes had a lunge on Ferrucci's EuroInternational car into the final bend with a few laps to go, but overshot the bend and had to settle for fifth.
Gelael had Antonio Giovinazzi, his Jagonya Ayam stablemate within the Carlin squad, in his mirrors for the rest of the race.
A recovering Auer loomed onto Giovinazzi's gearbox in the closing stages, but the Italian mounted a staunch defence of seventh.
Just behind them, Antonio Fuoco passed Tatiana Calderon on the final lap for ninth, while Rosenqvist failed by just one position to dent the points.
Results - 40 laps Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Max Verstappen Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW 35m02.795s 2. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Mercedes +4.761s 3. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW +7.529s 4. Santino Ferrucci EuroInternational Dallara-Merc +21.187s 5. Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW +21.179s 6. Sean Gelael Carlin Dallara-VW +23.563s 7. Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin Dallara-VW +25.319s 8. Lucas Auer Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +25.910s 9. Antonio Fuoco Prema Dallara-Mercedes +26.394s 10. Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes +26.931s 11. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +26.986s 12. Alexander Toril T-Sport Dallara-NBE +30.513s 13. Felix Serralles West-Tec Dallara Mercedes +30.901s 14. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-NBE +34.358s 15. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +38.043s 16. Hector Hurst West-Tec Dallara Mercedes +41.697s 17. Mitch Gilbert Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +42.543s 18. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes +43.743s 19. Michele Beretta EuroInternational Dallara-Merc +46.411s Retirements: Nicholas Latifi Prema Dallara-Mercedes 14 laps Felipe Guimares Double R Dallara-Mercedes 9 laps Tom Blomqvist Carlin Dallara-VW 1 lap Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW 1 lap Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara-VW 0 laps Roy Nissany Prema Dallara-Mercedes 0 laps