Lando Norris was supreme in the final race of the European Formula 3 round at Zandvoort with his second lights-to-flag win of the weekend.
Norris led Carlin teammate Ferdinand Habsburg all the way, building up a six-second advantage in the first half of the race.
Habsburg then stabilised the gap, and slashed half a second from Norris’s lead with seven laps remaining when the McLaren protege had a wild slide on gravel deposited at the Turn 11/12 chicane the previous lap by Callum Ilott.
The interval varied only a little over the final laps, before the Austrian “tried to take Turn 7 [Scheivlak] flat on the last lap, to prove I have the biggest balls, and I nearly crashed!”
Habsburg lost a second, so finished 6.646s adrift.
“I had a good start, and I didn’t need to defend into Turn 1,” said Norris. “I was able to keep extending the lead, but then the track conditions changed three-quarters of the way through the race and I was never quite as fast for the rest of it.”
Habsburg was kept on his toes for much of the race by Maximilian Gunther, who led Prema Powerteam stablemates Guan Yu Zhou and Ilott (up from seventh on the grid).
That was until Ilott was forced into the pits for a loose front wing to be replaced.
Gunther’s challenge finally ended when, like Norris, he and Zhou also had dramatic slides on the gravel on the track at the chicane.
The result means that pre-weekend series leader Gunther now trails Norris by 11 points in the championship.
Jake Hughes finished fifth, over half a minute behind the victorious Norris and proving the cork in the bottle of a 10-car train of cars.
The Hitech GP man had damage to his left-front-wing endplate, but somehow managed to keep Van Amersfoort Racing’s Pedro Piquet behind him.
Piquet in turn had teammate Harrison Newey on his tail, while behind them Ralf Aron prevailed in an entertaining all-Hitech scrap for eighth with Nikita Mazepin.
Time and again Mazepin would run side by side with Aron on the outside of Tarzan, until an opportunistic Joey Mawson (VAR) got ahead of him.
Mazepin then had to try to repass Mawson, which he failed to do but he at least claimed the weekend’s final point.
Joel Eriksson fell further behind in the championship battle, although he managed to get the better of Motopark teammate David Beckmann in a fight for 12th, behind Mick Schumacher.
|3||Maximilian Gunther||Prema Powerteam||11.530|
|4||Guan Yu Zhou||Prema Powerteam||15.058|
|5||Jake Hughes||Hitech GP||31.078|
|6||Pedro Piquet||Van Amersfoort Racing||31.541|
|7||Harrison Newey||Van Amersfoort Racing||31.936|
|8||Ralf Aron||Hitech GP||32.461|
|9||Joey Mawson||Van Amersfoort Racing||32.817|
|10||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||32.976|
|11||Mick Schumacher||Prema Powerteam||33.607|
|16||Tadasuke Makino||Hitech GP||39.655|
|Ret||Callum Ilott||Prema Powerteam||-|