In the 20th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) made maximum use of his pole position and won from his fellow countrymen Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix), Lando Norris (Carlin) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing). Together with fifth place for David Beckmann (Motopark), this meant that five different teams were classified in the first five positions.
Third place at the 4.307-kilometers-long Circuit Zandvoort was enough for McLaren junior driver Norris to move up into the lead of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings, after Maximilian Gunther (Prema Powerteam), who started the race as the points leader, only finished seventh behind Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin). Günther currently is trailing Norris by one point.
Ilott had inherited pole position after qualifying as Lando Norris had been dropped two positions on the grid following a yellow flag infringement. The Prema Powerteam driver made the best use of his grid position and was leading the field into the first corner. Behind him, Hughes, Norris and Newey followed in second to fourth, with Beckmann and Austrian Ferdinand Habsburg next up.
A few laps after the start, Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing) collided after which the Brazilian’s car came to a halt in the gravel trap. Mawson made it back to the pits, where his car was repaired so that he could rejoin the race. Meanwhile, the field completed its laps behind the safety car until it was released again at the start of lap five.
In the remainder of the race, Ilott was able to pull clear more and more and eventually celebrated his fourth win of the season.
“Having inherited pole position yesterday, I was able to get into the lead at the start,” Ilott said. “Then, there was a safety car intervention, but I could also defend my first place at the restart. Our speed was always good and I am happy that I was finally able to prove it with this victory. I reckon that I was at the right place at the right time today.”
Next to race winner Ilott, second-place Hughes and Norris, who was classified third, were present for the prize-giving ceremony. Newey didn’t manage to pull away from his rival Beckmann throughout the race, but the German never had a chance to successfully attack the Brit ahead of him. Thus, the Motopark driver ended up fifth from Habsburg. Gunther crossed the line in seventh place from his teammates Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) as well as Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix).
“My start was okay and after the restart, I was still second,” said Hughes. “At a certain point, I ran over sand that another driver had put on the track and then I needed a few corners before they were clean again. Nevertheless, I am happy with second place.”
Lando Norris said: “Losing pole position because I hadn’t sufficiently slowed down when the yellow flags were out wasn’t ideal. In these conditions, third place in the race was the maximum. That I am back in the lead of the drivers’ standings is nice, but doesn’t mean too much. The season is still long, there are still many points at stake and there is no opportunity to relax yet.”