The turning point in the championship?
Felix Rosenqvist arrived at Zandvoort 72.5 points behind championship leader, Raffaele Marciello. The Swedish driver had a perfect weekend and he leaves the Dutch seaside resort having closed the gap to the Italian to only 9.5 points!
Six races are left to sort out the two men: the outcome of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is more indecisive than ever!
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship title chase has been completely relaunched! Felix Rosenqvist (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) dominated the Zandvoort round and closed the gap thanks to his eighth win of the year. He scored 75 points out of 75, and in the third race he benefitted from an off by Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) - another consecutive failure to score points in the championship for the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé for the second race on the trot.
“This heat was a bit like the one yesterday except there was only one safety car intervention,” analysed Rosenqvist. “I concentrated on making a good start, and then I had to conserve my tyres as Jordan King was a threat throughout the race. I was never able to lift off or nurse the car. Seventy-five points this weekend compared to twelve for Raffaele Marciello is just perfect. I don’t know Vallelunga, but we have a day’s free practice on Friday. So we’ll have to do a good job and find the right setup as it’s also my team’s first outing at the track. I reckon that Marciello and Prema Powerteam will be very strong there. The important thing is to remain in contact, and then at Hockenheim we’ll be in our backyard so everything’s possible!”
Although Rosenqvist led from start to finish he had to keep a close eye on Jordan King (Carlin). The Carlin driver, who won the British F3 title a few days earlier, had his best weekend of the season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with two fourth places and second today. “It’s my second top-three finish of the season and above all it’s been a great weekend. I made a good start and then I slotted in just behind Felix, but I was never close enough to launch an attack. My good results, this weekend, have put me in sixth place in the championship. I’d like to aim for the top five and above all put on one or two good performances at Vallelunga, a circuit I don’t know, and Hockenheim.”
Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) also had an encouraging weekend and his third top-3 finish on the bounce has consolidated his third place in the overall classification. “I’m satisfied to be back on the podium again today especially as I started fourth. Three podiums in a weekend, there’s not much to complain about, but overall in the Prema Powerteam we really need to improve our performance in qualifying. Vallelunga should be a good meeting for the whole team. It’s a challenging circuit we all know well so we’ve got a good hand to play.”
Daniil Kvyat (Carlin), who was quick and consistent all weekend, saw the flag in fourth place in front of Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports) who snatched fifth on the last lap. In the drivers’ championship Marciello is now only 9.5 points in front of Rosenqvist with two weekends’ racing to go. Lynn is third followed by Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) and Harry Tincknell (Carlin). Prema Powerteam dominates the teams’ classification with a lead of 165 points over kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport. However, the Italian team isn’t yet champion from a mathematical point of view. Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Eurointernational round out the top 5.
The month of October will be decisive for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship contenders with two rounds in two weeks: Vallelunga in Italy on 12-13 October and the last event at Hockenheim in Germany on 19-20 October.