Lando Norris took a sublime win in the third race of the weekend in Zandvoort to extend his lead in the championship, and really stamp his authority as a real championship contender. The 17-year-old Brit started from pole position, ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and main championship rival, Maximilian Gunther, and he got off the line well and maintained position, with the first four drivers also all holding position holding position.
The main changes from lower on the grid were Callum Illott jumping up to P5 and David Beckmann losing out massively, dropping several positions after seemingly going into antistall. Very quickly in the race there became an established order in the race, with Norris streaking away with a gap to the next group of four, and then an even larger gap behind Illott to a large group of around ten cars all within a second of each other led by a struggling Jake Hughes in his Hitech car.
In the second group on the road, consisting of Habsburg, Gunther, Guanyu Zhou and Illott, it was Illott who seemed to have the most amount of pace in the car, and was clearly trying to pressure Zhou ahead into a mistake and attempting to follow up his impressive win from the second race with perhaps another podium in this race and perhaps staking a claim to the championship of his own, with only three weekends to go.
However it was not to be as he had to pit for a new front wing around lap 11 sending him to the back of the field with little hope of making up the amount of time to get any points and eventually retired 3 minutes before the time limit, effectively putting him out of the championship race, now being far too far away points wise behind Norris.
In the group led by Hughes there was a huge amount of jostling for position owing to the slower than usual pace behind the Hitech racer, with the battle in particular between Nikita Mazepin and Ralf Aron going on for several laps, with the Russian fruitlessly attempting to go around the outside of his teammate for what seemed like the majority of the race before he himself was passed by rookie Joey Mawson for 9th place.
Towards the back of that group was the third placed man in the championship, Joel Eriksson, having a nightmare of a race, unable to progress through the field to score any points at all, and with the two men ahead of him both ending up on the podium, it was a costly race for his championship aspirations.
In the end it was a fairly simple victory for Norris, finishing 6.6 seconds ahead of Habsburg who completed the Carlin 1-2 with Gunther completing the podium to not let Norris eke out too much of a lead in the championship, after losing the lead in race 2 of the weekend. There is now only an 11 point gap in the championship between Gunther and Norris, and with Eriksson only scoring 18 points this weekend to Norris' 65 the swede has seemingly dropped out of the fight with three weekends to go.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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