Juri Vips became the latest rookie to win in the Formula 3 European Championship after passing Enaam Ahmed in race two at the Norisring, which was red-flagged after a huge start-line crash involving Dan Ticktum.
Ticktum failed to get away from fifth on the grid, and although the majority of the cars behind him were able to avoid him, penultimate-row starter Ameya Vaidyanathan appeared not to see the stranded Motopark car in front of him and piled into the back of it, momentarily launching Ticktum’s Red Bull-branded machine into the air and sending debris flying.
While both were able to quickly walk away from their cars, the crash quickly brought out the red flags, but not before front-row starters Robert Shwartzman and Enaam Ahmed had collided exiting the first hairpin.
The wheel-to-wheel contact caused pole-sitter Shwartzman to hit the concrete wall on the outside, breaking his suspension and preventing him from joining the rest of the field in returning to the pits to wait for a restart.
Once the race did restart with a shortened distance, the incident between Ahmed and Shwartzman was referred to the stewards.
Ahmed led race one winner Marcus Armstrong and Vips at the restart, but Vips quickly got past his former Formula 4 team-mate and rival Armstrong into the Grundig hairpin.
Championship leader Ahmed’s attempt to break free at the front was hurt by a lock up soon afterwards, and one lap later he was being forced to defend from Vips through the Scholler S and into the final corner, Dutzendteich.
As a result, Vips got a better exit onto the pit straight and was able to take the lead before they reached the braking point, forcing Ahmed off the clean line in the process.
Within two laps, Vips had pulled one second clear, where the gap remained until a series of fastest laps from the Motopark driver in the latter half of the race helped him to finish up two seconds ahead.
Ahmed began to come under pressure from Armstrong but ultimately finished 2.5s ahead, and pending the outcome of the investigation for the Shwartzman contact, now enjoys an 18-point margin at the top of the standings with Armstrong now his closest challenger.
Keyvan Andres turned his surprise sixth-place qualifying result into fourth place in the race, having only just broken his scoring duck with 10th in race one.
He did well to defend from Ferdinand Habsburg, who was ultimately relegated to sixth place by Alex Palou.
Jehan Daruvala beat Marino Sato to seventh, with Sacha Fenestraz in ninth and Mick Schumacher taking 10th after a battling drive from 20th on the grid, with his duel with Prema team-mate Guan Yu Zhou a particular highlight.
Race results (29 laps)
|Van Amersfoort Racing
|Guan Yu Zhou
|Van Amersfoort Racing
|Fastest lap: Vips, 48.189s