This weekend sees a double first at Hockenheim: the kick-off to the 2013 DTM and the first stop of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on German soil!
Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) arrives in Germany in a strong position after a flying start to the season with five top-three finishes in six races, including three victories. The Ferrari Driver Academy protégé has dominated the championship so far knowing when to settle for places, and also when to take risks to win as he showed in the third race at Silverstone.
But the Italian realises he can’t afford to relax as with three races per weekend the slightest mistake could prove very costly. On the Hockenheim circuit, which combines a clever mix of fast and slow corners, he knows his rivals will again be gunning for him.
Behind Marciello comes a tightly-packed bunch consisting of Felix Rosenqvist (kfeteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Harry Tincknell (Carlin), Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) and Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam). While Rosenqvist and Tincknell have already tasted the joys of victory this season, Lynn and Auer are still chasing their first win.
Rosenqvist’s season got off to a mediocre start at Monza, but the Swede put his title challenge back on the rails at Silverstone with a victory, a second and a third place. He lies second overall 36.5 points behind Marciello, and he is hoping to take advantage of his knowledge of the circuits to come, in particular Hockenheim where he won twice last season in the F3 Euro Series, to close the gap. “At Silverstone we got things back on an even keel as we were quick in both wet and dry conditions,” said the kfteile24 Mücke Motorsport driver. “We’ve got room for improvement and we haven’t yet achieved our full potential.” Marciello has been warned!
The three German drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship are also waiting impatiently for the first round on home soil. In addition to Pascal Wehrlein, who has gone off to race in the DTM after his first weekend at Monza where he scored a victory and two top-3 finishes, only Sven Müller (ma-con) has scored points. Müller’s team-mate, André Rudersdorf (ma-con), and Lucas Wolf (URD Rennsport) all have to make the most of this opportunity of racing in front of their home crowd to shine in a field of 29 cars that is more tightly bunched than ever.
Ed Jones (Fortec Motorsports) and Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) will make their debut in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend. While Jones had already done a few F3 races it will be Kvyat’s maiden outing at this level.
The Russian, runner-up in the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and winner of the FR 2.0 Alps in 2012, is tackling this weekend in a humble frame of mind. He is defending the Red Bull Junior Team colours like Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) and he will be one to watch. “I was very excited when I heard that I would race with Carlin,” said Kvyat. “I’m honoured to race with the team and it’s good experience for me. There’s a lot to learn in the car and with a new team, but I like the Hockenheim circuit having won there in Formula Renault 2.0 so it should be a positive experience.”
There are three races on this weekend’s programme: the first two on Saturday (4th May) at 11h10 and 18h05 and the third on Sunday morning (5th May) at 11h00.