Norisring European F3: Maximilian Gunther wins from 12th on grid

German rookie Maximilian Gunther won a compelling second race of the Formula 3 European Championship weekend at the Norisring - from 12th on the grid

Norisring European F3: Maximilian Gunther wins from 12th on grid

Gunther, driving the same Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes taken to victory here by Felix Rosenqvist in 2013, picked his way through the field largely due to incidents in front of him, and the fourth and final safety-car period played into his hands perfectly.

The race boiled down to a five-lap sprint to the flag, with poleman Alexander Albon - who had led the majority of the race - ahead of George Russell (who had led the opening two laps before running wide at Turn 1) and Charles Leclerc, with Gunther in fourth.

On the first lap of the restart, Albon ran deep into Turn 1, allowing Russell a run into the quick right-left chicane.

The Englishman bounced over the rough on the outside, but kept his foot planted and swept around the outside of Albon before claiming the inside for the left-handed element.

With Albon slowed, Leclerc got a run and squeezed through into second at the final corner, before slipstreaming Russell down to Turn 1.

Albon saw his opportunity and drafted both to move to the inside, but all three ran wide.

Gunther, who checked up early on the brakes, took the lead, with Albon now second from Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Russell.

London-born Thai Albon chased Gunther over the final laps, but the Signature Dallara-Volkswagen fell just four tenths of a second short at the chequered flag.

Gunther had been a distant seventh early on, but a shunt ahead of him eliminated the fourth-to-sixth cars of Jake Dennis, Antonio Giovinazzi and Santino Ferrucci at Turn 1, causing the third safety car.

Leclerc had just slipped down the inside of Dennis when Ferrucci stuck his nose inside Giovinazzi, pushing Giovinazzi into Dennis and eliminating himself and Dennis on the spot, while Giovinazzi pitted for a new front wing.

Other drivers to clear themselves out of Gunther's way included Felix Rosenqvist, who was given a drive-through penalty for a starting infringement, and Mikkel Jensen, who ran wide at Turn 1.

Behind Russell, Jensen recovered to finish sixth from Gustavo Menezes, Dorian Boccolacci, Alessio Lorandi and Brandon Maisano.

The first safety car was caused when Ryan Tveter was launched by Lorandi at Turn 1.

The second came when Matt Solomon tipped Michele Beretta into a roll.

And the fourth and final one was caused by Kang Ling T-boning the spun Pietro Fittipaldi.

RESULTS - 36 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Maximilian Guenther KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 35m29.238s
2 Alexander Albon Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 0.495s
3 Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 1.034s
4 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1.906s
5 George Russell Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2.251s
6 Mikkel Jensen KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 3.115s
7 Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 3.755s
8 Dorian Boccolacci Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 5.181s
9 Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 5.555s
10 Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 6.001s
11 Markus Pommer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 6.223s
12 Tatiana Calderon Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 6.984s
13 Sam MacLeod Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 8.506s
14 Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 8.521s
15 Fabian Schiller Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 10.094s
16 Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 10.914s
17 Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 11.768s
18 Raoul Hyman Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 12.838s
19 Julio Moreno ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 13.721s
20 Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 17.540s
21 Matt Rao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 30.159s
22 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 35.235s
23 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 38.349s
24 Nabil Jeffri Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1 Lap
25 Matt Solomon Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1 Lap
- Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Kang Ling KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Santino Ferrucci KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Michele Beretta KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Ryan Tveter Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement

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