Joel sealed an emotional fifth win of the FIA F3 European Championship season as he converted pole position into victory in Race 2 of the Red Bull Ring weekend, leading from start to finish.
Making one of his trademark swift getaways, Joel powered away from pole with fellow front-row man Lando Norris in hot pursuit.
The British championship leader put on an aggressive charge on the opening lap, but Joel held firm and maintained a lead he would never surrender.
Once things settled in, Joel and Norris proved in a class of their own, the duo separated by around one second throughout the 25-lap race but effortlessly pulling away from third-placed Force India F1 junior Nikita Mazepin.
The only drama on Joel’s way to victory was the loss of his right rear-view mirror, which worked itself loose and flew off on lap nine.
Joel would not let the incident distract him, however, controlling his pace to eventually come home 0.8 seconds ahead of Norris to bag his first win since June’s Hungaroring round.
Celebrating on the podium with father Arne, sent up by Team Motopark to accept the teams’ trophy, it marked the ideal conclusion to an emotional morning in the Styrian Alps.
Next session: Race 3, 16.55 local time (GMT+02:00) this afternoon.
“Absolutely fantastic! We’ve been working so hard to get ourselves back to this position, and to finally win again is just amazing. The race itself went just according to plan. I made a great start – the level of grip on the grid was very high today – and then managed to fend off Lando on the opening lap.
“After that, I actually held back a little bit to ensure Lando was still within a distance that would hurt his front tyres. That’s what happened, and that then allowed me to use my extra grip in the end and just bring the car home. It’s a great feeling after the difficulties we’ve faced recently, but there’s still one race to go this afternoon and we need to stay focussed.”
RESULTS – Race 2