Maximilian Günther now leads the Drivers Championship by 34 points and Prema Theodore Racing further increased it’s lead in the team Championship at a track where a lap is not even a minute long. The Norisring tested the Prema Theodore Racing drivers to the maximum before delivering a win and a number of podiums this weekend.
Celebrating his twentieth birthday this weekend Maximilian Günther took the win in Race 1 after his two rivals crashed out with only a few laps to go. Starting on the second row of the grid the German had a good start and waited patiently until a mistake was made by Hughes and Norris. When that opportunity arose, Günther took the lead and won the race which he had perviously won two years ago when he took his maiden win at the Norisring. The success followed for Günther in the afternoon, qualifying P3 for Race 2 and scoring a crucial pole for Race 3.
Guanyu Zhou added another trophy to his cabinet in Race 1, taking home P3 after he fought his way from P7 through the whole race. Callum Illot had an unfortunate race. Starting from P5 the Brit was hit at the first corner of the race from behind causing him to spin. Although Illot came into the pits for a new front wing, he was eventually forced to retire. Mick Schumacher had a flying race taking off from P13 after a difficult qualifying. The German battled his way up the field crossing the line in P7, claiming P2 on the rookie podium.
With the dark clouds threatening to rain on the first Sunday of July, the lights illuminated for the start of Race 2. From the start Günther was all over the back of Hughes for P2 but was unable to improve his position and finished where he started in third position. Guanyu Zhou had an on going fight with Mawson for P7 but at the chequered flag settled for P8. After unlucky Race 1, Callum Illot showed skill as he by-passed three competitors finishing the second race of the weekend in P9. Mick Schumacher had a clean start, gaining a position to P11, where he remained for the rest of the race, just outside a points finish.
In the last race of the weekend, the team experienced a few full course yellow situations. The first caused by Mick Schumacher as he made contact with Piquet ending both their races. For the duration of the race Günther was all over Daruvala trying to take back P1 which he lost at the start, but was unable to find the right moment to pass, finishing his weekend with a second place podium. Brit Illot had another skilful drive passing both Sato and Mawson for P11 with just a few laps remaining, before finishing in P9 for the second time this weekend. His teammate Zhou on the other hand, had an uneventful race and lost his top ten finish in the last few minutes taking P12.
The 6th round and final race before the summer break will be held on the 28-29th July at the Spa 24 Hour Blancpain GT event.
Team Principal Teddy Yip commented “I am delighted our drivers fought so hard this weekend in a high level field. The hard work and dedication paid off as we now lead both the drivers and constructors Championship as we look onto the next round in Spa.”
# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“I had a good start in race 2. I tried something around the outside and finally settled for P3. I attempted to put pressure on Jake but he defended well, making no mistakes so there wasn’t any way for me to pass him. Towards the middle of the race I got small issues with brake locking and that’s the reason why Lando could pass me. I then tried to remain as close as possible to see if there was an opportunity and it happened with Ralf. I tried to attack him for one or two laps and then finally got him to get P3. In race 3 the start was not ideal and I dropped back to P3 before recovering to P2 which was quite important. Then I was just pushing as much as I could to force Jehan to make a mistake but he didn’t and drove really good. I ended up second, scoring solid points for the championship and I’m happy with the outcome of the whole weekend.”
# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“In race 2 the start was in tricky damp conditions and it was easy to make a mistake which I didn’t. I gave one position but the pace was really strong, although it was really difficult and too risky to overtake especially with the track in that conditions. In the end I kept my 8th position which is OK. In the last race I had a really good start but with the new tires I expected much more grip. In the first 10 laps I felt the car sliding everywhere. It was really difficult for me and I kept dropping positions. In the end it started getting better but it was too late as it’s really hard to overtake. Then while battling with Callum I got a little too much wheelspin and hit the wall losing good positions.”
# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“It has been a tough Sunday but I continued to gain experience on this challenging street circuit. In race 2 we started in tricky conditions and it was hard to find a way past so I ended up P12 but still on the rookie podium. Unfortunately race 3 ended too early.”
# 53 – Callum Ilott
“The pace was quite good and in both races today we’ve had the fastest laps. In race three with all the fighting we got a little damage and despite that ending up with the fastest lap and the new track record is quite good. I didn’t get the best of starts in race 3 but I made a lot of positions back in turn 1 on the outside. Then a bad move by one of the other drivers cost me a lot of ground. I fought back again to P9 which obviously isn’t bad. I’m pretty happy with my performance in the races but now we have to work on getting everything perfect from the qualy…”