A dream weekend for Marco Wittmann: The junior driver from Markt Erlbach, Germany, celebrated two victories and a third place in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Norisring. In front of his home audience the 21-year-old “powered by Volkswagen” clinched 50 points and moved up to second place in the overall standings. Rookie Daniel Abt achieved his second podium result by finishing Sunday’s race on the Nuremberg city street circuit in third place.
At the first race on Saturday Laurens Vanthoor from the Volkswagen customer team Signature looked like the winner at first. Despite a wet track he opted for slicks from the beginning and was rewarded for his gamble. About halfway through the race the racing line dried off completely and the Belgian assumed the lead. Pole sitter Marco Wittmann on the other hand had started on rain tyres and had to pit in order to change to slicks. The local hero managed a remarkable recovery and finished on the podium nonetheless. After the race Vanthoor and Wittmann received a 30-second time penalty for disregarding yellow flags and occupied positions two and three.
The second, shorter race on Saturday went to Wittman after a lap-long duel with the leader of the standings, Roberto Merhi. Daniel Abt, who also races for the Volkswagen customer team Signature, delivered a strong race on a drying track as well. After having started into the race from grid position ten, the Bavarian was in contention for third place on the podium. After slightly brushing his rival Nigel Melker the race stewards issued a severe verdict: a 30-second time penalty which caused Abt to drop to tenth place. The third round on Sunday was marked by rain and for safety reasons started behind the safety car. Thanks to a flawless drive Wittmann converted his pole position into a commanding start-finish victory. After having missed the podium the day before 18-year-old Daniel Abt also shone with a flawless race and, like most recently at Spielberg, mounted the winner’s podium in third place.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
“This weekend the Volkswagen drivers and teams were competitive and in contention for victory at all times. ‘Well done’ particularly to Marco Wittmann. He has shown a very strong performance this weekend – on a wet as well as a dry track. In the championship he has made up a lot of ground to the front runner and with twelve more races to go a lot is still possible. The fight for the title has become thrilling again.”
#1 – Marco Wittmann (Markt Erlbach) – Volkswagen Dallara F309 – Team Signature
Qualifying: 1st place – race 1: 3rd place – race 2: 1st place – race 3: 1st place
“Obviously, I can only sum up the weekend in a very positive way. Our aim had been to finish in front of the leader of the standings – we managed to do this three times, in wet and in dry conditions. This sends an important message to our team and to our rivals: We’re still here and have started our recovery now. The gap in the overall standings is still large but certainly manageable. I’m already looking forward to the Nürburgring. The track suits me and I’m going to attack there again.”
#10 – Daniel Abt (Kempten) – Volkswagen Dallara F309 – Team Signature
Qualifying: 2nd place – race 1: 10th place – race 2: 10th place – race 3: 3rd place
“My weekend was like the weather: fair to middling. The positive thing was that my speed is right now and that I was already among the front runners in qualifying. In the first race I saw victory within my reach but wanted a bit too much and then left empty-handed. In the second race I had very slight body contact for which I was severely punished – so that prevented another podium finish. In the third race I played it safe. My overall performance was better than the results show so I’m very optimistic for the next races.”
- VW Motorsport