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At the 5.901 kilometres long Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Joel Eriksson (Motopark) brought the Motopark team its first FIA Formula 3 European Championship season victory.

The Swede already made the decisive overtaking move on the opening lap as he went past British driver Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) to take the lead. Behind Eriksson and Ilott, Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) finished third.

Thus, the first two races of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season already saw drivers from four different teams on the podium. Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) collected the trophy for the best-placed rookie driver. In the drivers’ standings, race winner Eriksson is leading from Jake Dennis (Carlin) and Lando Norris (Carlin). In the rookie standings, Schumacher and Norris are tied in the lead.

British driver Callum Ilott started the race from pole position and took the lead at the start. Alongside him, Lando Norris had a poorer getaway from the damp side of the track and lost some positions. Ilott, however, wasn’t able to hold on to the lead for long. On the opening lap already, Joel Eriksson made an attack and went past the Prema driver. The Swede, the winner of last year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship rookie title, immediately pulled clear from his rivals and went on to secure an undisputed victory.

Ilott and Hughes also safely brought home their second and third places. Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam), on the other hand, had to defend his fourth place from Jake Dennis at several stages during the race, which the runner-up from last year’s championship managed to do.

Mick Schumacher took the flag in sixth place overall as the best-placed rookie driver. The son of Formula 1 record world champion Michael Schumacher came out on top in the duel with Lando Norris and, in his second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race outing, emerged as the best rookie for the first time.

In the closing stages of the race, Norris also lost seventh place to Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and then, Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) managed to overtake the race winner from the previous day as well. After 19 laps, Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) was classified tenth.

Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “My start was good, but I was also fortunate to be starting from the dry side of the track. Yesterday, I didn’t want to take too many risks and just score points. Today, however, my plan was to end up further at the front. As I was unable to overtake Callum at the start, I had to opt for a different strategy."

"I had a good exit of turn four and thus I was able to overtake him in turn six, even though the move was close. My car was very good; I reckon I was the fastest driver on track, especially during the opening part of the race. I used this advantage to pull a gap straight away and then hold on to it until the end. This victory is great, also as it is my goal to win the title this year. That, however, will not be easy as the field is stronger than last year.”

Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “Being on the podium on home soil is always nice. At the start of the race, Joel was simply faster, but I was also having trouble in getting my tyres to the right temperature. After the first two laps, things were getting better, but by that time, Joel was gone. After my retirement yesterday, these points for second place are important.”

Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix): “We are having problems this weekend, particularly in the fast sections. In the race, my left front tyre degraded badly, preventing me to keep up with Joel and Callum in front of me. On the first few laps, I also had to defend my position from Maximilian Günther, so that the gap to the front runners got bigger. Generally, a podium finish in the home race both for myself and for the team is nice, of course, we can now build on that.”

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British driver Lando Norris (Carlin, 1m50.094s) got his first full FIA Formula 3 European Championship season off to a perfect start.

In first qualifying at the 5.901 kilometres long Formula 1 circuit in Silverstone, he claimed his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole position. Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.100s) ended up in second place, only 0.006s down, followed by Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.179s), Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m50.304s), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, 1m50.377s) and Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.416s). In total, the lap times of 18 drivers were within one second.

With second place in free practice, Lando Norris already made it clear that he would be a serious contender for pole position and soon after that, the 17-year-old talent lived up to the expectations. In the closing stages of qualifying, he battled with Callum Ilott and Maximilian Günther for first place on the grid for the first race and eventually came out on top.

Behind Norris and Ilott, Maximilian Gunther, the runner-up of last year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship followed in third place. He was only 0.085s down on Norris. Joel Eriksson, last year’s best rookie, was on top of the timing screens around the halfway point, but eventually was classified fourth.

Jehan Deruvala, a protégé of the Force India Formula 1 team and a rookie driver in this year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship, ended up fifth ahead of Ferrari junior driver Guanyu Zhou and Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m50.460s), who, like Deruvala, is supported by Force India.

Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1m50.481s), Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m50.510s) and Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m50.600s) rounded out the top ten. Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam, 1m50.668s) was classified twelfth in his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship outing, behind Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m50.607s).

“In free practice this morning, I first had to find the right rhythm. My car wasn’t perfectly balanced either, we still had to make some improvements compared to Prema Powerteam." Said Norris

"And obviously, we managed to do so. In qualifying, I initially was a bit nervous, but I was confident at the same time. Then, I found three or four clear laps, which was very important."

"Some other fast drivers didn’t manage to do that, they were having more problems in traffic. Even though I wasn’t driving impeccably yet, I am quite happy with first place."

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Rookie driver Lando Norris (Carlin) got his first full FIA Formula 3 European Championship season off to a perfect start. Already having claimed pole position for the season-opening race in yesterday’s qualifying, the McLaren junior driver went on to claim victory in the first race of the year.

In spite of challenging conditions, his lights-to-flag victory at the 5.981 kilometres long Silverstone Grand Prix circuit was never in doubt. The 17-year-old Briton crossed the finish line 1.683 seconds ahead of his compatriot Jake Dennis (Carlin), who finished second. Third position went to German Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam). 

Due to rain at the start, the race got underway behind the safety car. On lap three, the field was released, but soon after that, Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix) collided, first with Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing) and then with Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing). For the Russian, the race ended early in the gravel trap.

A little bit later, Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) spun into the gravel trap from second place, which caused the second safety car intervention of the day. At that time, Lando Norris was in the lead from Jake Dennis, Maximilian Günther, Joel Eriksson (Motopark), Joey Mawson and Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam). After the next restart, Schumacher tried to overtake his rival Mawson for fifth.

His attempts, however, were in vain, as Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix) crashed into the tyre stacks following a collision with his team-mate Jakes Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix). Once again, the race was neutralised behind the safety car.

Once the safety car had returned to the pit lane, Lando Noris again held on to the lead. Meanwhile, Mick Schumacher defended his position from a charging Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam), but was unable to keep the Chinese at bay until the end. Thus, the rookie finished eighth in his FIA Formula 3 European Championship race debut. Ahead of Schumacher, Lando Norris was first across the line from stalwarts Dennis and Günther. Eriksson, Mawson as the second-best rookie, Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing), Zhou, Schumacher, Piquet and Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) rounded out the top ten.

Lando Norris (Carlin): “First of all, I want to thank my team Carlin for providing me with such a great car. After a rather disappointing season last year, they have been working hard during the winter and improved significantly. Qualifying already went very well with first place, but winning the race is even more beautiful, of course. The first two laps of the race weren’t easy because of the slippery track, which was already obvious to see with several drivers having problems. I already tried to warm up my tyres behind the safety car after the start. After the restart, I wanted to pull a gap, but without taking too many risks. It all worked out very well and I am happy with this start into the season.”

Jake Dennis (Carlin): “Moving up from eighth on the grid to finish second isn’t that bad, neither from the driver nor from the team. The fact that the race started behind the safety car wasn’t particularly helpful. However, it went well and I was able to overtake Maximilian just before a safety car intervention. I am very happy with this second place.”

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “On the first few laps, the track was still pretty slippery. Then I decided not to take too many risks at the beginning, which surely was a good idea. Whether Jake overtook me before or during the safety car, I can’t really say. Later on, I tried to get second place back, but I didn’t manage. At the end of the day, I am also happy with third place, I have scored valuable points.”

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Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam, 1m22.950s) proved to once again be unbeatable on the second day of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship test at the 4.318-kilometre long Red Bull Ring. At the end of the day, the Briton was the only driver who broke the 1:23-minute barrier.

Behind Ilott, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1m23,086s) Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.096s) and Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1m23.098s) finished second, third and fourth respectively. Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.118s) and David Beckmann (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.130s) followed in fifth and sixth position. The gap between the quickest and the slowest driver amounted to less than 0.9 seconds, thus underlining the competitiveness of the entire field.

Maximilian Günther didn’t mind that he was bested by his team-mate Callum Ilott. “It was just a test and we focused on trying as many things as possible. Trying to set the fastest possible lap time wasn’t high on our priority list. With the update provided by Dallara, the cars now feature different aerodynamics and also are somewhat heavier.

So you can’t rest on yesterday’s laurels, but have to work on understanding the cars in their new configuration.” Nonetheless, the German admitted that it was a good feeling to have secured one of the top positions on the time sheets. “It feels nice although we don’t yet know what it will be worth in the end. But we will find out in the qualifying session at Silverstone.”

Jake Hughes who finished third behind Günther on the final day of pre-season testing shared the German’s opinion. “We successfully completed our schedule and I’d say that I’ve also improved as a driver. But we will only find out in the first qualifying session of the season where we really stand. I think that the days of testing mainly were important for gathering as much data as possible with the upgraded car. The engineers now will analyse this data to provide us with the optimum car for Silverstone.”

Joel Eriksson travels back to Sweden with the fourth place on the final day of testing under his belt. “Everything ran fine so far, I even set my fastest lap time on a used set of tyres. I feel ready for the first race of the season.”

Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix, 1m23.147s) who switched from the Japanese F3 Championship to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship secured seventh place behind Harrison Newey and David Beckmann. “The level in the European Championship is clearly higher than in Japan,” he said. “I’m looking forward to now having the chance of battling it out with these competitive drivers.”

Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam, 1m23.169s) came eighth, with the best rookie, Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing. 1m23.211s) following in ninth position and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m23.222s) completing the top 10. “I think that I made a big step forward, in the off-season and will be more competitive, this year,” said the Brazilian.

“In addition, it is also nice that all four Van Amersfoort drivers made it to the top 10, thus demonstrating that we are racing on the same performance level. We all will benefit from this well-balanced competitiveness level in our team.”

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