Felix Rosenqvist closes the gap!
Felix Rosenqvist was reinstated in the first two races at the Norisring after which he won the third so he racked up more points than Rafaelle Marciello this weekend. The gap between them now stands at 24.5 points!
This weekend saw an amazing series of twists in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Before the start of the third and final race of the weekend Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) learned that his penalty handed down in qualifying had been cancelled. After taking new elements concerning the fuel analysis into account, the Stewards of the Meeting reversed their decision so Rosenqvist’s two second places in the first two races were handed back to him.
In the final race of the weekend Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) and Rosenqvist went at it head to head. The Ferrari Driver Academy protégé was on pole and took the lead when the lights went out. On lap 14 the kftzeile24 Mucke Motorsport driver found an opening and went on to win the race. In fact, his victory was in keeping with the logic that to finish first at the Norisring this weekend it was better to start from second place on the grid! The Italian finished second and Alex Lynn rounded out to top 3.
“We both made a good start and I immediately realised that my car was really amazing,” smiled the winner. “I was able to put plenty of pressure on Raffaele and I took advantage of the fact that he braked too heavily to get past. We started on new tyres today and I think that helped me.”
“It wasn’t an easy weekend to cope with as I had a sword of Damocles hanging over me with the possibility of a disqualification. Personally, I never doubted and I knew that my team hadn’t made any mistakes. So I basically had to disregard it although it wasn’t all that easy. Finally, I scored more points than Raffaele on a circuit that I don’t particularly like, which is very positive. Setting pole and coming first here means that I can win on all the other tracks! I’m going to have a week’s holiday and then concentrate on the next part of the championship to continue in the same vein.”
Although Marciello saw the flag in second place he still leads the championship with 24.5 points in hand over Rosenqvist. The Italian now knows what he’s up against and he can’t afford to let his guard down at the next events. “As Felix said we both made a good start but he was stronger today, so there wasn’t much I could do about it. We just have to work even harder to stay in front of Felix in the races to come. We’ve got a little time to get ready for the round at the Nürburgring, and I’m going to share the weeks between Maranello and Prema Powerteam. I like the Nürburgring very much and things went well there last year. I know that it’s going to be a tough battle down to the wire!”
Alex Lynn, who finished third after winning the second race, had one of his best weekends of the season and is now firmly installed in third place overall in the championship. “My starts have been getting better since the start of the championship and I’m happy to have made three good getaways this weekend,” explained the British driver. “I had to cope with new brake pads today so I had to wait for a few laps to be able to count on really efficient braking. That’s why Felix and Raffaele were able to pull away. I’m going to keep on working hard to close the gap to them and fight my corner right till the end. However, I’m very happy with this weekend with my victory and two third places.”
Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) and Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) who passed Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) on the last lap, rounded out the top 5. The drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will be able to enjoy a few weeks’ rest before tackling the last four rounds of the season starting with the Nürburgring followed by Zandvoort, Vallelunga and Hockenheim.