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F3 - Schumacher wins and takes championship lead

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2018 Race of Spielberg - Race 1 

For the fourth consecutive time, Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing) has won an FIA Formula 3 European Championship race. As Daniel Ticktum (Motopark), his fiercest rival in the battle for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title, only finished eighth, Schumacher is also moving up into first place of the drivers’ standings. At the rain-soaked 4.318 kilometres long Red Bull Ring, Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP) finished behind the German.

Mick Schumacher started the race from pole position, but had to defend his position from a charging Robert Shvartzman. After some laps, Schumacher had established a small margin that he was able to maintain until the end. For Shvartzman, the best-placed rookie in the field, his second place was never under threat either.

Behind the two Prema drivers, Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing) initially was running in third place, but he lost this position to Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin). The only Austrian in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship field already moved up from eleventh on the grid to fifth at the start and even claimed third place soon after that. However, he wasn’t able to keep it for a long time as Armstrong moved ahead of him. On lap nine, Alex Palou, who had started from 13th place, overtook the New Zealander and eventually was third across the finish line.

Armstrong, Habsburg, Jüri Vips (Motopark), Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark), Ticktum, Fabio Scherer (Motopark) and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) were classified in fourth to tenth place. Ticktum and Daruvala in particular staged a thrilling duel for their respective positions over several laps in which the British Red Bull junior driver eventually came out on top.

Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing): “At the start and on the first few laps, I had to defend my position from Robert. At that time, the track was still quite slippery and I didn’t want to take too many risks. After that, I was able to pull clear a bit and tried to save my tyres as much as I could. I am very happy that things were going so well for me at the wet and drying track. And I am also happy to have taken the lead in the drivers’ standings.”

Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing): “I tried to overtake Mick at the start, but to no avail. In the closing stages, I wanted to increase the pressure, but he didn’t make any mistakes and I wasn’t close enough to mount a challenge. Nevertheless, I am really happy with second place. At Misano, we were still having problems at a wet track, but we have sorted them. Now, I will still try to move up into third place of the drivers’ standings.”

Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP): “I started the race from 13th on the grid and my goal was to finish in the top eight. That I am now here on the podium in third place is really great, of course. Yesterday, we were having many problems and I didn’t understand why. Therefore, I was slightly worried for today’s race, but when I saw it was a wet race, I was optimistic, because we are always good at a wet track.”