Felix Rosenqvist racked up his ninth win of the season from Raffaele Marciello and Sven Müller. With two races still to go the outcome of the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship hasn’t yet been decided!
Pole setter Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) could have killed the suspense. With a 45.5 points lead before this race, the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé would have been crowned champion no matter what Felix Rosenqvist’s (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) result if he had won this heat.
But the Swede was determined to make the title chase go down to the wire. When the lights went out he made the best getaway and came out of the first corner in the lead in front of Marciello. He then banged in a succession of very quick laps and gradually opened up a gap. His ninth win of the season reduced the Italian’s lead to 38.5 points in the championship chase. So Rosenqvist still has everything to play for!
“We both made good starts but I managed to snatch the lead,” said the young Swede. “I was afraid he’d take advantage of slipstreaming in the opening laps, but I managed to open up a big enough gap. I had no other choice but to win and hope that Lady Luck would smile on me! The main thing is to keep my title hopes alive as long as possible. I now have to win the next race, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Although Marciello finished second he’s still in a very strong position. The Italian will have to have nerves of steel right till the end. “I didn’t take any risks in this race. I made sure I got a good start and when I saw that Felix had taken the lead I drove as quickly as was necessary to hold on to my second place. At this stage of the championship you have to score points without taking risk. The second race will be a more strategic one. If Felix wins all I need to do is to finish fourth to be champion. Ideally, I’d like to wrap up the title this evening as I don’t want the whole season to hinge on the outcome of the last race of the year.”
Behind these two battles raged. Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) were at it hammer and tongs for the last place on the podium until they had a coming-together giving Sven Müller (Van Amersfoort Racing) an unexpected opportunity, which he used to take third. On home turf the German didn’t make any mistakes and scored his first top-3 finish of the season in front of Alex Lynn, Harry Tincknell, Jordan King (Carlin), Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports), Dennis Van der Laar (Van Amersfoort Racing), Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam) and Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational).
“A top-three finish at least once was one of my aims for this season,“ smiled Müller. “It’s fantastic to achieve it at home and I’ve still got two races left to do better. I moved up to another level by going to Van Amersfoort Racing as I’m learning a lot with my engineer, and also because my team-mate Dennis Van der Laar pushes me to go even faster! We’re both making progress and to see the team’s two cars in the points in this race is very positive for everybody.”
The battle will continue today at 17h05 in the second-last race of the season.