Prema Racing’s Mick Schumacher won a rain-affected opening race of the European Formula 3 weekend at the Red Bull Ring to seize the championship lead from Daniel Ticktum.

Polesitter Schumacher led every lap en route to his fourth consecutive F3 victory, despite facing early pressure from team-mate and Ferrari Academy driver Robert Shwartzman.

The Prema pair were able to pull away from the rest of the field, building a five-second advantage in the first half of the 33-minute race.

Schumacher was able to keep Shwartzman behind to claim victory by 0.9s. He now siezes the championship lead with an 18 point advantage over Ticktum, who finished the race in eighth place.

With the track rain-soaked to start, Ticktum bogged down off the line and fell from sixth on the grid to 10th by the end of the opening lap.

As conditions gradually improved throughout the race, Ticktum began to recover places. First passing Fabio Scherer for ninth, he then battled the similarly slow-starting Jehan Daruvala.

The pair were side-by-side for almost an entire lap, before Ticktum grabbed the advantage and outbraked Daruvala into the tight Turn 3.

While Ticktum closed the gap to seventh-placed Jonathan Aberdein in the closing stages, he was unable to catch him before the chequered flag.

In contrast to Ticktum’s start, Alex Palou launched from 13th on the grid to end lap one in sixth.

Palou then climbed to an eventual third place to secure an unlikely podium. He had built a seven-second advantage over fourth-placed Marcus Armstrong by the end of the race but was unable to make an impression on the top two.

Ferdinand Habsburg was another fast starter. He launched from 11th to third – aided by an ambitious move around the outside at Turn 1 to gain places. He ended up slipping to fifth by the flag.