With his 10th victory of the season, Max Verstappen extended his lead over rival Tom Blomqvist . In the battle for the runner-up spot in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Verstappen is now in front with a margin of 13 points.
At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 17-year-old Dutchman, who had already taken part in his first free practice in Formula 1, received the chequered flag in first place from Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Tom Blomqvist. Already-crowned FIA Formula 3 European Champion Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) finished seventh. Although the two Jagonya Ayam with Carlin drivers Blomqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) finished third and fourth, Ocon’s seventh place was enough to win the FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams’ title for Prema Powerteam with two races still to go.
Max Verstappen took the lead at the start, but couldn’t really pull away from his rivals Lucas Auer and Tom Blomqvist in the opening stages. During the race, the Dutchman gradually extended his lead and scored an undisputed victory after 22 laps. Behind him, Lucas Auer, Tom Blomqvist, Antionio Giovinazzi and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) filled second to fifth places. In the first race of the Hockenheim weekend, Esteban Ocon had slightly more work to do. Jordan King (Carlin), who was seventh after the start, overtook the Frenchman on lap nine and finished sixth ahead of the Frenchman. The battle for ninth place between Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) was even more intense. For a few laps, the Indonesian was able to defend his position from the attacks of Puerto Rican Serrallés, but eventually he had to give in. Ahead of these two, Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) finished eighth.
Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I made a good start and the race went off okay too. We had some problems in the second qualifying session and I wasn’t happy so we made some changes on the car for the first heat. In the first few laps, Lucas and Tom were playing a waiting game behind me, but I was able to open up a slight gap and I controlled the race.”
Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “Hockenheim is a track that suits me and my team kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport. My start was good, but then my car got stuck in a gear and I lost some ground to Max. Later on, he was quicker than me anyway.”
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “My start was good and the first few laps were positive, too. After that, I couldn’t match the speed of Lucas and Max. Now, we have to find out what was the reason for that.”