Roberto Merhi wins again in second Nurburgring F3 Euro Series race for Prema

Roberto Merhi strengthened his grip on the F3 Euro Series by taking his seventh win of the year in race two at the Nurburgring in ultra-tricky conditions

Roberto Merhi wins again in second Nurburgring F3 Euro Series race for Prema

The Prema Powerteam driver started eighth on the partially-reversed grid, but lay second after the opening complex of corners - helped in no small part by a great getaway and by polesitter Kimiya Sato driving straight into the gravel at the first corner as rain began to fall.

Only Nigel Melker was ahead of Merhi as the first lap was completed, but the Mucke Motorsport driver was handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start, giving his Spanish rival a clear advantage at the front.

As this happened on lap three when the track was at its wettest, Kuba Giermaziak - the only man to start on wet tyres - took full advantage as he climbed up from the back of the field to lie fourth and set about taking huge chunks of time out of the top three.

However, by lap eight the track was drying and the slick-shod runners were lapping 3s quicker than the Star Racing driver, who dropped back down the order as the race progressed and finished 10th.

With his threat extinguished, Merhi cruised to a 2.3s victory over Mucke driver Felix Rosenqvist, with Laurens Vanthoor completing the podium for Signature.

Merhi's team-mate Daniel Juncadella finished fourth ahead of the recovering Sato (Motopark), Melker and the Signature cars of Daniel Abt and Carlos Munoz.

At the height of the rain there were three cars off the circuit at Turn 1 at the same time - albeit all as a result of separate incidents. While Gianmarco Raimondo (Prema) and Marco Wittmann (Signature) recovered to the track, Jimmy Eriksson (Motopark) was stuck in the gravel.

Wittmann decided to stop for wets immediately afterwards, but the gamble did not pay off for the Signature driver, who later stopped for good in the pits and dropped 58 points behind Merhi in the championship.

Results - 13 laps:  Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 20m12.503s 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 2.319s 3. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW 8.319s 4. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 14.670s 5. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW 15.896s 6. Nigel Melker Mucke Dallara-Merc 16.609s 7. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW 24.464s 8. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW 27.083s 9. Gianmarco Raimondo Prema Dallara-VW 43.193s 10. Kuba Giermaziak Star Dallara-VW 47.632s 11. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW 1'47.083s Retirements Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW 1 lap 
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Roberto Merhi wins first Nurburgring F3 Euro Series race for Prema
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