Marino Sato takes Euroformula Open victory at Hockenheim as Jack Doohan and Liam Lawson battle for second
Marino Sato has taken the first victory of the Euroformula Open race weekend at Hockenheim, as Australian Jack Doohan and Kiwi Liam Lawson complete the podium after a hard-fought battle for second.
Sato put his car on pole for Race 1, just 0.076s ahead of Jack Doohan, with Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda behind them on the second row of the grid.
Sato led Doohan and Linus Lundqvist into the first corner, as the Swedish driver got the jump on his rivals out of fifth position.
Liam Lawson launched his recovery into the hairpin, regaining fourth position with his eyes firmly set on Lundqvist in third ahead.
Lawson was soon on Lundqvist’s tail, attempting an overtake around the outside of the hairpin on lap 2. The Red Bull Junior Driver ran wide, skirting over the kerb and launching his front wheels into the air.
Behind him, fellow Yuki Tsunoda passed Julian Hanses for fourth, and joined his fellow Red Bull Junior in chasing down the top three. In the pack behind them, Australian Calan Williams suffered damage and was overtaken by Billy Monger on the exit of the first corner.
Lawson learnt from his previous attempt and attacked Lundqvist on the inside of the hairpin on lap 3, stealing the final podium position from the Swede.
Lawson had two seconds to make up on Doohan, as Calan Williams finally limped to the pits on lap 4. By lap 6, Lawson was well and truly on Doohan’s tail, with only 0.5 seconds between the two antipodean Red Bull Junior Drivers.
Behind them, a tight wheel-to-wheel battle between Lunqvist and Tsunoda captured the crowd’s attention, but it would take almost five laps before it was finally resolved in Tsunoda’s favour.
Lawson set multiple fastest laps behind Doohan and pounced on lap 10, dispatching the Australian and casting his eye ahead at Sato in the lead.
Doohan seemed to be left in a race of his own for third as Lawson charged ahead, but he was quickly back up into second as Lawson spun on lap 14 in his ferocious charge towards the top step of the podium. The massive spin and ensuing flat spots didn’t seem to hamper the New Zealander, who was quickly on Doohan’s gearbox to resume the battle from earlier in the race.
At the front, it was Marino Sato who led lights-to-flag, and finished with a 5 second lead over the battling Doohan and Lawson. Doohan was able to hold off his wounded rival, and ultimately finished ahead of him in second place, as Lawson completed the podium positions. Doohan won first in the Rookie class ahead of Lawson.
With the race victory, Sato inherits the lead of the series from Liam Lawson, with everything to play for in Race 2 later tonight.
Australian Calan Williams finished in P15 after his early-race damage.
Euroformula Open - Race 1 @ Hockenheim
Jack Doohan (AUS) +5.221s
Liam Lawson (NZ) +6.468s
Yuki Tsunoda +8.778s
Linus Lundqvist +13.430s
Julian Hanses +14.804s
Lukas Dunner +19.246s
Christian Hahn +29.030s
Nicolai Kjaergaard +29.482s
Cameron Das +30.078s
Teppei Natori +39.623s
Billy Monger +40.893s
Rui Andrade +1:04.910
Guiherme Samia +1 lap
Calan Williams (AUS) +1 lap
Aldo Festante DNF