For Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing), today at Zandvoort was a perfect day: after victory in the tenth race of the season in the morning, the Estonian also won the eleventh race of the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship in the afternoon. At the 4.307 kilometres long former Formula 1 track on the North Sea coast, Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) claimed second and third place respectively. With his result, Aron moved up into second of the drivers’ standings, he is currently 4.5 points down on Armstrong, who remains the championship leader.
Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) started from pole position, but he was unable to convert this into the race lead. The Brit raced towards the first corner alongside Ralf Aron and Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing), but it was Aron who ended up in first place. Ticktum slotted into second place while Schumacher’s race came to an untimely end in the gravel trap after contact with the Red Bull junior driver. As Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP), Ben Hingeley (Hitech Bullfrog GP) and Ameya Vaidyanathan (Carlin) also retired after collisions on the opening lap, race control sent the safety car out.
After the restart, Aron remained at the front of the field. Armstrong and Zhou attacked second-placed Ticktum, who then dropped back to fourth as a result. Eleven laps later, Ticktum then also lost fourth place to Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP) and another position when Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) went past. Thus, the Brit eventually took the chequered flag in sixth place.
Ahead of Ticktum, race winner Aron, second-placed Armstrong, Zhou in third and Palou and Habsburg crossed the finish line. Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing), Jüri Vips (Motopark), Fabio Scherer (Motopark) and Marino Sato (Motopark) rounded out the top ten. Ferrari-backed Armstrong received the prize for the best rookie in the field.
Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing): “I knew that I would need a really good start and thus, I was able to put Daniel under pressure straight away. There was slight contact between our cars, but that turned out to be no problem in the following laps. At the restart, I kept cool and I was happy to see my two teammates Marcus and Guanyu overtake Daniel. This repeated clean sweep of the podium for the Prema drivers shows that the team is working very well.”
Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing): “For me, the race included quite some action. The duel with Dan reminded me of our accident at Budapest: I have learned from that. My goal was to score maximum points today, because I am only second to last on the grid for tomorrow, so scoring more points then will be rather difficult.”
Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing): “It was an interesting race. My start was good and the restart after the safety car wasn’t too bad either. Thus, I was also able to overtake Daniel. After that, I tried to drive as consistently as possible and adapt my driving style to ensure that the tyres wouldn’t degrade to much.”