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


shares
comments
GP3 Paul Ricard: Boccolacci beats Hubert to home victory

Previous article

GP3 Paul Ricard: Boccolacci beats Hubert to home victory

Next article

Norisring Euro F3: Ferrari proteges claim poles for final two races

Norisring Euro F3: Ferrari proteges claim poles for final two races
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F3
Drivers Marcus Armstrong
Author Marcus Simmons
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars Plus

The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars

Recently named as Autosport's greatest single-seater, Ralt's RT3 launched a plethora of superstar drivers through the early 1980s, and established the constructor as the go-to place for your single-seater weapon

FIA F3
Dec 8, 2020
The Macau GP's greatest moments Plus

The Macau GP's greatest moments

Coronavirus restrictions mean this weekend's Macau GP will have a very different feel, with the usual F3 jamboree replaced by Chinese F4. But in past years, the event has provided some seminal moments in the careers of future world champions

FIA F3
Nov 20, 2020
Rating the prospects of the 2020 F3 title contenders Plus

Rating the prospects of the 2020 F3 title contenders

With the title race finely poised ahead of the final triple-header, a category returnee who raced George Russell in his F3 days lends Autosport his thoughts on the ones to watch

FIA F3
Aug 25, 2020
Why "whirlwind" Tauranac's legacy will stand the test of time Plus

Why "whirlwind" Tauranac's legacy will stand the test of time

The passing of Ralt boss Ron Tauranac last week drew tributes from around the world, not least from the bosses of three prominent teams on whom the Australian designer made a lasting impression

FIA F3
Jul 24, 2020
The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore Plus

The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore

Igor Fraga has a more colourful career behind him than any other driver on the FIA Formula 3 grid, and now he's beginning to become as recognised for his talents in real racing as in the virtual world

FIA F3
Jun 21, 2020
The new F3 car that has teams purring Plus

The new F3 car that has teams purring

Dallara has improved upon its old F3 car with the new 320 for this season's Euroformula Open, ensuring that single-seater competition's 'heritage’ category can race into the future

FIA F3
Apr 14, 2020