Hungaroring F3: Ticktum gets maiden win after investigation
Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum took the first victory of his European Formula 3 career in the opening race at the Hungaroring, surviving a post-race investigation into a first-lap incident.
Ticktum led away from the line on a track dampened by earlier rain, but a sensational start from Marcus Armstrong, who had qualified fifth, carried the New Zealander into the lead at Turn 1.
As Prema driver Armstrong turned in on the inside line, his left-rear wheel made contact with the right-front wing of Macau Grand Prix winner Ticktum’s Motopark machine.
Armstrong immediately started losing places with a puncture, and pitted at the end of lap one – he made a speculative switch to wet-weather tyres, before calling it a day two laps later.
Ticktum was investigated for the contact, but was later exonerated by stewards.
Due to the earlier rain, those in the even-numbered grid positions off the racing line suffered a wetter track at the start.
For the second race running, Alex Palou appeared to stall on a slippery circuit from a front-row start, and the Hitech GP driver plummeted down the field.
By contrast, Prema’s Ralf Aron made a rocket start from his drier seventh grid position, emerged from a three-abreast moment with teammates Mick Schumacher and Guan Yu Zhou down to Turn 1 to move into third, and then moved past the stricken Armstrong into second.
Aron had no answer to the pace of Ticktum, and was one of three drivers – the others being Sebastian Fernandez and Artem Petrov – to be awarded a five-second penalty for a jumped start.
The Estonian couldn’t pull away sufficiently from fellow Prema drivers Zhou, Robert Shwartzman and Schumacher and was demoted to fifth - which means Ticktum claims the championship lead, by half a point from Aron.
Ferdinand Habsburg made a rapid start from 11th on the grid to get up to fifth on lap one, then pulled off a great move on Shwartzman to briefly take fourth – around the outside into the Turns 6/7 chicane.
But minor contact between the pair punctured Carlin driver Habsburg’s right-rear tyre, and he was forced to the pits.
Motopark rookie Juri Vips was elevated to sixth, with a comfortable buffer to the Hitech machine of Enaam Ahmed.
Gradually Ahmed reeled in Vips so that he was on his tail with three laps remaining, but he was unable to find a way past – and in turn pre-race championship leader Sacha Fenestraz closed in with his Carlin car in the closing stages.
Hitech’s Ben Hingeley survived an early battle with Jonathan Aberdein, who spun at Turn 1, to take ninth, with Fabio Scherer (Motopark) claiming the final point.
|2||Guan Yu Zhou||Prema Powerteam||7.514|
|3||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Powerteam||8.792|
|4||Mick Schumacher||Prema Powerteam||9.454|
|5||Ralf Aron||Prema Powerteam||10.289|
|7||Enaam Ahmed||Hitech GP||17.986|
|9||Ben Hingeley||Hitech GP||25.007|
|12||Alex Palou||Hitech GP||32.201|
|16||Keyvan Andres||Van Amersfoort Racing||47.113|
|20||Artem Petrov||Van Amersfoort Racing||54.189|
|Ret||Marcus Armstrong||Prema Powerteam||-|
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