Norris takes championship lead
Following two impressive results at Zandvoort, Carlin’s Lando Norris has taken the in the FIA F3 European Championship lead as his own and extended his advantage following a dominant victory on Sunday afternoon. The podium finish for the British racer earlier in the day was followed by victory in the afternoon and also ensured a fantastic Carlin 1-2 with a great second position for Ferdinand Habsburg to top off a strong weekend.
Off the line the two Carlin drivers, who were lined up alongside one another, enjoyed a solid start to see Norris maintain the lead with Habsburg just behind. At a circuit notoriously difficult to overtake on, it was business as usual in the coming laps with the front runners pulling a nice gap to those behind. Rookie racer Norris, who had taken the championship lead in the previous race today, was once again looking more than in control at the very front. As he had done in the opening race of the weekend, the McLaren-Honda Young Driver continued to build his gap effortlessly as the minutes counted down – again driving well beyond his years.
The rest of the 33 minute race was a relatively processional affair with Norris pulling a lead over Habsburg who in turn held an advantage over Maximilian Günter. In the end Norris brought his Volkswagen powered Dallara home first as Habsburg made it an impressive Carlin 1-2.
Speaking of the victory Norris said, “I had a good start this afternoon and didn’t need to defend in to turn one – and that’s been one thing throughout the weekend, my starts have been pretty good. So that made my life easier for the rest of the race. From then on, it was good with no complications of safety cars to break my lead which is probably the only thing I would have worried about. But overall I enjoyed the race and I’ve extended my lead in the championship. The team have again done a good job with the car and I didn’t experience any tyre degradation either so it was a nice, simple race out there that I was able to enjoy.”
Habsburg added, “My experience of the race was similar to Lando’s! My starts during the other two races were poor so I found myself under pressure in the previously however we went back, looked at everything and sorted it out for this race. I took a couple of laps to get up to pace but then was able to match Lando so I’m pleased with that. I struggled in sector two earlier in the weekend but by the end of this race I was purple in that sector so it’s been a big step forward and gives me a good confidence boost especially coming off the back of the last weekend at Spa too. Qualifying here was my best to date so it’s good to be improving all the time. Carlin has done a great job too to get this 1-2 with Lando and I.”