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Aug 20

Seventh season win for McLaren junior driver Lando Norris

Lando Norris took the lead at the start and already returned from the opening lap with a margin of almost one second

Seventh season win for McLaren junior driver Lando NorrisBritish driver Lando Norris (Carlin), who is supported by the McLaren Formula 1 team, scored his seventh win of the season in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Second place went to Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin), German Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) finished third. Norris, who was also the best rookie in the field, extended his lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings to eleven points from his nearest rival Günther.

Event: 07 Zandvoort
Session: Race 3
Track: Circuit Zandvoort / NLD
Pole position: Lando Norris (Carlin)
Race winner: Lando Norris (Carlin)
Weather: sunny, 20.7 °C

From the very beginning, Ferdinand Habsburg was in second place, followed by Maximilian Günther, Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam). Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) was in sixth place, but soon saw Ilott in front of him pull away. Behind the Brit, who had scored a podium finish in the second race at Zandvoort, a group of ten drivers, Hughes included, assembled.

On lap eleven, Callum Ilott headed into the pits to have the front wing of his car replaced and rejoined the race in last place. Thus, Jake Hughes moved up into fifth position, but at that time already was ten seconds down on Guanyu Zhou, who was fourth.

Out in front, Lando Norris had established a lead of over five seconds on his team-mate Ferdinand Habsburg. For a long time, the Austrian was unable to pull away from his rival Maximilian Günther, but his margin was always sufficient to avoid any danger. Thus, first to fourth position were already taken early: Lando Norris went on to win from Ferdinand Habsburg, Maximilian Günther and Guanyu Zhou.

The battles for positions in the midfield were a little closer, Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix) repeatedly tried to overtake his team-mate Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix). The Estonian, who temporarily also put Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) under pressure, managed to keep the Russian at bay. With five minutes remaining, Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing) tried to overtake Jake Hughes on the outside at Tarzan corner, but the Hitech driver successfully defended his position. Meanwhile, Nikita Mazepin had to slot in behind rookie driver Joey Mawson and lost his ninth place to the Australian. Mazepin wanted to counter, but didn’t succeed. Thus, the finish order from fifth place onwards was: Jake Hughes from Pedro Piquet, Harrison Newey, Ralf Aron, Joey Mawson and Nikita Mazepin.

Lando Norris (Carlin): “There is not too much to say about this race. My start was fairly good, so that I didn’t have to defend my first place in the first corner. I am happy that my starts here at Zandvoort worked out so well. Apart from that, I almost went off the track once because, I believe, the wind had turned and I made a mistake. But it went well and I am happy with my second win of this weekend.”

Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin): “In the first two races of the weekend, my pace wasn’t great, but we looked at the data and the videos and managed to make a significant improvement. After a few laps, it went really well and in sector two, which was my main problem, I was really fast. This year, we have made a good step ahead. I started rather at the back, but now, I am on the podium for the third time already. Driving in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is fun. I would love to benefit from what I have learned and then be a contender for the title next season.”

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “This weekend wasn’t what I had expected. Eventually, we have two podium finishes, but I wanted more. For me, this race wasn’t too exciting, because overtaking is nearly impossible here. Thus, third place was the maximum I could achieve.”

source: FIA F3, fiaf3europe.com

 

Scintillating Norris re-takes FIA Euro F3 Championship lead

Scintillating performances from Lando Norris on his Zandvoort race début this weekend (19-20 Aug) have once more moved him clear in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The British teenager recaptured the lead courtesy of two dominant, unchallenged wins plus a third-place in his Carlin prepared Dallara-Volkswagen in the latest races in the Netherlands. The McLaren-Honda Young Driver had begun the weekend 18-points behind Maximilian Günther (D) but now enjoys a 11-points advantage over the German.

Norris was in dazzling form in qualifying too, claiming pole-position for each of the three 33mins plus one-lap races over the weekend having now set six consecutive “pole” times over the two most recent events. Lando, however, was one of nine drivers given a drop of two grid positions for today’s Race 2 by race officials for yellow warning flag infringements. All three races at the 2.68-mile North Sea coastal track were staged in sunshine but windy weather conditions with Lando making an excellent start in Saturday’s Race 1. An accident at the first corner brought out the Safety Car for 10mins with Norris retaining the lead at the re-start. He completed the first flying lap with a phenomenal 1.2secs lead and continued to set a searing pace, extending his advantage to 8.9secs at the chequered flag in what was a “master class” demonstration. He also set a new F3 lap record – on the final tour to underline his dominance – 0.158secs faster than his qualifying time the previous day.

The final race this afternoon saw Norris start from his seventh “pole” of the season having now achieved a remarkable 14 front row starts in the 21 races run to date and back ahead in the championship standings after placing a solid third in a processional Race 2 earlier in the day. Another good start at the green light was the foundation to securing win number seven of the season – his 15th top-three podium result – a 6.6secs victory along with another fastest race lap being achieved in Race 3. The eighth event of this season’s Euro F3 Series, featuring rounds 22, 23 & 24, is staged at the Nürburgring on 9-10 September. Lando recorded pole-positions, a race win and a fastest lap at the German venue in Formula Renault last year.

Lando Norris (GB): Born: Bristol, England. Aged 17.
“It’s great to be back leading the championship but there are still nine races remaining and a lot of points up for grabs. My Zandvoort début has been pretty successful with three podium finishes including two wins – Carlin did a fantastic job this weekend. Getting pole for Race 1 in Friday evening’s session was cool although I was a little surprised. The track was quite slippery in places and the car was sliding but I guess everyone else was experiencing the same problem. Zandvoort is a difficult track to overtake on so starting from ‘pole’ was a bonus. My re-start after the Safety Car wasn’t great and I needed to fend off Joel [Eriksson] and flat-spotted my front right tyre after locking-up at Tarzan but after that I was able to extend my advantage with each lap. Getting a penalty for Race 2 wasn’t ideal and a little unlucky as the sector [of the track] I was in at the time went from yellow to green so we were unfortunate to get penalised. I was reasonably happy with third in the race. Back on ‘pole’ for Race 3, I made another good start – which is another pleasing aspect of the weekend – and my pace was good throughout.”

source: Lando Norris, landonorris.com

 

Prema Powerteam R07 Zandvoort – Race 2 & 3 Repor

Team Prema ended the Dutch round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with a win and a third place finish today at Zandvoort. In race 2 held this morning, Callum Ilott delivered a runaway victory by leading from start to finish and overcoming a safety-car neutralization. Following to yesterday’s raft of post-qualifying 2 penalties, Maximilian Günther was forced to start from the seventh spot on the grid and unsurprisingly ended up in the same position, as Zandvoort notably leaves little room for passing. The German then secured a podium finish in the third race, keeping himself in full championship contention. In race 3, starting from P7, Ilott had his race jeopardized by a contact and was forced to retire.

After facing a tough Saturday run, Ferrari Driver Academy racer Guanyu Zhou delivered a double points finish and came close to a podium with a fourth place in race 3. Starting twice from outside the top-10, Mick Schumacher was able to post another points finish overall with a ninth place in race 2, and also secured two more rookie podiums throughout the day. His pace was impressive and comparable to the frontrunners.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“In both the races I tried to overtake cars at the start. Even if the starts have been good, I was not able to improve my position in both the races. Later on I tried everything I could, but putting lots of pressure was the only possible option on this track. Finally P7 and P3 were the best I could achieve after the disappointment in the qualifying sessions. I’m positive we can bounce back soon at the next event!”

# 8 – Guan Yu Zhou
“In race 2 the start was very good but couldn’t make my way to the front. It was a pretty boring run because with the turbulences in the fast corners it was really difficult to pass and you end up keeping the same pace of the car in front. Anyway we put some valuable points in the bag with eight place. In Race 3 I had another good start but so did the four drivers in front and couldn’t really pass anyone in turn 1. At the beginning, I pushed a lot to force Maxi into a mistake and at one time he had to defend in turn 1, but it’s so difficult to complete the pass here. Afterwards I managed my tires, especially the rear, because there is a lot of degradation here and I’m happy with P4. There is still something we can work on and I hope to do even better at the Nürburgring.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“It has been an up and down day. Our laptimes showed that we have really good potential. In race 2 we were even able to overcome the lack of passing opportunities to grab another good points finish and a second place on the rookie podium. In race 3 there weren’t real chances to recover but once again the pace proved that we are on the right path.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“Having inherited pole position yesterday, I was able to get into the lead at the start. Then, there was a safety car intervention, but I was also able to defend my first place at the restart. Our speed was always good and I am happy that I was finally able to prove it with this victory. I reckon that I was at the right place at the right time. That wasn’t much the case in race 3. I was starting from P7 but an early contact damaged my car and at that point there were no hopes for a recovery.”

source: premapowerteam.com

 

Callum Illot wins Race 2 at Zandvoort 

As the summer break has come to an end the FIA F3 team headed to the Dutch town of Zandvoort. After coming out on top in free practice, the first qualifying session of the weekend turned out to be tricky. Heading into the weekend as Championship leader Maximilian Günther settled for P4 on the second row on the grid for Race 1. Brit Callum Illot took P5 after initially taking provisional pole. Guanyu Zhou P8 and Mick Schumacher P9.

With the clouds looming above the seaside track ahead of Race 1, the safety car was deployed immediately due to David Beckmann having flipped his car on the opening lap. Having lost 10 minutes on the clock caused by the incident, at the restart Schumacher maintained P6 after having a flying start. Illot lost P4 to Ferdinand Habsburg and continued to fight back the position for the rest of the race but was unable to pass the Carlin driver. Getting into P7 at the green light Zhou was quickly penalised with a drive through penalty which knocked his overall result to finish P16. Günther, who had come under pressure from Habsburg clinched hold of the last spot on the podium as the chequered flag was revealed.

Qualifying 2 featured a red and yellow flag situation which later in the day created several penalties for numerous drivers. This meant Callum Illot took the pole position for Race 2. Günther P7, Zhou P9 and Schumacher just shy of a top 10 start in P11.

Yet again a safety car was deployed on the opening lap of Race 2, almost instantly after Illot stormed away from the field having started on pole position. Once a few laps had passed the restart took place, where we saw each Prema Theodore driver hold their positions. Zhou had German teammate Schumacher in a high speed battle for P9 for the duration of the race. Although not swapping positions both gained one spot due to Ralf Aron experiencing issues with his car. As that battle unfolded another was taking place between Günther and Habsburg for P6,  Günther cut the gap to the Brit lap by lap but was unable to find a way past. As the chequered flag waved, Callum Illot took his fourth win of the season with a 7.3 gap to P2!

The final race of the weekend had Maximilian Günther on the third spot of the podium for a second time this weekend, having started in the same position, he had a strong 33 minute + 2 lap race. Ferrari backed Zhou had a similar race. Although trying his hardest to pass his teammate for a podium finish after pushing the car to it’s limits the Chinese driver settled for P4, where he begun the race from. For Illot, who had won race 2 earlier in the morning, the last race of the weekend was a different story. Starting from 7th, the Brit had a good start gaining two places but after experiencing front wing damage was forced to retire from the race. Mick Schumacher has another positive run. Setting off in P15 the German star jumped to P12 before hunting Joey Mawson for a wheel-to-wheel battle which took place for the remainder 24 minutes of the race, but as the last lap arrived he was unable to make a move and finished P11.

The next race on the calendar will be held at the famous Nurburgring on 9-10th September, where the team hopes to continue it’s lead in the team Championship.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“In both the races I tried to overtake cars at the start. Even if the starts have been good, I was not able to improve my position in both the races. Later on I tried everything I could, but putting lots of pressure was the only possible option on this track. Finally P7 and P3 were the best I could achieve after the disappointment in the qualifying sessions. I’m positive we can bounce back soon at the next event!”

# 8 – Guan Yu Zhou
“In race 2 the start was very good but couldn’t make my way to the front. It was a pretty boring run because with the turbulences in the fast corners it was really difficult to pass and you end up keeping the same pace of the car in front. Anyway we put some valuable points in the bag with eight place. In Race 3 I had another good start but so did the four drivers in front and couldn’t really pass anyone in turn 1. At the beginning, I pushed a lot to force Maxi into a mistake and at one time he had to defend in turn 1, but it’s so difficult to complete the pass here. Afterwards I managed my tires, especially the rear, because there is a lot of degradation here and I’m happy with P4. There is still something we can work on and I hope to do even better at the Nürburgring.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“It has been an up and down day. Our laptimes showed that we have really good potential. In race 2 we were even able to overcome the lack of passing opportunities to grab another good points finish and a second place on the rookie podium. In race 3 there weren’t real chances to recover but once again the pace proved that we are on the right path.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“Having inherited pole position yesterday, I was able to get into the lead at the start. Then, there was a safety car intervention, but I was also able to defend my first place at the restart. Our speed was always good and I am happy that I was finally able to prove it with this victory. I reckon that I was at the right place at the right time. That wasn’t much the case in race 3. I was starting from P7 but an early contact damaged my car and at that point there were no hopes for a recovery.”

source: Theodore Racing, theodoreracing.com

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