Euro F3 Hockenheim: Norris takes 2017 title, Eriksson wins race one

McLaren Formula 1 protege Lando Norris is the 2017 Formula 3 European champion after finishing second to Joel Eriksson in the first race of the season finale at Hockenheim

Euro F3 Hockenheim: Norris takes 2017 title, Eriksson wins race one

Norris's only title rival, Maximilian Gunther, had to win the race with Norris finishing outside the top eight to take the championship battle to the second race of the weekend.

Although Gunther made some progress from his lowly grid position of 12th, he could only finish 10th.

Callum Ilott made a great getaway from pole position, while front-row starter Norris made his first duff launch since the summer, allowing third-on-the-grid Eriksson into second.

Eriksson got into Ilott's slipstream on the long blast down towards the Spitzkehre hairpin, passed him and then pulled over to claim the inside line, the pair inches from contact at high speed.

Ilott tried to retaliate at the right-hander into the Mercedes Arena, but his lost momentum allowed Norris to challenge him into the tight left-hander that follows.

There was contact between the two Brits - with Norris surviving a subsequent stewards' investigation that ruled no further action was required - which tapped Ilott wide and allowed Norris's Carlin team-mate Ferdinand Habsburg to make an opportunistic move into second place.

Norris chased Habsburg down and passed him into Spitzkehre on the seventh lap of what would be a 23-lap race.

Habsburg got the undercut on the exit, forcing Norris to hang on around the outside into the Mercedes Arena to complete the move.

Norris then set off after the Motopark-run car of Eriksson, but for most of the race couldn't get the gap below 1.4/1.5 seconds, despite pushing hard, evidenced by frequent lock-ups into the Sachskurve.

He finally got close on the final lap, but Eriksson - who now moves ahead of Gunther into second in the standings - crossed the line 0.7s to the good.

Ilott initially fell away from the leading trio but the Prema Powerteam man was reeling in Habsburg once more when he ran wide late-on and lost a stack of time, meaning he had to fend off an attack from Carlin's Jehan Daruvala before consolidating fourth position.

Pedro Piquet ran an early sixth for Van Amersfoort Racing, under pressure from a swarm of Hitech GP cars.

Nikita Mazepin finally pierced Piquet's defence, the Russian taking sixth from the Brazilian, with Ralf Aron getting the better of team-mate Tadasuke Makino for eighth.

Gunther had closed in on this bunch but, once their battle subsided, he fell away again, holding off the sister Prema car of Mick Schumacher for the final point.

Race one results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 35m45.712s
2 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.725s
3 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 3.988s
4 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 9.036s
5 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 12.520s
6 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 15.639s
7 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17.218s
8 Ralf Aron Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 17.815s
9 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 19.436s
10 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 25.250s
11 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 28.740s
12 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 30.928s
13 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 31.647s
14 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 32.448s
15 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 35.521s
16 Felipe Drugovich Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 36.441s
17 David Beckmann Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 37.271s
18 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 38.405s
19 Devlin Defrancesco Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 42.363s
20 Keyvan Andres Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 44.579s
21 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 45.207s




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