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Hungaroring F3: Ticktum gets maiden win after investigation

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Hungaroring F3: Ticktum gets maiden win after investigation
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Jun 2, 2018, 9:40 AM

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.

Race results:

Pos.Driver Team Time/Gap
 Dan Ticktum Motopark 36'07.068
 Guan Yu Zhou Prema Powerteam 7.514
 Robert Shwartzman Prema Powerteam 8.792
 Mick Schumacher Prema Powerteam 9.454
 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam 10.289
 Juri Vips Motopark 17.256
 Enaam Ahmed Hitech GP 17.986
 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin 18.553
 Ben Hingeley Hitech GP 25.007
10   Fabio Scherer Motopark 29.931
11   Nikita Troitskiy Carlin 30.809
12   Alex Palou Hitech GP 32.201
13   Jehan Daruvala Carlin 35.708
14   Sebastian Fernandez Motopark 42.523
15   Marino Sato Motopark 44.830
16   Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing 47.113
17   Jonathan Aberdein Motopark 48.317
18   Devlin Defrancesco Carlin 50.203
19   Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin 51.796
20   Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing 54.189
21   Petru Florescu Fortec 1'05.047
Ret   Julian Hanses ma-con
Ret   Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin
Ret   Marcus Armstrong Prema Powerteam
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About this article

Series Formula European Masters
Event Hungaroring
Location Hungaroring
Drivers Dan Ticktum
Teams Motopark
Author Marcus Simmons