Norisring F3: Ferrari junior Armstrong takes maiden win

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Norisring F3: Ferrari junior Armstrong takes maiden win
By: Marcus Simmons
Jun 23, 2018, 10:38 AM

Ferrari junior Marcus Armstrong scored his breakthrough Formula 3 European Championship win at the Norisring, leading from pole position to the chequered flag.

Alex Palou, Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Keyvan Andres, Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz
Dan Ticktum, Motopark Dallara F317 - Volkswagen
Enaam Ahmed, Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz

The Prema Powerteam-run Kiwi, famous for his blistering starts, converted pole into a comfortable lead on the opening lap, and it seemed that the only thing that might stop him was a safety car.

Sure enough that materialised on the second lap, after the fast-starting Sacha Fenestraz was tipped onto two wheels at the Dutzendteich hairpin by Jonathan Aberdein and into the barriers.

But Armstrong scarpered on the back straight at the restart, and within a lap had pulled 1.2 seconds on the sister Prema of Ralf Aron, the gap eventually stabilising at 3s.

Aron had no answer to Armstrong, and came under pressure at the restart from Motopark-run Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum.

Ticktum in turn had slow-starting front-row man Jehan Daruvala behind him, and the Force India protege soon grabbed third place with a clean pass into the Turn 1 hairpin.

Daruvala, a race winner at the Norisring in 2017, planted his Carlin car on the gearbox of Aron, but there was no opening, while in turn Ticktum shadowed the duo from fourth.

Robert Shwartzman had plunged down the inside of everyone bar Armstrong at Turn 1 at the start before running wide, and was fifth at the restart, but soon lost the position to Prema teammate Mick Schumacher at Dutzendteich.

Schumacher could never break away from Shwartzman, while the Motopark car of Juri Vips was similarly close to hand as the trio filled fifth to seventh places.

Marino Sato in his Motopark car was also on the tail of this bunch, before falling away in eighth.

The top two in the championship going into this race, Enaam Ahmed and Guan Yu Zhou, advanced from the seventh row into the top 10, only for Ahmed to lose it under braking into Turn 1 and spin down the field – the result is that his series lead is cut to eight points over Ticktum.

Ferrari junior Zhou therefore took ninth, although he came under pressure from Ahmed’s Hitech teammate Alex Palou.

Palou also had to keep an eye on his mirrors for the Van Amersfoort Racing car of Keyvan Andres, having his best race yet, before provisionally claiming the final point.

After the race, Palou was penalised one second for passing Andres under the full-course yellow that preceded the safety car, giving the German-Iranian 10th place and his first F3 point.

Fabio Scherer and Ferdinand Habsburg lost potential points-scoring positions to drive-through penalties for jump starts and Aberdein spun at Dutzendteich, while seventh on the first lap, after the restart.

Nikita Troitskiy’s strong qualifying performance came to nothing when contact with Shwartzman on the opening lap forced him pitwards to replace a damaged front wing.

Race results:

 Pos.Driver TeamTime/Gap
 Marcus Armstrong Prema Powerteam 34'29.816
 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam 2.926
 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 3.311
 Dan Ticktum Motopark 5.078
 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 7.496
 Robert Shwartzman Prema Powerteam 8.044
 Juri Vips Motopark 8.462
 Marino Sato Motopark 10.934
 Guan Yu Zhou Prema Powerteam 11.784
10   Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing 15.876
11   Alex Palou Hitech GP 16.102
12   Ben Hingeley Hitech GP 17.371
13   Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing 21.836
14   Enaam Ahmed Hitech GP 22.678
15   Sebastian Fernandez Motopark 26.723
16   Jonathan Aberdein Motopark 32.956
17   Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin 33.544
18   Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin 37.946
19   Fabio Scherer Motopark 40.684
20   Julian Hanses ma-con 43.629
21   Petru Florescu Fortec  1 lap
22   Nikita Troitskiy Carlin 1 lap
Ret   Sacha Fenestraz Carlin -
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About this article

Series F3 Europe
Event Norisring
Location Norisring
Drivers Marcus Armstrong
Teams Prema Powerteam
Author Marcus Simmons
Article type Race report