Raffaele Marciello did a good job in qualifying on the Vallelunga circuit while Felix Rosenqvist tripped up.
Since the beginning of the weekend the weather conditions have not made things easy for the drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Yesterday, the majority had their first taste of the challenging Vallelunga circuit on a damp tack although it dried out during the day. Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powterteam) fired a warning shot across his rivals’ bows by setting the fastest time from Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Daniil Kvyat (Carlin).
This morning it rained again early on after which the sun came out. Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) was the man to watch, and then a few minutes before qualifying a shower reshuffled the cards.
The two championship leaders Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) adopted different strategies. While the Swede went out early on the Italian waited till the last minute to take to the track. It was the right decision. Rosenqvist went off heavily compromising his chances as he will start from the rear of the grid for the first two races of the weekend, and in 13th place in the third.
Marciello seized this unexpected opportunity with both hands: he had two almost perfect qualifying sessions setting pole for races 1 and 3, and he will be on the front row for race 2 alongside Alex Lynn.
“It was a session in which it was crucial not to make any mistakes as even if the track was dry the verges were still damp,” explained Marciello. “It wasn’t easy waiting at the start while all the others were out on the track. When I heard that Felix had crashed, I went out with the bit between my teeth: I had to take full advantage of it. After my mistake in race three at Zandvoort, it was important to get my title chase back on the right track by having a good qualifying session. For the moment the weekend’s going well, but the toughest part is still ahead of me. Now’s the time to bag a big haul of points.”