A crash in the TT Cup meant there was a delayed start to Race 2, the first race with Lando Norris as 2017 Champion having wrapped it up in Race 1. There was still racing to be done though and with second in the championship changing hands this morning, Joel Eriksson and Maxi Günther had it all to play for.
Callum Ilott lined up on pole for the second time this weekend, this time with his teammate, Günther, alongside. Eriksson qualified sixth and would be keen to get moving forward as soon as possible for his championship and Norris only managed seventh, but with the title in the bag and nothing to lose, the scene was set for what could have been a very interesting race.
There was an additional delay as Joey Mawson had a problem on the grid so there was a second formation lap with Mawson starting from the pitlane.
Ilott got another brilliant start with Günther able to hang onto second off the line. Norris's start wasn't so great, taking to the runoff in turn 1 and, in an attempt to make up time, he ran wide onto the gravel, finding himself down in P13.
Eriksson was pushing down in fifth, applying pressure to Jake Hughes and keeping the gap at less than one second in the opening stages before he dropped back to save the tyres. When he was comfortable enough to get back on it, he did so in impressive form, passing into the stadium section. With 13 minutes of the race to go and a four second gap to overcome, he kept his foot down in pursuit of Guanyu Zhou in third.
At the half way mark, Ilott had pulled out a gap of six seconds and lapping substantially quicker that the field, with no sign of Günther catching him. Meanwhile, Norris, down in twelfth, didn’t seem to be making inroads on David Beckman at all until the closing stages where he threw all caution to the wind and was eventually able to make it through with two laps to go .
Not a great race for Carlin, with Ferdinand Habsburg picking up a puncture and ending up dead last. Devlin Defrancesco was brought it home in 17th and Jehan Daruvala took the teams only point from the race in 9th.
It was a flawless drive from Callum Ilott, who crossed the line a full 11 seconds ahead of Maxi Günther. After a hard fought battle for third, Eriksson was unable to snatch it and it was Zhou who completed the podium places to make it a 1, 2, 3 for Prema and confirming them as 2017 Team Champions.
Here are the results of Race 2
Provisional results of Race 3 [Image: FIA F3]
Joel Eriksson finishing in fourth means the gap between him and Günther for second in the championship is just 12 points with one final race left of the season. Race 3 gets underway at 10.55 Local 🇩🇪 time on Sunday.
Here's how they will line up on the grid
The starting grid for Race 3 in Hockenheim [Image: FIA F3]