Leclerc dominates wet Norisring opener

Charles Leclerc eased to a fourth European Formula 3 victory of the season in torrential conditions at the Norisring to extend his championship lead.

From pole position, the young Monegasque led throughout, withstanding early pressure from a rapid Alex Albon before a mistake by the Anglo-Thai gave Leclerc a comfortable margin he would hold until the race was effectively ended by a Safety Car period.

The field circulated behind the pace car for the opening laps before being let loose, with Albon immediately diving up the inside of Maximilian Gunther to slot into second behind Leclerc.

The two rookie drivers were split by less than a second for the opening part of the race in the battle for the lead, until Albon ran straight on at the first hairpin, dropping down to fifth in the process.

His error gave Leclerc a comfortable lead of 4.4 seconds, which he would almost double before the Safety Car was scrambled in response to debris from Jake Dennis’ car being scattered across the circuit after the Brit collided with Arjun Maini as the latter left the pits.

Antonio Giovinazzi, who had moved up from seventh on the grid to second, got a large piece of the debris stuck on his front wing just as the caution period began, but was able to dislodge it by riding over the kerbs and kept his second place behind a dominant Leclerc.

The Italian had passed title rival Felix Rosenqvist for the place at the exit of the first corner a few laps earlier, the Swede hanging on for third, ahead of Gunther, who ran second after Albon ran wide before slipping behind first Rosenqvist and then Giovinazzi in quick succession.

Dorian Boccolacci took sixth behind Signature teammate Albon, with Gustavo Menezes, Lance Stroll, Markus Pommer – slipping five places from his grid slot of fourth – and George Russell completing the scorers.

Race results:

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing 35'41.741
Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin 0.769
Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam 5.703
Maximilian Gunther Mucke Motorsport 6.410
Alexander Albon Signature 7.526
Dorian Boccolacci Signature 7.998
Gustavo Menezes Carlin 9.369
Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam 9.864
Markus Pommer Motopark 11.196
10  George Russell Carlin 12.734
11  Callum Ilott Carlin 13.199
12  Mikkel Jensen Mucke Motorsport 14.493
13  Ryan Tveter Carlin 15.350
14  Tatiana Calderon Carlin 16.603
15  Sergio Sette Camara Motopark 16.955
16  Sam MacLeod Motopark 17.413
17  Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing 17.546
18  Julio Moreno T-Sport 20.150
19  Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec 20.311
20  Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam 1 lap
21  Kang Ling Mucke Motorsport 1 lap
22  Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing 1 lap
23  Matt Rao Fortec 1 lap
24  Nabil Jeffri Motopark 1 lap
25  Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark 2 laps
26  Fabian Schiller West-Tec 2 laps
Ret Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam  
Ret Santino Ferrucci Mucke Motorsport  
Ret Matt Solomon Double R Racing  
Ret Raoul Hyman West-Tec  
Ret Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing  
Ret Michele Beretta Mucke Motorsport  

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Event Norisring
Track Norisring
Drivers Felix Rosenqvist , Antonio Giovinazzi , Charles Leclerc , Alexander Albon , Maximilian Gunther
Teams Van Amersfoort Racing
Article type Race report