Felix Rosenqvist starts off the new season with victory | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Felix Rosenqvist starts off the new season with victory

  • gb
11.04.15
Conditions were anything but easy for the 35 drivers in the first race of the season of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 5.901 kilometres long Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

On a drying track, Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) turned out to be unbeatable. After 15 laps, including three safety car interventions, the 23-year-old Swede had a margin of 0.938 seconds from Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). The 21-year-old Italian finished second from Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), who was the best-placed British driver in the field. Alexander Albon (Signature) managed to finish fourth as the fastest rookie driver, followed by Markus Pommer (Motopark), who scored the first top five result on his team’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut. 16-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) crossed the finish line in sixth place as the second-best rookie. 

Because of the still damp track conditions, the race got underway behind the safety car. The field was released after two laps, albeit for a brief time, because the safety car was deployed again after Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam), Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Kang Ling (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had all spun. The next restart saw Felix Rosenqvist hold on to his leading position and, together with his main rival, Antonio Giovinazzi, he was able to pull a gap from the rest of the field, led by Jake Dennis. On lap ten, Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing) spun into the gravel trap and thus caused the third neutralisation of the race. Leader Rosenqvist again managed to defend his first place at the restart. After that, he safely brought this position home, becoming the first FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader of the 2015 season.

Behind Rosenqvist, Giovinazzi finished second from Dennis, Albon, Pommer, Stroll, American Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), British rookie driver George Russell (Carlin), German rookie Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Red Bull junior driver Callum Ilott (Carlin), who is also in his maiden Formula 3 season. Rookie driver Charles Leclerc, who had dropped back to 33rd place following his spin and a subsequent puncture in the opening stages, made his way back up through the ranks to finish twelfth, right behind Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports).

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “The race was anything but easy, because the track dried out more and more with every lap. Avoiding any mistakes was the main thing. I was able to control the race, I made good restarts after the safety car interventions and my first place was never at risk. A good start into the new season.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “Conditions at the drying track were by no means easy, although my car was really good today. In front of me, Felix was very quick, so that I didn’t have a real opportunity to mount a challenge.”

Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam): “For me, it was a good race, my first for my new team Prema. I had a much better start into the new season than last year and I scored some points by finishing third, which is making me quite happy.”