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Ahmed handed penalty, loses European F3 lead to Armstrong

by Peter Allen


Enaam Ahmed has been given a penalty for his contact with Robert Shwartzman in the second Formula 3 European Championship race at the Norisring, losing him second place and the championship lead.

Ahmed and Shwartzman clashed exiting the Grundig hairpin for the first time at the start of the race, with the wheel-to-wheel contact leading to Shwartzman hitting the wall and braking his suspension taking him out of the race.

Stewards have decided that Ahmed was at fault for the incident and handed him a 20-second penalty, which drops him from second place to 15th in the results.

The 18 points he originally scored had put him the same number clear of Marcus Armstrong at the top of the standings, but with Ahmed failing to score and Armstrong inheriting his second place, the Prema driver is now three points ahead and set to start race three from pole.

Speaking directly after the race before the stewards’ decision, Ahmed said that the presence of Armstrong making it three-abreast on the inside of the corner influenced the contact with Shwartzman.

“I was in the middle of Marcus and Robert so I had nowhere to go either way, I was just staying on my line,” he said.

“I don’t think Robert realised we were three-abreast, I think he thought it was just me and him.

“Me and Robert went a little bit wide into Turn 1, Marcus came up the inside of me and I don’t think Robert realised Marcus was there.”

Ahmed’s penalty means Dan Ticktum is only 11 points off the standings lead after his huge start-line crash in race two.

Ticktum will start third on the grid for race three, behind Armstrong and race one winner Juri Vips, if his Motopark team can repair his car in time, having been passed fit himself to race.

Keyvan Andres meanwhile has inherited a maiden podium in third place, the day after the Cologne-born Van Amersfoort driver scored a breakthrough point on his 37th European F3 start in race one.