Gunther emerges from Norisring chaos with first F3 win

Maximilian Gunther grabbed his first European Formula 3 win amid a chaotic ending to a crash-filled second encounter at the Norisring.

The German went from fourth place to the lead at the first hairpin in an opportunistic move, as Alex Albon arrived at the first corner too hot and pushed wide George Russell and Charles Leclerc in the dying stages after the fourth and final safety car restart.

Up until that point, polesitter Albon, barring a brief period in the opening stages when Russell took the advantage, had been in command of the race throughout, leading Russell, Leclerc and Gunther when the action resumed for the final time.

Championship leader Leclerc went on the attack against Russell immediately at the first hairpin, forcing the Brit off line in the process but setting him up to make a sensational move on Albon for the lead at the Esses.

Leclerc then forced his way by Albon for second at the following hairpin, and along the start/finish straight lined up Russell for a shot at passing for the lead – before the Anglo-Thai arrived too hot and pushed the pair wide, allowing Gunther to come through and claim victory.

Albon emerged with second ahead of Leclerc, while Russell was the biggest loser as he also slipped behind Ferrari junior Lance Stroll to finish fifth. Gunther’s Mucke Motorsport teammate Mikkel Jensen rounded out a top six consisting entirely of rookie drivers.

The top 10 finishers were rounded off by Gustavo Menezes, Dorian Boccolacci, Alessio Lorandi and Brandon Maisano, Tatiana Calderon narrowly missing out on her first points of the year in 12th.

A three-way melee at the first corner triggered the third of the four safety car periods, caused by Santino Ferrucci, then running in sixth, who arrived at the first hairpin too quickly and collected title contenders Antonio Giovinazzi and Jake Dennis in the process.

Felix Rosenqvist also suffered a race to forget as he was awarded a drive-through penalty for not forming on the grid correctly, dropping to the rear of the pack and finishing 17th.

The most spectacular mishap of the race befell Michele Beretta, who was turned upside down when he was tagged from behind Matt Solomon exiting the first hairpin, causing the second safety car.

Pos Driver  Team Time/Gap
Maximilian Gunther Mucke Motorsport 35'29.228
Alexander Albon Signature 0.495
Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing 1.034
Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam
1.906
George Russell Carlin 2.251
Mikkel Jensen Mucke Motorsport
3.115
Gustavo Menezes Carlin 3.755
Dorian Boccolacci Signature 5.181
Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing 5.555
10  Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam
6.001
11  Markus Pommer Motopark 6.223
12  Tatiana Calderon Carlin 6.984
13  Sam MacLeod Motopark 8.506
14  Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing
8.521
15  Fabian Schiller West-Tec 10.094
16  Callum Ilott Carlin 10.914
17  Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam
11.768
18  Raoul Hyman West-Tec 12.838
19  Julio Moreno T-Sport 13.721
20  Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark 17.540
21  Matt Rao Fortec 30.159
22  Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin 35.235
23  Sergio Sette Camara Motopark 38.349

 

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Event Norisring
Track Norisring
Drivers Lance Stroll , George Russell , Charles Leclerc , Alexander Albon , Maximilian Gunther
Teams Mücke Motorsport
Article type Race report