The championship comes alive again at the halfway mark!
Felix Rosenqvist is the first driver to score a hat trick in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Thanks to his three wins, he has closed the gap to Raffaele Marciello to 27.5 points.
Before the start of the Austrian round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, 77.5 points separated Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) and Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport). Thanks to his hat trick the Swede has made big inroads into the Italian’s lead at the mid-season mark.
This morning, Rosenqvist was in third place on the grid behind Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) and Marciello, and he really went for it on what was a stunning first lap during which he took the lead in the race just as the safety car was deployed following the big shunt between Jan Mardenborough (Carlin), Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational), Mitchell Gilbert (Kfztiele24 Mücke Motorsport), Mans Grenhagen and Dennis Van de Laer (Van Amersfoort Racing).
On the restart Rosenqvist went back into a lead he controlled perfectly till the chequered flag, while Marciello lost places and precious points by going too wide on the exit from the hairpin under attack from his team-mate, Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam). “It was an almost perfect weekend. All that was lacking was a pole position!” quipped Rosenqvist, the star of the weekend. “In terms of numbers I’ve closed the gap by pulling back fifty points on Rafaelle Marciello. I took full advantage of his poor qualifying session. You have to know how to seize this type of opportunity, as he’s been incredibly consistent since the start of the year. Today, I had to go for it and I pushed really hard in the first corners. I have to thank my team for giving me a perfect car throughout the weekend.
“I’m not the kind of guy to be discouraged by the situation in the championship. I know that things can change very quickly over the course of a weekend with three races, as I showed here in Austria. What’s certain is that it’s only the halfway mark and everything is still up for grabs. The next round’s at the Norisring and it’ll be special. It’s not the type of track on which you can win the championship, but one where you can lose it!”
Daniil Kvyat scored three second places this weekend and the young Russian again gave a convincing display of his talent. But he’s hungry for more! “On the one hand I’m happy with my results this weekend with three second places. We’ve really improved session after session and today we were very quick. However, I’m disappointed not to have won a race; we almost did so this morning. The first lap was pretty hectic and Raffaele, Felix and I went through several corners three abreast! I’ve never raced on the Norisring so it’ll be interesting. Honestly, if I don’t manage to win a round before the end of the season I’ll be pretty browned off!”
While everything didn’t go according to plan for Lucas Auer, the only Austrian driver in the championship, on home turf, he finished his weekend on a high note. “I made a good start and above all I coped with the restart behind the safety car very well. Raffaele locked up his wheels and went wide in the hairpin, and I slipped past so it was a good finish to the weekend. As for the rest – forget it!”
The score card reads six wins for Marciello, who finished sixth today, and five for Rosenqvist with a 27.5-point gap separating them after 15 races. So the duel between the Italian and the Swede is only just beginning! Auer is increasingly becoming the third driver to be reckoned with, even if Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) are still in the running. Next round in mid-July is at the famous Norisring, a not-to-be-missed rendezvous for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.