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Antonio Giovinazzi back to winning ways in Norisring finale

by Peter Allen
Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo: FIA F3 European Championship

Antonio Giovinazzi took the honours in the final FIA F3 European Championship race at the Norisring, returning to the top step of the podium for the first time since Pau nine races ago.

The early-season points leader took the lead at the start with a great getaway from third on the grid.

He had to survive three safety car periods, but did enough at the restart each time and was never really challenged for the lead.

Giovinazzi’s fellow second row starter Jake Dennis followed him through into second place at the start but lacked pace after that and ended up 11th.

George Russell took second place, finishing 1.3 seconds behind Giovinazzi and just ahead of Alex Albon and Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc’s advantage at the top of the standings has been reduced by Giovinazzi to 42.5 points.

Mikkel Jensen beat Mucke Motorport team-mate Santino Ferrucci to fifth place with a pass late on into Turn 1, while Callum Ilott finished seventh.

Dorian Boccolacci ran as high as fifth at one stage, but only did so after making contact with Dennis at Turn 1. The Frenchman therefore deliberately lifted to let Ferrucci and Dennis back through before repassing the ailing Briton, but also lost out to Jensen and Ilott along the way.

Alessio Lorandi and Brandon Maisano completed the top 10 after dumping Dennis out of the points.

Title contender Felix Rosenqvist had a very quiet race and like Prema team-mate Dennis lacked pace on his way to 13th.

The first safety car was called for when Sam MacLeod collected the stalled car of Matt Solomon off the line, and the second not long afterwards when Gustavo Menezes hit race two winner Maximilian Gunther and Sergio Sette Camara at Turn 1 as they fought over eighth. The final interruption came when Nabil Jeffri clattered into Matt Rao at the same place.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin 38 laps
2 George Russell Carlin +01.340
3 Alex Albon Signature +01.592
4 Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing +01.912
5 Mikkel Jensen Mucke Motorsport +05.830
6 Santino Ferrucci Mucke Motorsport +08.423
7 Callum Ilott Carlin +08.902
8 Dorian Boccolacci Signature +09.701
9 Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing +09.915
10 Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam +11.223
11 Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam +11.416
12 Markus Pommer Motopark +11.749
13 Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam +12.171
14 Tatiana Calderon Carlin +12.783
15 Fabian Schiller West-Tec +14.700
16 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports +15.838
17 Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing +16.153
18 Raoul Hyman West-Tec +18.427
19 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark +19.499
20 Michele Beretta Mucke Motorsport +19.666
21 Ryan Tveter Carlin +19.896
22 Kang Ling Mucke Motorsport +20.146
23 Julio Moreno T-Sport +21.450
24 Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing +25.399
25 Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark +25.965
Not classified
Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam +4 laps
Matt Rao Fortec Motorsports +15 laps
Nabil Jeffri Motopark +15 laps
Maximilian Gunther Mucke Motorsport +33 laps
Gustavo Menezes Carlin +33 laps
Matt Solomon Double R Racing +38 laps
Sam MacLeod Motopark +38 laps