Prema’s Mick Schumacher made it five in a row to extend his points lead in the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring circuit.
Schumacher made a perfect start from pole leading Prema teammates Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman, as Motopark duo Juri Vips and Jonathan Aberdein battled for fourth with the South African winning it when the safety car was deployed.
Also moving up a position were Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz in sixth, followed by Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum and Prema’s Ralf Aron. They all managed to get ahead of Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, who dropped to ninth as a result.
The safety car re-start was also on point from Schumacher as he led Armstrong and Shwartzman, but Vips came back on Aberdein to take fourth. At the same time, Aron passed Ticktum for seventh, further damaging the British driver’s race.
Further back, a moment from Daruvala in the chase of Ticktum allowed Carlin’s Nikita Troitskiy to sneak past for ninth as the two ensued in a battle which ended up with a collision, as the Russian retired with a broken suspension.
It helped Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg to take advantage into ninth. Meanwhile, the race was neautralised again with a safety car for Van Amersfoort Racing’s Artem Petrov and HitechGP’s Alex Palou’s incident.
The re-start provided huge dramas as Schumacher won the race under the third safety car period for the incident between Fenestraz, Ticktum and Daruvala. The German thus took his fifth consecutive victory to build a 43 points advantage over Ticktum.
Armstrong fended off the charge from teammate Shwartzman to keep second in a Prema 1-2-3 with Vips finishing fourth while Aron took Aberdein on the second re-start to end up fifth with the South African settling for sixth.
Fenestraz, Ticktum and Daruvala were fighting for seventh when Fenestraz and Ticktum made contact on the straight in which Daruvala was hit for all the three cars to retire. Fenestraz was on the outside when they touched.
This melee allowed Motopark’s Fabio Scherer to seventh out of nowhere with Habsburg in eighth followed by Prema’s Guanyu Zhou – who is under investigation – as Van Amersforrt Racing’s Sophia Floersch scored her first points in the championship.
She had previously scored for the rookie standings, but it was her first time for the main championship in only her sixth round, when others competing since the start are yet to score a point. She beat HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed to 10th.
Position 11-15: Ahmed, Ben Hingeley, Marino Sato, Julian Hanses and Ameya Vaidyanathan. DNF: Fenestraz (P16), Ticktum (P17), Daruvala (P18), Palou, Petrov, Troitskiy, Sebastian Fernandez and Kevyan Andres.