Win and a brace of podiums at Nürburgring
A win in Sunday’s race and two second places on Saturday. Maximilian Günther impressed at the Nürburgring with his speed and consistency. The Prema Powerteam driver increased his success rate during the eighth race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European championship. Günther has now finished half of all races in 2016 in the Top Three. The German is still in second place in the championship standings with his chances of winning the title still intact.
Maximilian, congratulations on your lights-to-flag win in Sunday’s race. How did the 26 laps in the cockpit go?
It’s obviously great fun to defend pole position and cross the finish line in the lead. I made a terrific start and stayed ahead while maintaining a good pace from the very first lap. At the same time, I was well aware that I had to go the distance on the same tyres, which is why I focused on driving as consistently and cleanly as possible in the race. I managed to do that really well. I continuously extended the gap on those in pursuit throughout. In the end, I crossed the finish line with a lead of three seconds, which felt fantastic!
You fought your way up from third to second place in Saturday’s race. How did that come about?
I was still in third place after the start but benefited from Nick Cassidy’s problems, who is my team-mate. I was close to him but was in dirty air and unable to overtake. He had some issue or other, unfortunately. I was very pleased to take second place, but a one-two-three finish for Prema Powerteam would have been very nice.
You lined up in second place for the second race. How did the race go from your perspective?
My start was brilliant, as was the re-start after the safety car had been called back in. I broke away from the rest of the field with my team-mate. He overtook me on the back straight on Lap 17. I turned my focus to securing second place and vital points after that.
Your deficit on the championship leader is 68 points. Anything is possible with six races left to be run this season. Have you still got your eye on the championship?
I’ll keep on fighting until it’s mathematically no longer possible. I’ll concentrate on my performance and take each race as it comes. Of course, you always have the championship floating around at the back of your mind as the season draws to a close. I’ll keep pushing until the end as long as there’s still a chance of clinching the title. Lance currently has a decent lead, for sure, but I’ll be ready to pounce, and then we’ll see how things turn out.
You will have a chance to take points out of the championship leader at the historic Italian circuit at Imola (1st – 2nd October). What do you think of the track?
I think it’s mega! Imola has a long tradition which I really like. I’ve done some testing there already and it felt really good. The combinations of turns are absolutely fabulous – very fluid and fast. It’s not just important to be quick through the corners, you also have to set yourself up properly for the next one. You need to show your class, because theory is one thing, but you have to drive a lot by instinct at Imola and trust the seat of your pants.