Hungaroring F3: Gunther takes points lead after race one victory

Maximilian Gunther's third win of the season sent him top of the Formula 3 European Championship standings, after a pole-to-flag victory in the Hungaroring opener

Hungaroring F3: Gunther takes points lead after race one victory

Gunther had pulled out a useful gap on the first lap from fellow front-row starter Jake Hughes when, for the first time in Euro F3 history, the full-course-yellow was used.

This was because Ralf Aron, having just passed Norris for ninth at Turn 5, rode over the rear wheels of eighth-placed Pedro Piquet into Turn 6 and was launched into the gravel.

Piquet lost five laps having a new rear wing fitted, and the FCY stayed out for a lap before the race went green again.

Gunther had a 1.6-second lead at this stage, and Hughes eroded a couple of tenths from the Prema Powerteam driver's advantage over the next few laps.

But then the tyres on Hughes's Hitech GP car began to fade, and his attentions became focused more upon keeping third-placed Jehan Daruvala behind, leaving Gunther to speed home 5.8s to the good.

"It was a good race for us," said the German, after jumping Joel Eriksson and Lando Norris for the points lead.

"I did a good start and from then on I was controlling the race.

"On this circuit it's important to manage the tyres, especially the rears, and I concentrated on doing that, but I felt really good, it was a clean race, and most importantly I took the victory and 25 points."

Hughes completed a good defensive drive, focusing on his exit from the final corner to defend the Turn 1 passing place, and claimed his best F3 result with second.

Daruvala was given a black-and-white warning flag for exceeding track limits, and the Carlin-run Force India protege was not only challenging Hughes but defending from Joey Mawson.

Mawson, from a grid-penalised fifth, pulled off a fine manoeuvre on Callum Ilott - going round the outside at Turn 1 and putting himself on the inside line for Turn 2 - on the ninth lap of the race.

The Van Amersfoort Racing man then closed in on the duo in front, while Ilott's Prema car fell away.

Harrison Newey had a great first lap to go from ninth to sixth, but his VAR machine dropped into the clutches of Prema's Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou towards the end of the race.

Zhou in turn had to fend off Norris, who passed Mick Schumacher for eighth on the 10th lap, Schumacher making slight contact with the McLaren-Honda protege as he went through.

Norris then carved into a 4.2s deficit to Zhou, but the Chinese racer stayed composed to defend seventh.

Prema man Schumacher had to defend from back-of-the-grid starter Eriksson in the closing laps, after Eriksson had prised the final point away new Motopark team-mate David Beckmann with seven laps remaining.

RACE ONE RESULTS

Pos Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam 21 35m37.466s -
2 Jake Hughes Hitech GP 21 35m43.339s 5.873s
3 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 21 35m43.975s 6.509s
4 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing 21 35m44.608s 7.142s
5 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam 21 35m46.939s 9.473s
6 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing 21 35m49.500s 12.034s
7 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam 21 35m51.192s 13.726s
8 Lando Norris Carlin 21 35m51.779s 14.313s
9 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 21 35m59.410s 21.944s
10 Joel Eriksson Motopark 21 35m59.872s 22.406s
11 David Beckmann Motopark 21 36m01.906s 24.440s
12 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP 21 36m02.504s 25.038s
13 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP 21 36m03.377s 25.911s
14 Keyvan Andres Motopark 21 36m03.978s 26.512s
15 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 21 36m07.145s 29.679s
16 Marino Sato Motopark 20 35m47.477s 1 Lap
- Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing 12 30m07.469s Retirement
- Ralf Aron Hitech GP 0 - Retirement


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Hungaroring F3: Prema's Maximilian Gunther takes race one pole

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