Maximilian Günther made a perfect start to the new season of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Prema Powerteam driver secured his first two pole positions in Formula 3 and scored his first victory.
Just about a month ago we were joined at the official ZOOM Charity auction gala in London by young aspiring German racing driver Maximillian (Maxi) Günther.
Excitedly he told us, how much he was looking forward to the new racing season in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with his new team, Prema Powerteam.
He did tell us, not to set our expectations too high for the beginning of the season as he is also concentrating on finishing school to get his final examinations and diploma.
Winning his first race at the first weekend was a secret hope but not an expectation, so we are even more impressed by his performance.
During the first race weekend of the season at the French Le Castellet track he did have an excellent start into the new season.
The series runs three races at a weekend and Maxi continuously improved. Race 1 he started 8th and finished 5th, race 2 he started from Pole Position but was hit by another car and couldn’t finish. Race 3 he started from Pole and won the race. Maxi made maximum use of his pole position as he claimed his first win of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. His teammate 21-year-old Nick Cassidy from New Zealand finished second at the 3.841 kilometres long Circuit Paul Ricard, Swede Joel Eriksson (Motopark) crossed the finish line in third place.
Cassidy, who ended up second for the third time in as many races, extended his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. He is now 19 points clear of his two closest rivals, Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and Maximilian Günther, who are tied on points.
I felt very comfortable in the car even in practice where I also set best time. It’s particularly important in Formula 3 to start as far up the field as possible.
Overtaking is not easy, because the cars produce so much downforce.”
From pole position, Maximilian Günther already took the lead at the start and held on to it until the finish line. Things became critical for the German once again in the final corner of the race as Nick Cassidy mounted an attack.
However, Günther managed to defend his lead and motored on to be classified in first place with his team-mate Cassidy in tow.
The 18-year old is currently the only German driver in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. For us he is also “close to home” since he actually comes from the Allgäu region, not far from our beautiful Neuschwanstein castle.
First of all, I want to thank Prema for giving me such a fantastic car! The race was really exciting. I got a great start from pole position and was able initially to pull out a lead of just over a second.
However, a sidepod flap on my car broke away on the fourth lap, which slowed me down a bit. That enabled team-mate Nick Cassidy to get within a few tenths of me.
He tried to make an overtaking manoeuvre stick in the final turn, really pushing hard at that point. I held him off and defended my lead over the final few metres to the finish line.
Winning was very important for me this first race weekend, as it puts me in a good position for the rest of the season..”
Christian Seitz, CEO and founder of The World of Neuschwansteiner said: “Congratulations to Maxi and his team. What a great achievement and a perfect start into the new season. We were of course keeping our fingers crossed for Maxi and wish him the very best for the upcoming races!“
Next race weekend: April 22-24 Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary
Maxi is a rising star among newcomers to Germany’s motor racing scene.
Maximilian Günther posted his first laps in a kart at the age of six. Success was not long in coming: As a nine-year-old in 2006, Maxi won the South Bavarian ADAC Kart Championship, becoming German ADAC kart champion in the following year.
After securing overall victory in the 2010 ADAC kart championship, Maxi moved up to the Formula BMW Talent Cup, becoming the youngest participant ever and secured second place overall at his first attempt. In both 2013 and 2014, he finished the season as championship runner-up in the hard-fought Formel ADAC.
Maximilian has been supported by the ADAC Sports Foundation for the last two years. In 2014, he was also accepted on the support programme run by the Deutsche Post Speed Academy, winning the accolade of top student at his first attempt
Prema Powerteam are one of the most successful racing stables in Europe. They have claimed five consecutive championships in the most competitive Formula 3 series in the world with Roberto Merhi (2011), Daniel Juncadella (2012), Raffaele Marciello (2013), Esteban Ocon (2014) and Felix Rosenqvist (2015).
Jacques Villeneuve, Robert Kubica, Kamui Kobayashi, Merhi, Juncadella, Marciello and Ocon are just a few of their former drivers who subsequently made the step up to Formula 1™ or the DTM. Prema Powerteam will once again be using the Formula 3 engine supplied by Mercedes-Benz in 2016.
The 250-horsepower F3 414 has won both the FIA Formula 3 Championship (in 2014 and 2015) and the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix.
About The 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship
The 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship runs over ten race weekends in seven countries.
|Paul Ricard (WTCC / FRA)||01.04. – 03.04.2016|
|Hungaroring (WTCC / HUN)||22.04. – 24.04.2016|
|Pau (F3 GP / FRA)||13.05. – 15.05.2016|
|Spielberg (DTM / AUT)||20.05. – 22.05.2016|
|Norisring (DTM / GER)||24.06. – 26.06.2016|
|Zandvoort (DTM / NED)||15.07. – 17.07.2016|
|Spa-Francorchamps (Blancpain GT / BEL)||28.07. – 30.07.2016|
|Nürburgring (DTM / GER)||09.09. – 11.09.2016|
|Imola (ETCC / ITA)||30.09. – 02.10.2016|
|Hockenheim (DTM / GER)||14.10. – 16.10.2016|
Pictures curtesy of Mario Bartkowiak, Prema/Suer, ZOOM-Sutton-Neuschwansteiner
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