Even though Felix Rosenqvist scored his ten win of the season, Raffaele Marciello’s fourth place was good enough to clinch the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title.
Sat 19.10.13, 7:07PM
All the calculations had been done before the start of the second-last race of the season. If Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) won, for Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) a fourth-place finish was enough to wrap up the title.
At the start the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé did not make a clean getaway so pole sitter Rosenqvist shot into the lead. Marciello was also passed by his team-mate Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam), but he was probably relieved to see another Prema Powerteam car driven by Lucas Auer get past Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and slot into fourth place.
Behind Rosenqvist, Marciello held on to third between two of his team-mates. He even let Auer past a few laps before the finish as the main objective for the Italian youngster was to ensure the title. “It’s difficult to express what I feel,” smiled Raffaele.
“It was a strange race as I didn’t really push. I didn’t fight at the start then I let Lucas past and above all I paid attention to the yellow flags and the race limits as I didn’t want to be penalized. It’s been a very long and a very closely-fought season and Felix has been one hell of a tough rival. Today, I really want to thank the Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for the support they’ve given me. Prema Powerteam too deserves congratulations. Alex and Lucas proved again this afternoon the level we’re achieved this season in this team where the ambience has been really fantastic. It’ll take a little time for it to sink in!”
In fact, even if his season isn’t quite over as he still has another race tomorrow, and above all the Macao Grand Prix counting for the FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup, Marciello’s title has ensured that he’ll have a Formula 1 test with the Scuderia Ferrari.
Despite being under constant pressure from Alex Lynn, Rosenqvist racked up his tenth win of the season. The Swede was delighted with this victory even though he felt a slight tinge of disappointment about filling the runner-up spot. “It was an odd race. I opened up a gap and then I made a lot of mistakes and locked up my wheels on almost every lap. I was also given a warning so I had to be careful. In short, I won but that doesn’t change anything. I’d like to congratulate Raffaele for his season. He’s had a better year than me and even if it was close right till the end, he deserves this title. I’d have liked it to be decided in the last race, but that’s how the cookie crumbles! Although I don’t know where I’m going to be next season, for sure I’ve learned a lot this year and I’ll draw the appropriate conclusions.”
The first three places in the championship have been decided this evening as Alex Lynn in second spot will finish the year in third position in front of his team-mate Lucas Auer, third in race 2.
The final battle of the year will take place tomorrow, Sunday, and it will be for honor only as the teams’ title was clinched by Prema Powerteam at Vallelunga. The first five places in the championship have also been decided with Raffaele Marciello champion, in front of Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Lynn, Lucas Auer and Harry Tincknell.