Prema Theodore Racing take the Team Championship for the 7th time in a row, as the team lock out the Race 2 podium with Ilott taking the win!
The final event of the FIA F3 European Championship began on a high for Prema Theodore at Hockenheim as the team topped free practice before taking triple pole! Callum Ilott who led the practice session flew to take a double pole position for Race 1 and 2 after showing superb talent. Maximilian Günther had a different qualifying 1 managing only P12 but soon got his speeding skills back finishing P2 for race 2 and taking the third pole up for grabs by 0.016s to his teammate. A double 1-2-3 was secured as Guanyu Zhou pushed his car to the limits in qualifying 2 taking P3 after settling for P10 earlier in the day. Mick Schumacher showed positive times in his second home event of the year grabbing a P13 followed by a P12 and P14 for the third race.
It was a supreme start to race 1 for pole sitter Callum Ilott holding the lead before an intense battle unfolded between himself, Joel Eriksson and Lando Norris. Unfortunately the Brit lost out and fell three positions into P4 where he remained for the entirety of the race unable to catch his rivals. Günther managed to gain two places during the race and took a top ten finish after a close fight with Ralf Aron and Tadasuke Makino but was unable to find his way through. After passing Jake Hughes, Mick Schumacher also jumped up two places and held onto P11 giving the German another rookie podium. It wasn’t the best race for Guanyu Zhou, who struggled with his car and like his teammate’s, was unable to improve in the race taking only P14.
The second race of the weekend saw a Prema Theodore 1-2-3 on the starting gird with Ilott once again on pole. Ilott shot off as the lights went out but his teammate Günther was catching him as Zhou was lurking in P3. For Mick Schumacher it was a difficult race, struggling to find the pace the German crossed the line in P18. As time went on Ilott kept setting purple sectors, creating fastest laps and running his own race, 11.3s ahead of the rest of the field. Once the last lap emerged Zhou begun to come under pressure from Eriksson but maintained his position giving the team a podium lock out. Ilott took the win after a stunning lights to flag finish, Maximilian Günther took second and Guanyu Zhou third.
The last race of the year will be tomorrow 10:55 local time where it will be a battle till the end for the Vice Champion title between Maximilian Günther and Joel Eriksson. Currently the Swede is 12 points ahead of the Prema Theodore driver!
# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“After having to deal with some struggles in terms of tire wear in race 1, race 2 started quite well for me, we were great off the line and we had a good first few laps. I pushed a lot and tried to catch Callum. I was quick at the beginning. Then I got a big flat spot trying to pass him and even more later so the race became all about arriving. P2 is OK points for the team championship… let’s push for tomorrow.”
# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“Race 1 was tough and I even got squeezed at the start. I struggled with grip in general and every time I was close to Joey it would become impossible to pass. Regarding race 2, it’s great to be on the podium, it’s been a while and it’s pretty much where we should be. It has been an unlucky season with some podiums. I’m happy with the results. In the opening stages, I was really strong and I could have even attacked Maxi but Joel was quite close so I focused on not making mistakes. I am also happy for the 1-2-3 result for Prema: let’s hope we do the same tomorrow!”
# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“Unfortunately I was hit soon after the start, and the loss of the pod wing and a damaged bardge board handicapped our performance which resulted in a loss of positions. Still I am looking forward to a hopefully exciting race tomorrow to finish this exciting first year in F3. And congratulations to Prema for winning the F3 team championship!”
# 53 – Callum Ilott
“In race 1 I had no pace compared to the others and from lap 7 I began to struggle with the car, so I had to settle for P4. In race 2, on the other hand, the car felt really good from the start. I had some problems with the brakes at the beginning and once I got settled I opened quite a good gap. From there it was just about being consistent.”