Prema’s Mick Schumacher doubled up in Race 2 of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship at Nurburgring on Sunday to win his fifth race of the season.
The German got off to a good start from pole keeping Prema teammate Robert Shwartzman behind with Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum in third from Prema’s Marcus Armstrong.
It was an immediate safety car when Motopark’s Juri Vips and HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed collided on Lap 1 with Ahmed retiring from the race while Vips joining at the back of the field. Ahmed’s suspension broke just when he hit Vips’ car.
The re-start was handled well by Schumacher as he kept Shwartzman and Ticktum behind while positions changed in the lower half of the Top 10 as Prema’s Guanyu Zhou lost a place to Motopark’s Sebastian Fernandez to be 10th.
The two drivers were fighting with Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein and Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz ahead of them. At the front, Schumacher created enough gap between him and Shwartzman but it all went to a toss with a second safety car period.
Motopark’s Marino Sato rammed into the side of HitechGP’s Ben Hingeley in Turn 1 with the Japanese driver spinning in the middle of the track in the right-hander. Hingeley continued on but pitted at the end of the lap to retire.
The second re-start was also handled well by Schumacher as both Shwartzman and Ticktum couldn’t penetrate through the defences of the German in the closing stages in what became a 24-lap race.
It was another dream result for Schumacher who held on to the top spot from pole to win for the second time this weekend and his fifth overall to close in on championship leader Ticktum who finished third behind Shwartzman in a repeat result of Race 1.
The German now has 236 points to Ticktum’s 252 with the gap down to just 16 points with seven races remaining in the 2018 season – of which Schumacher will start on pole in the final race of the Nurburgring weekend.
Behind the Top 3, it was fairly sedate running as Armstrong finished fourth from teammate Ralf Aron, while HitechGP’s Alex Palou held off Aberdein for sixth with the South African having Zhou close behind on his tail.
The Chinese driver made up two places on second re-start but is under investigation for his move on Fenestraz as the Frenchman dropped to ninth with his Carlin teammate Ferdinand Habsburg benefiting from Fernandez’s DNF to score the final point.
Position 11-18: Fabio Scherer, Keyvan Andres, Artem Petrov, Jehan Daruvala, Vips, Sophia Floersch, Nikita Troitskiy and Ameya Vaidyanathan. DNF: Fernandez, Hingely, Sato and Ahmed.