Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Ilott takes a lights-to-flag win in race one

Callum Ilott took a lights-to-flag win ahead of Joel Eriksson in the first Formula 3 European Championship race of the penultimate round of the season at the Red Bull Ring

Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Ilott takes a lights-to-flag win in race one

Maximilian Gunther finished third to trim Lando Norris' points lead, as the McLaren Formula 1 protoge finished fourth.

It wasn't easy for poleman Ilott, because Eriksson managed to brave it out around the outside of front-row qualifier Gunther at Turn 1 to take second.

Eriksson then spent the opening lap swarming around Ilott, trying to find a gap.

Motopark driver Eriksson continued to pressure Ilott - who was driving a different chassis after he inflicted substantial damage on his original car over the kerbs in qualifying - heavily for the first 10 laps.

But by lap 10 of what became a 25-lap race, Ilott had eked the gap out to just over a second, and then by two-thirds distance he was over 1.5s in front, before taking the chequered flag 1.828s clear.

"It's been a really good weekend so far," said Ilott.

"I've always really enjoyed this track - it's probably my favourite to get a trophy on for some other reasons! [Ilott was dropped from the Red Bull junior scheme at the end of 2015].

"I struggled a bit off the line, and Joel was able to challenge me, but he snatched a wheel and went straight and I was able to get a better exit.

"After a while a bit of grip came and I was able to just edge away a tenth at a time."

The second Prema car of Gunther stayed close to the leading duo during the opening stages, but dropped away with fading front tyres and came into the sights of Tadasuke Makino and Norris.

Norris had lost fourth to Makino on lap one, and for a long while seemed to have no answer to the Hitech-run Honda protege.

But as the race wore on he drew closer and, on the penultimate lap, was all over Makino.

Norris skimmed the grass out of the downhill Turn 4 before diving to the inside at the second of the two fast left-handers.

Fourth place meant he stemmed the points loss to third-placed Gunther, his nearest championship challenger.

The Briton is now 70 points in front, and could still mathematically be crowned in the final race of the weekend.

Ferdinand Habsburg had a good run to sixth place from a grid-penalised 13th.

He moved up to eighth on lap four when Harrison Newey nerfed into Nikita Mazepin on the run to Turn 3, sending the innocent Russian into a helpless spin and out of the race.

Habsburg then took advantage of the fight for sixth between Mick Schumacher and David Beckmann to pass both on the same lap in his Carlin-run machine.

Schumacher beat Beckmann to seventh, with Guan Yu Zhou ninth and Pedro Piquet holding off a late challenge from Jake Hughes, who started from the back of the grid after an engine-change grid penalty, for the final point.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam 34m59.668s 25
2 Joel Eriksson Motopark 1.828s 25
3 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam 5.141s 25
4 Lando Norris Carlin 8.940s 25
5 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP 10.119s 25
6 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 14.599s 25
7 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 15.598s 25
8 David Beckmann Motopark 19.574s 25
9 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam 21.330s 25
10 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing 22.568s 25
11 Jake Hughes Hitech GP 23.249s 25
12 Ralf Aron Hitech GP 24.046s 25
13 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 28.725s 25
14 Marino Sato Motopark 37.367s 25
15 Keyvan Andres Motopark 38.517s 25
16 Devlin Defrancesco Carlin 39.402s 25
17 Petru Florescu Motopark 1m10.427s 25
18 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing 1 Lap 24
19 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing 2 Laps 23
- Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Retirement 3

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Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Ilott pips Gunther to pole for opener
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Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Ilott pips Gunther to pole for opener

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