Start-to-finish victory at Zandvoort: 30 points gained in title chase
Maximilian Günther made an impressive comeback in the Formula 3 European Championship at Zandvoort. The Prema Powerteam driver celebrated his third win of the season and made podium appearances in two of three races. With eight Top Three finishes in 18 races so far this season, he has consolidated his second place in the standings. During the course of the Netherlands fixture, Günther made a 30-point dent in the championship lead of his team-mate, Lance Stroll.
Max, congratulations on your victory in Sunday’s race. You got off to a perfect start and then controlled the race. Could it have gone any better?
That was just about as perfect a race as you could wish for. The start was the key to success. I got off the mark really well from pole and entered the first corner as race leader. After that, I was able to set consistent lap times and also manage my tyres. Whenever my team-mate Nick got a little too close for comfort, I changed gear and controlled the pace at the front. I had the race under control at all times. Thanks to my guys at Prema for the perfect car! We notched up three one-two victories at Zandvoort. I am pleased to have supported the team in this.
In the second race on Saturday, you finished only one second behind the race winner…
Yes, it was close. But I’m very satisfied with second place. I got off to an excellent start and moved up from third to second position. I tried to put pressure on Nick, and in doing so set the fastest race lap. Overtaking is not easy at Zandvoort, so I just had to hope that he would make a mistake. It would have been stupid to take unnecessary risks. With second place as well as P4 in Race 1, I scored more vital points in the battle for the championship.
At Zandvoort, you reduced the gap on the leader, Lance Stroll, by 30 points. How significant do you think that is?
It just goes to show how quickly the tide can turn when you have three races per weekend. Things have not been going at all badly for me recently – I’ve had at least one podium finish per race weekend. Lance was having slightly better luck, which allowed him to build up a lead in the championship. The fact that I have now reduced that deficit by 30 points gives me extra confidence. At the same time, I’ve managed to extend the gap to third place. Consistency is the key if you want to have a say in the title fight.
In two weeks (28th – 30th July), you’ll be contesting the seventh race weekend of the season at Spa-Francorchamps. Do you recall your races there last year?
I most certainly do! Unfortunately, qualifying didn’t go all that well, but in the races themselves I made a tremendous charge through the field. In the course of two races, I gained 20 places. Now I’m looking forward to competing on this great track as a member of the Prema team. So far, I’ve taken six pole positions, which fills me with confidence. With a decent qualifying performance, I think I’m capable of results that are every bit as good as the ones I achieved here at Zandvoort.