Euro F3 Norisring: Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong takes first win

Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong scored his breakthrough Formula 3 European Championship win at the Norisring, leading from pole position to the chequered flag

Euro F3 Norisring: Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong takes first win

The Prema Powerteam-run driver, known for his blistering starts, converted pole into a comfortable lead on the opening lap, and it seemed that the only thing that might stop him was a safety car.

Sure enough that materialised on the second lap, after the fast-starting Sacha Fenestraz was tipped onto two wheels at the Dutzendteich hairpin by Jonathan Aberdein and into the barriers.

But Armstrong scarpered on the back straight at the restart, and within a lap had pulled 1.2 seconds on the sister Dallara-Mercedes of Ralf Aron, the gap eventually stabilising at 3s.

Aron had no answer to Armstrong, and came under pressure at the restart from Motopark-run Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum.

Ticktum in turn had slow-starting front-row man Jehan Daruvala behind him, and the Force India protege soon grabbed third place with a clean pass into the Turn 1 hairpin.

Daruvala, a race winner at the Norisring in 2017, planted his Carlin car on the gearbox of Aron, but there was no opening, while in turn Ticktum shadowed the duo from fourth.

"It was almost perfect," said Armstrong. "I've had some bad luck in the races so far, and I didn't really want to overcomplicate this one, and the best way to do that was to start from pole and do what we've been doing. We did the job perfectly."

Robert Shwartzman had plunged down the inside of everyone bar Armstrong at Turn 1 at the start before running wide and he was fifth at the restart, but soon lost the position to Prema team-mate Mick Schumacher at Dutzendteich.

Schumacher could never break away from Shwartzman, while the Motopark car of Juri Vips was similarly close to hand as the trio filled fifth down to seventh place.

Marino Sato in his Motopark car was also on the tail of this bunch, before falling away in eighth.

The top two in the championship going into the race, Enaam Ahmed and Guan Yu Zhou, advanced from the seventh row into the top 10, only for Ahmed to lose it under braking into Turn 1 and spin down the field - meaning his series lead is cut to eight points over Ticktum.

Ferrari junior Zhou therefore took ninth, although he came under pressure from Ahmed's Hitech team-mate Alex Palou.

Palou also had to keep an eye on his mirrors for the Van Amersfoort Racing car of Keyvan Andres, having his best race yet, before provisionally claiming the final point.

After the race, Palou was penalised one second for passing Andres under the full-course yellow that preceded the safety car, giving the German-Iranian 10th place and his first F3 point.

Fabio Scherer and Ferdinand Habsburg lost potential points-scoring positions to drive-through penalties for jumped starts.

Aberdein spun at Dutzendteich while seventh on the first lap after the restart, while Nikita Troitskiy's strong qualifying performance came to nothing when contact with Shwartzman on the opening lap forced him pitwards to replace a damaged front wing.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Marcus Armstrong PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 34m29.816s
2 Ralf Aron PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2.926s
3 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 3.311s
4 Dan Ticktum Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 5.078s
5 Mick Schumacher PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 7.496s
6 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 8.044s
7 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 8.462s
8 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 10.934s
9 Guanyu Zhou PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 11.784s
10 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 15.876s
11 Alex Palou Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 16.102s
12 Ben Hingeley Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 17.371s
13 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 21.836s
14 Enaam Ahmed Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 22.678s
15 Sebastian Fernandez Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 26.723s
16 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 32.956s
17 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 33.544s
18 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 37.946s
19 Fabio Scherer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 40.684s
20 Julian Hanses ma-con Dallara/Volkswagen 43.629s
21 Petru Florescu Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 1 Lap
22 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1 Lap
- Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement


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