Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) took his maiden win in the FIA Formula Three European Championship from eighth place in an action-packed thriller at Spa-Francorchamps.
On the opening lap, pole sitter Lando Norris (Carlin) lost the lead to Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) on the approach to Les Combes, when under braking, Norris locked up and clattered in Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and both retired from the race.
As the race went on, Les Combes turned into an overtaking magnet, with passes being made on virtually every lap. Early on, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) overtook team-mate Callum Ilott for the lead, with the latter gradually dropping down the field.
With the laps winding down, the likes of Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Jake Hughes and Ralf Aron (both Hitech GP) scrapped for position before Habsburg made his way through and went after Günther.
The Austrian driver then made his move, slipstreaming Günther on the approach to Les Combes and passed to the lead the race and immediately pulled away.
Joel Eriksson (Motopark), who had started 12th, then replicated the manoeuvre to claim second place ahead of his championship rival.
After the race, Habsburg was relieved to finally get onto the top step of the podium: “Winning an FIA Formula 3 European Championship race is a really nice feeling, especially at a track with such a long heritage as Spa-Francorchamps.”
“The race was great fun and especially from lap ten onwards, I had a really good feeling. Then, I gave it everything and indeed, it was enough for victory.”
Hughes finished fourth ahead of team-mate Nikita Mazepin, who overtook Daruvala at the Bus Stop on the final lap for fifth place.
However, after a post-race investigation the Russian driver was given a two second penalty for running Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) off the track at Bruxelles.
As a result, Mazepin was demoted to seventh behind Daruvala and Ilott.Norris was also found guilty of causing the first lap incident with Zhou and was stripped of his race three pole position after receiving a three-place grid penalty.
This means Callum Ilott has been promoted to pole position, with Prema Powerteam team-mates Guanyu Zhou and Maximilian Günther second and third, ahead of Norris in fourth.
FIA Formula 3 Round Seventeen Starting Grid:
|1 Lando Norris (GBR), Carlin, 2:11.120||2 Callum Ilott (GBR), Prema Powerteam, 2:11.291|
|3 Guanyu Zhou (CHN), Prema Powerteam, 2:11.684||4 Maximilian Günther (GER), Prema Powerteam, 2:11.773|
|5 Jake Hughes (GBR), Hitech GP, 2:11.823||6 Nikita Mazepin (RUS), Hitech GP, 2:11.830|
|7 Jehan Daruvala (IND), Carlin, 2:11.891||8 Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT), Carlin, 2:11.921|
|9 Ralf Aron (EST), Hitech GP, 2:11.942||10 Pedro Piquet (BRA), Van Amersfoort Racing, 2:12.050|
|11 Harrison Newey (GBR), Van Amersfoort Racing, 2:12.175||12 Joel Eriksson (SWE), Motopark, 2:12.206|
|13 Joey Mawson (AUS), Van Amersfoort Racing, 2:12.235||14 David Beckmann (GER), Motopark, 2:12.285|
|15 Mick Schumacher (GER), Prema Powerteam, 2:12.457||16 Marino Sato (JPN), Motopark, 2:12.979|
|17 Ameya Vaidyanathan (IND), Carlin, 2:13.250||18 Keyvan Andres Soori (GER), Motopark, 2:13.419|
FIA Formula 3 Round Seventeen Official Classification:
|Pos.||Driver (Nationality), Team||Laps||Time/Reason for Retirement|
|1||Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT), Carlin||16||35:38.003|
|2||Joel Eriksson (SWE), Motopark||16||+2.117|
|3||Maximilian Günther (GER), Prema Powerteam||16||+3.557|
|4||Jake Hughes (GBR), Hitech GP||16||+4.321|
|5||Jehan Daruvala (IND), Carlin||16||+7.920|
|6||Callum Ilott (GBR), Prema Powerteam||16||+8.925|
|7||Nikita Mazepin (RUS), Hitech GP||16||+9.787; two second time penalty|
|8||Ralf Aron (EST), Hitech GP||16||+10.048|
|9||Mick Schumacher (GER), Prema Powerteam||16||+12.721|
|10||Joey Mawson (AUS), Van Amersfoort Racing||16||+13.328|
|11||Marino Sato (JPN), Motopark||16||+20.424|
|12||Keyvan Andres Soori (GER), Motopark||16||+20.923|
|13||Harrison Newey (GBR), Van Amersfoort Racing||16||+21.468|
|14||Ameya Vaidyanathan (IND), Carlin||16||+26.304|
|15||David Beckmann (GER), Motopark||15||+1 Lap|
|Pedro Piquet (BRA), Van Amersfoort Racing||3||Retired|
|Guanyu Zhou (CHN), Prema Powerteam||1||Sustained Damage; Contact with Norris|
|Lando Norris (GBR), Carlin||0||Sustained Damage; Contact with Zhou|