Misano European F3: Aron wins wet final race as Armstrong spins out

Ralf Aron rounded out the Formula 3 European Championship round at Misano by winning a soggy final race, as title contender Marcus Armstrong was spun out of contention

Misano European F3: Aron wins wet final race as Armstrong spins out

After a safety-car start, the race was red-flagged on lap two due to torrential rain, but restarted after the cars had waited 20 minutes in the pitlane.

Poleman Armstrong looked unbeatable early on, as he opened up a 1.7-second gap on Prema Powerteam stablemate Aron within just one lap of racing.

But Aron began to chip away at the gap, and on the sixth lap of racing he dived down the inside of Armstrong at Turn 8 to take the lead.

Aron was already 0.9s ahead at the end of that lap, but then the safety car was called after Motopark duo Sebastian Fernandez and Marino Sato lobbed their cars into separate gravel traps.

The restart proved Armstrong's undoing, when Juri Vips dived down his inside into Turn 16 before the start-finish line, and then Ferdinand Habsburg also got momentum on the Kiwi to move into third.

To compound his misery, title contender Armstrong was then turned around into a spin by Prema team-mate Guan Yu Zhou at Turn 4 in an incident that put both out of the race.

Habsburg wasn't finished yet, and the Carlin driver passed Motopark racer Vips at Turn 8, but Vips fought back, the duo thrillingly running side by side through the fast kinks towards the end of the lap before Vips regained the place.

Aron was already 3.2s in front, and Vips brought the gap down over the final three laps to finish 1.6 adrift and complete an Estonian one-two.

"I like difficult conditions - I always have done," said Aron.

"Actually in karting I hated them, but I've been working on it my whole career and it's got to the point where I like them.

"At the safety-car start my tyre warm-up wasn't great and I was struggling, but I knew the lines I needed to be quick.

"I fought with Marcus for a couple of laps and I got by, and after that I was comfortable."

Championship leader Dan Ticktum benefited from the Armstrong/Zhou clash to move into fourth, and even gained on Habsburg in the late stages.

Although Ticktum is now 32 points ahead of Armstrong, he is just 12 ahead of Motopark team-mate Vips with three rounds remaining.

Ticktum passed Mick Schumacher during the race, the Prema-run German finishing fifth ahead of Hitech GP's Alex Palou.

Robert Shwartzman took seventh in his Prema car from Motopark racer Fabio Scherer, who somehow climbed from 14th to eighth on the first lap after the final restart.

Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and Enaam Ahmed (Hitech) completed the points - Ahmed was running ahead of Ticktum when he was sent onto the inside grass verge of Turn 14 after a collision with Zhou, before setting off into the fray once again.

Race three result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Ralf Aron PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 58m57.472s
2 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 17 1.686s
3 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17 4.607s
4 Dan Ticktum Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 17 5.460s
5 Mick Schumacher PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 7.698s
6 Alex Palou Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 17 9.072s
7 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 11.323s
8 Fabio Scherer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 17 13.988s
9 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17 14.842s
10 Enaam Ahmed Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 17 15.448s
11 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 17 16.228s
12 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17 17.394s
13 Ben Hingeley Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 17 19.463s
14 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17 21.043s
15 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 22.793s
16 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17 29.827s
17 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 30.457s
18 Sophia Florsch Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 17 34.571s
- Marcus Armstrong PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 13 Retirement
- Guanyu Zhou PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 13 Retirement
- Sebastian Fernandez Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 9 Retirement
- Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 9 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Dan Ticktum 222
2 Juri Vips 210
3 Marcus Armstrong 190
4 Mick Schumacher 186
5 Ralf Aron 183.5
6 Enaam Ahmed 154
7 Guanyu Zhou 154
8 Alex Palou 134
9 Robert Shwartzman 129
10 Jehan Daruvala 117.5
11 Sacha Fenestraz 107
12 Jonathan Aberdein 65
13 Ferdinand Habsburg 56
14 Fabio Scherer 48
15 Marino Sato 31.5
16 Nikita Troitskiy 31
17 Ben Hingeley 18
18 Keyvan Andres 17
19 Julian Hanses 6
20 Artem Petrov 6
21 Sebastian Fernandez 5

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Series FIA F3
Drivers Marcus Armstrong
Author Marcus Simmons
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