Nico Hulkenberg scored his seventh victory out of the ten Formula 3 Euro Series Saturday races with another dominant performance from pole position at Hockenheim this morning.
The champion has taken all of his wins this season in the non-reverse grid rounds and underlined his place at the top of the championship by pulling eight seconds clear of the battle for second place.
Hulkenberg increased his lead throughout the race, pushing all the way and locking up several times at the Turn 3 hairpin.
"Quite soon after the start there was the safety car, but I kept cool because I knew my speed was very good," he said. "The car was great after the restart and I did what I wanted to do at Le Mans and win to show who is the champion.
"I have wanted all year to at least be on the podium in both races so that is the aim from eighth tomorrow."
Behind, Christian Vietoris held second throughout, but the Mucke Motorsport driver was racing under appeal following his exclusion from qualifying when his car was found to be underweight. The team protested, claiming that it was only underweight because the sidepod had been damaged and part of it had fallen off, so his second place ahead of Renger van der Zande is provisional.
"I hope I can keep the points, it's very important because everything is still open for second place in the championship," said Vietoris.
The result as it stands brought Vietoris and van der Zande back into contention in the battle for second place in the standings, with Mika Maki also in the hunt after finishing fourth.
The current second-placed driver, Edoardo Mortara, finished the race only 14th. He ran third in the early stages but was given a drive-through penalty for going beyond the run-off at the exit of turn one. He was one of four drivers to receive the penalty in the race, along with Sam Bird, Robert Wickens and Jens Klingmann.
Jules Bianchi could also come into play in the fight for second in tomorrow's finale. The Frenchman had a lackluster race, losing places on the first lap and then running wide at Turn 2 and allowing Stefano Coletti, Jean-Karl Vernay and Koudai Tsukakoshi through.
But he still finished in seventh place so will start tomorrow's reverse grid race from the front row.
The race was broken up by a lengthy safety car period following multiple collisions at the Turn 3 hairpin on the opening lap. Brendon Hartley was pitched into a roll by Erik Janis and had to be extracted from his car by the medical crew having appeared to injure his back as his car landed awkwardly.
While on the outside of that incident, Jon Lancaster and Kazuya Oshima collided and both retired.
Pos Driver Team Car Gap 1. Nico Hülkenberg ART D/M 41:22.235 2. Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M +7.888 3. Renger van der Zande Prema D/M +8.702 4. Mika Maki Mucke D/M +14.499 5. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M +15.885 6. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V +17.821 7. Koudai Tsukakoshi Manor D/M +22.904 8. Jules Bianchi ART D/M +23.614 9. Erik Janis Mucke D/M +31.436 10. Dani Clos Prema D/M +32.434 11. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M +36.208 12. James Jakes ART D/M +43.202 13. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V +44.057 14. Yann Clairay SG D/M +44.786 15. Daniel Campos-Hull HBR D/M +45.500 16. Cheng Cong Fu RC D/V +51.869 17. Sam Bird Manor D/M +52.508 18. Franck Mailleux Signature D/V +58.365 19. Richard Philippe SG D/M +58.951 20. Frederic Vervisch RC D/V +1:00.368 21. Basil Shaaban HBR D/M +1:05.700 22. Stephane Richelmi Barazi-Epsilon D/M +1:13.167 23. Jens Klingmann RC D/V +1:18.078 24. Robert Wickens Signature D/V +1:21.190 Retirements Oliver Oakes Carlin D/M 8 laps Kazuya Oshima Manor D/M 0 laps Brendon Hartley Carlin D/M 0 laps Jon Lancaster ART D/M 0 laps Fastest lap, Hulkenberg 1:34.221 on lap 17