Red Bull Ring European F3: Eriksson wins tense race two from Norris

Joel Eriksson held off Lando Norris throughout the second race of the Formula 3 European Championship round at the Red Bull Ring, as Norris took another step towards clinching the title

Red Bull Ring European F3: Eriksson wins tense race two from Norris

BMW junior Eriksson's Motopark Dallara-Volkswagen led from pole into the first corner, but McLaren protege Norris ducked and dived for an opening throughout the first lap, before the Swede began to inch away.

Norris kept the gap within a second and then, around one-third distance, began to inch back into Eriksson's slipstream, but during the final third of the race the leader pulled away again.

Despite his tyres beginning to fade due to following Eriksson closely for so long, Norris got the gap back down to below a second with a couple of laps remaining, before Eriksson crossed the line 0.896s in front.

"It was a perfect race," said Eriksson.

"We were side by side into Turn 3 but I had a better line than Lando, and it was the same in Turn 4, but then the race was quite calm for me.

"I had good speed in the car, and could keep the tyres good the whole race.

"The only problem was my right-side mirror flew off on the straight and I thought Lando was quite close to hitting it!"

Carlin driver Norris will enter the final race of the weekend 82 points in front of Maximilian Gunther, who could only finish seventh in race two, and needs an advantage of 75 to be crowned champion with a round to spare.

Norris also has two new tyres from his weekend allocation in the bag for the finale while the rest of the top competitors will be on old rubber.

Despite his win, Eriksson finally dropped out of mathematical contention for the title in this race, as did Callum Ilott.

Prema Powerteam driver Ilott put pressure whenever he could on Hitech GP's Nikita Mazepin for the final podium position, but the Russian held firm to beat Ilott and strike home his second podium of the campaign in impressive style.

Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and Ralf Aron (Hitech) had relatively untroubled races in fifth and sixth, and the focus was behind on a terrific scrap for seventh.

Hitech's Jake Hughes soaked up endless pressure from the Carlin machine of Austrian royalty Ferdinand Habsburg, before Habsburg's bid to pass on the final lap led to a collision at the downhill Turn 4 that forced Habsburg through the gravel and resulted in Hughes being given a 10-second penalty after the race.

That was to the benefit of Gunther, whose Prema car moved up to seventh and in turn had endured a long challenge from Van Amersfoort Racing's Joey Mawson, who claimed eighth from the recovering Habsburg and Mick Schumacher.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Joel Eriksson Motopark 25 35m02.436s
2 Lando Norris Carlin 25 0.896s
3 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP 25 7.303s
4 Callum Ilott Prema Powerteam 25 7.842s
5 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 25 11.634s
6 Ralf Aron Hitech GP 25 13.412s
7 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam 25 24.461s
8 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing 25 25.141s
9 Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 25 25.504s
10 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 25 26.661s
11 David Beckmann Motopark 25 30.050s
12 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing 25 33.109s
13 Jake Hughes Hitech GP 25 33.818s
14 Keyvan Andres Motopark 25 35.160s
15 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing 25 35.909s
16 Marino Sato Motopark 25 36.780s
17 Tadasuke Makino Hitech GP 25 38.876s
18 Petru Florescu Motopark 25 41.815s
19 Guanyu Zhou Prema Powerteam 25 43.708s
20 Devlin Defrancesco Carlin 23 2 Laps


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Euro F3 Red Bull Ring: Eriksson beats Norris to double pole

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