Ferrari junior and Prema’s Robert Shwartzman won the final FIA European Formula 3 Championship at Hockenheim and the 2018 season.
Shwartzman, who was crowned the rookie champion in Race 1, started well from pole, leading Prema teammate Mick Schumacher with HitechGP’s Alex Palou slotting in third from Prema’s Ralf Aron and Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala.
All three gained places at the start after a spin for Motopark’s Juri Vips who was hit at the rear by Aron in the Turn 6 Hairpin corner. Aron was then hit by Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz who then had to pit for a front wing change as Aron continued on unscathed.
Shwartzman soon created a gap between him and Schumacher as the 2018 European F3 champion had Palou, Aron, Daruvala and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum on his tail. It turned to a four-way fight after Daruvala suffered mechanical issues to retire the car.
The fight settled on in the Top 5 but the sixth place tussle was on as Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein headed Prema’s Ralf Aron and Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg. The South African tried hard to keep both behind but he was unable to.
He lost sixth to Zhou in Turn 6 and few corner later, Habsburg got the better as well to seventh. HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed was a lonely ninth with a fight on for 10th between Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Floersch and Vips.
Vips managed to get ahead of Floersch in Turn 6 but she fought back to retake the place as they were joined in by VAR’s Artem Petrov as well. Eventually, Vips managed to get 10th and create a gap from Floersch.
At the front though, Shwartzman (294) eased in to win his second European F3 race and take third place in the drivers’ standings from Vips (283) behind Schumacher (365) and Ticktum (306) – his 10th podium in 12 races.
Schumacher took second as Palou fended off a late charge from Aron and Ticktum to keep third by just 0.431s with Ticktum finishing fourth as he was joined in by Zhou and Habsburg as well.
The five cars were only separated by 1.967s at the chequered flag as Aberdein, Ahmed and Vips rounded out the Top 10 with Floersch just missing on her second point result in a supreme fight against the Estonian.
Position 11-21: Floersch, Petrov, Fabio Scherer, Sebastina Fernandez, Julian Hanses, Frederik Vesti, Marino Sato, Ameya Vaidyanathan, Ben Hingeley, Kevyan Andres, Troitskiy. DNF: Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong.