Raffaele Marciello put his Zandvoort disappointment behind him by scoring his eleventh win in the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship on home turf at Vallelunga.
To clinch the title this weekend Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) has no choice: he has to win all three races in the ninth round of the season at Vallelunga. The Ferrari Driver Academy protégé, who started from pole while Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) was at the back of the grid after going off in qualifying, was in a position to deal his rival a body blow in terms of points.
But right from the start the Italian saw that Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) also had his sights set on victory. The British driver held first place for a corner and then Marciello got back in front. The two ran nose-to-tail for 24 laps, and despite all his attempts Sims was not able to find a way past the Italian. Thus, it was a very relieved Marciello who took the chequered flag for the 11th time this season.
“All victories are important, but this one was particularly difficult as Alexander really went for it on the first lap and he never relaxed the pressure,” analysed Marciello. “My aim this weekend is to increase my points lead over Felix so I have to finish in front of him in all three heats. This race is the first step. Quite honestly, I had a great scrap with Alexander as even if at one moment I said to myself that I shouldn’t take unnecessary risks in view of the championship, it was a very fair battle and I was able to control things as I was in front in a car that was working perfectly. I’ll have to continue in the same vein tomorrow.”
Sims was happy with second place. “It was a fairly hectic first lap,” admitted the ThreeBond with T-Sport driver. “I think I led for a few seconds but Raffaele then got back in front and did the job. Both of us, all three in fact, as Alex Lynn wasn’t far behind, were running at a searing pace. It would have been difficult to go much faster and yet no one blew it!”
By finishing third Lynn consolidated his third place in the championship, and has high hopes before starting from pole for the second race of the weekend. “I was able to match Raffaele’s and Alexander’s pace, although apart from the first lap I was never in a position to really put pressure on them. I’ve scored big points and above all it’s encouraging for the rest of the weekend.”
Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) and Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam) who scored his best result of the season, rounded out the top 5. Felix Rosenqvist came home tenth and is currently lying 32.5 points behind Marciello in the title chase.