Maximilian Günther wins Norisring thriller | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Maximilian Günther wins Norisring thriller

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With a spectacular overtaking move, German Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) secured his maiden race win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

The 17-year-old overtook three of his rivals at once and claimed his first win during his first participation at the 2.3 kilometres long Norisring. Alexander Albon (Signature) and Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the podium. Monegasque Leclerc, who already scored a podium finish for the 13th time this season, was able to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings: he is now 54.5 points clear of his main rival Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam).

The 17th season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship started with a successful attack by George Russell (Carlin) on pole sitter Alexander Albon, before Albon claimed back the lead two laps later. On the same lap, Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) spun after a collision, which was enough reason for the first safety car intervention of the race. From the eighth till the 15th lap, racing was resumed, until Michele Beretta (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) barrel-rolled his car after tangling with Matt Solomon (Double R Racing). The safety car was deployed for the second time.

The next restart followed on lap 20 and Albon again was able to defend his leading position. Shortly after that, Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) and Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) collided, which led to the third intervention of the safety car. And it wasn’t to be the last one. When Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsport) spun and Kang Ling (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) wasn’t able to avoid the car of the Brazilian, that was stuck on track, the safety car came out for the fourth time.

During the fourth restart, Alexander Albon lost his leading position for the first time and a fierce battle for the lead emerged on the last five laps. Maximilian Günther benefited, overtook George Russell (Carlin), Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon in one move and was able to celebrate his maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Behind Günther, Albon, Leclerc, Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), Russell, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Dorian Boccolacci (Signature), Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam) followed in second to tenth place.

Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “I only started from twelfth place on the grid, but I did my utmost from the very beginning to come to the fore. On two occasions, I even overtook three cars in one move. Once I was in front, I tried to pull a gap quickly. The race was fun and I am really happy to have scored my maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Norisring.”

Alexander Albon (Signature): “I was in first place for a long time and I was able to defend that position after the first three safety car interventions. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to do so during the final restart and George overtook me. Our speed was very good and I had a chance of winning the race. Therefore, I am slightly disappointed with second place. Tomorrow, I hope to be able to score that win for my team that it has deserved.”

Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing): “To be honest, I didn’t have Maximilian on my list of potential winners. After all, he only started from twelfth place on the grid. The race was very close and great fun. Just before the end, I locked up under braking on the bumps and Alexander flashed past. However, Maximilian was even faster and overtook us all, because we had left a gap on the inside. Nevertheless, third place is a good result, because I was able to extend my points lead with that score.”