Formula 3: Marlboro Masters 2003, Zandvoort, Netherlands Christian Klien Wins Most Prestigious Formula 3 Race of the Year 20-year-old Austrian Christian Klien drove the MÃ¼cke team's Dallara Mercedes to victory in the Marlboro Masters at...
Formula 3: Marlboro Masters 2003, Zandvoort, Netherlands Christian Klien Wins Most Prestigious Formula 3 Race of the Year 20-year-old Austrian Christian Klien drove the Mücke team's Dallara Mercedes to victory in the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort, Netherlands, the most prestigious Formula-3 race of the year. After 25 laps, Klien won with a margin of 0.321sec ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr. (Dallara-Mugen-Honda), son of the three-times Formula One World Champion, and Ryan Briscoe (Dallara-Opel), overall leader of the Formula 3 Euro Series. Klien's Mücke team mate Markus Winkelhock came home sixth, the Dallara Mercedes drivers of the ASM team, Olivier Pla and Alexandre Premat finished seventh and ninth respectively, so that a total of four drivers with Mercedes-Benz engines finished among the top-ten. 47 drivers from 20 nations took part in the 13th organisation of the race at Zandvoort. Apart from Piquet there were three more sons of former Formula One drivers participating: Winkelhock, Stefano Fabi and Nico Rosberg (who did not race due to illness).
Klien who made his first appearance on the 4.3-kilometre track at the North Sea, qualified fastest in the group with even numbers with a time of 1:33.295. He started second behind Piquet, who was 0.180sec faster in the group with odd numbers.
Klien took the lead at the start and maintained it until the chequered flag. From the beginning, the Austrian opened a small gap ahead of Piquet, so that the Brazilian could not attack. During a re-start after a Safety Car period (from lap eight to ten), Klien even increased the distance to the following cars. It was only in the closing stages that Piquet could attack, but Klien defended his lead. After a faultless race, he crossed the finish line with a margin of 0.321sec. Winkelhock started seventh and improved one position at the start. He came home sixth. Olivier Pla and Alexandre Premat ended up seventh and ninth respectively. Their Canadian ASM team mate Bruno Spengler finished 27th.
Jan Heylen in the Kolles team's Dallara Mercedes came home 17th. His team mate Charles Zwolsman retired from 24th place due to an accident three laps from the finish.
Christian Klien: "This was the most important win of my race career so far. It was only made possible by the great efforts of everybody at Mücke Motorsport. I'm really happy for the entire team.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsportchef Norbert Haug: "Congratulations to Christian Klien and the Mücke team on this great success. The Marlboro Masters is the most prestigious Formula 3 race on the calendar with all the best Formula 3 drivers participating. This makes Christian's victory particularly valuable."