Euro F3 Zandvoort: Prema's Ralf Aron back into title fight with win

Ralf Aron led from start to finish in the first race of the Formula 3 European Championship round at Zandvoort to hoist himself back into title contention

Euro F3 Zandvoort: Prema's Ralf Aron back into title fight with win

Estonian Aron got a better start than polesitting Prema Powerteam stablemate Guan Yu Zhou and, despite Zhou attempting to defend, Aron was able to squeeze through on the inside and take the lead into Tarzanbocht.

Zhou kept Aron under constant pressure through the first half of the race.

"I knew tyre degradation was going to be high, and whoever pushed was going to suffer later on," said Aron. "But I 'underpushed' at the last corner and he attacked."

Sure enough, the Chinese Ferrari junior tried a move at Tarzan on the third lap, and constantly jinked around in Aron's slipstream.

Another attempt came on the eighth lap of 23, after Aron almost spun on gravel at the chicane - "It scared the shit out of me" - but again the leader held firm.

Over the second half of the race, Aron was able to pull out a gap of just over a second and held on for his second win of the season, and the first to carry full points.

Whenever Zhou attacked, he in turn came under pressure from Mick Schumacher, putting him in an invidious position.

Over the final few laps Schumacher fell away. "My clutch started spinning, so I had no more drive," he said. "With one or two more laps I don't think I'd have finished."

Schumacher therefore found championship leader Marcus Armstrong looming large in his mirrors, as Prema scored a 1-2-3-4 finish.

Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum took fifth in his Motopark car, but a scappy second lap forced him to defend from team-mate Juri Vips, who had a mighty opening lap to rise from ninth on the grid, but almost threw away his position on the final lap with a moment at the chicane.

This duo completed the top six, while another Motopark driver, Jonathan Aberdein, kept Prema's Robert Shwartzman at bay for seventh.

Ben Hingeley got the better of Hitech GP team-mate Alex Palou, who had started ahead of him, on the opening lap and was able to hold off the experienced Spaniard for ninth.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ralf Aron PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 34m56.858s
2 Guanyu Zhou PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1.687s
3 Mick Schumacher PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 3.454s
4 Marcus Armstrong PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 4.357s
5 Dan Ticktum Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 5.145s
6 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 9.165s
7 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 10.254s
8 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 11.049s
9 Ben Hingeley Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 11.770s
10 Alex Palou Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 12.316s
11 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 13.159s
12 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 13.801s
13 Fabio Scherer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 14.039s
14 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 15.341s
15 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16.039s
16 Enaam Ahmed Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 16.796s
17 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17.748s
18 Sebastian Fernandez Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 18.212s
19 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 22.509s
20 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 25.454s
21 Julian Hanses ma-con Dallara/Volkswagen 37.695s
22 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 38.056s
23 Sophia Florsch Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 41.491s
24 Petru Florescu Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 49.456s


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Series FIA F3
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