Callum Ilott takes lights to flag victory in race 1 in Austria
The Brit held off the fast starting Joes Eriksson to take secure the win, with Maxi Gunther taking valuable points from Lando Norris
There was a delayed start to Race 1 as the morning fog at the Red Bull Ring took its time to subside but it turned out to be a just short delay and when the fog lifted, the sun came out, allowing the race to get underway.
Everyone managed to get a decent start but Joel Eriksson took the advantage into turn one to demote Maxi Günther to third. Down into turn two, Tadasuke Makino got a run on Lando Norris and took his fourth position.
Eriksson carried the momentum forward, heading into turn two side by side with Callum Ilott, but the Brit closed the door and he had to settle for second.
Jake Hughes flew off the line and by the end of lap one, he had worked his way up to fourteenth, having started last on the grid following an engine change penalty.
Harry Newey began to challenge Nikita Mazepin for fifth but misjudged his braking into turn four and punted Mazepin off the track. He stalled in the run off area, signalling the end of his race but he was able to be recovered under double waved yellows, avoiding a safety car. Newey came straight into the pits for repairs, but by the time he was ready to re-join the circuit, he was the best part of a lap down on the field.
The incident will be investigated after the race and it will be an uncomfortable wait for Newey who will be hoping he manages to avoid a penalty.
At this point, everyone settled into a groove and, unlike the normal trend of the times calming down as the tyres drop off, the tyres seemed to be holding on well with almost everyone improving their best times, sector by sector.
In the closing stages, Günther started to drop from behind Eriksson in second place, but Makino behind was only matching his time, so third was safe, giving him his fourteenth podium of the season and securing some needed points ever his Championship rival.
If Makino thought matching Günther was going to be good enough, he was mistaken as Norris started to push and close the gap. Makino consistently out drove Norris in sector three, covering off the Brit's advances from the rest of the lap but a lock up from Makino into turn one allowed Norris to get alongside, where he stayed for half of the penultimate lap before he managed take the move stick to retake fourth.
It was a stellar drive from Ilott who took the chequered flag having held off Eriksson and managed the gap all race. After his superior start, Eriksson comfortably took second ahead of Günther, who takes valuable points from the Championship leader, leaving the gap at the top of the standings at 70 with five races to go.
Habsburg made a great recovery from his first lap off and managed to make his way into sixth at the flag ahead of Mick Schumacher, making it a decent result for Prema. David Beckman came home in eighth with a comfortable margin over Guanyu Zhou and Pedro Piquet, who rounds off the points scoring positions. Hughes continued to make steady progress but, despite his impressive form, finished just outside the points.
To secure the Championship in Austria, Norris needs to leave the weekend at least 76 points ahead, but can he overturn Gunther’s result to make it happen?
Here is the classification from Race 1
Classification from Race one a the Red Bull Ring, Austria [Image: FIA F3]
Qualifying for Races 2 and 3 gets underway at 16.15 local time 🇦🇹