Prema’s Mick Schumacher claimed yet another FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in Race 1 of the Nurburgring weekend after chaos at the start.
Schumacher beat pole-sitter Robert Shwartzman in the run-up to Turn 1 to take the lead of the race with it being a Prema 1-2-3 as Ralf Aron moved to third from Motopark’s Dan Ticktum while it was mayhem behind the top runners.
As many as seven were involved in the Lap 1 incident which seemingly was initiated by Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala when he collided with HitechGP’s Alex Palou in the Turn 1 right-hander. Daruvala’s left-front suspension broke immediately, sending Palou into a spin.
The collision then collected Motopark’s Marino Sato, Fabio Scherer and Juri Vips and Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz and Nikita Troitskiy. While Daruvala, Palou and Sato retired immediately as Vips and Scherer pitted to retire as the rest continued on.
The safety car was deployed to clear the debris and oil on the circuit. But it didn’t deter Schumacher as he continued to lead from Shwartzman when Aron came under pressure from Ticktum and Ahmed.
The Red Bull junior found a way past in Turn 1 in a bold move around the outside of the Estonian despite having had to run on the grass run-off. Aron then lost to Ahmed as well to drop to fifth in the space of two corners.
It looked like Van Amersfoort Racing’s Artem Petrov will score good but the Russian was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start which dropped him out of the points helping Prema’s Marcus Armstrong and Guanyu Zhou.
The two were forced to start from the back of the grid after penalties but the incident on Lap 1 allowed for the two to make up huge grounds into the Top 10 – much to the relief of Armstrong who keeps his chances alive in the title battle.
It looked like a Schumacher win midway in the race but both Shwartzman and Ticktum closed on him in the end stages as they were in touching distance of each other in the last few laps of the race.
However, the German had just enough to hold on to the lead and score his fourth win of the season enabling him to second in the standings with 211 points as Shwartzman held off Ticktum for second – the trio separated by just 1.129s over the line.
The British driver extended his lead to 237 points with Schumacher now 26 behind. Meanwhile, in the race Ahmed finished fourth leading the Prema trio of Aron, Armstrong and Zhou – the latter two making up huge ground in the race.
The Top 10 was completed by Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein, HitechGP’s Ben Hingeley and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Keyvan Andres. It was a close fight for ninth as Hingeley fended off four of his rivals to keep the position.
Position 11-15: Sebastian Fernandez, Fenestraz, Troitskiy, Ameya Vaidyanathan and Petrov. DNF: Ferdinand Habsburg, Sophia Floersch, Scherer, Vips, Sato, Palou and Daruvala.