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“Marciello wins chaotic wet F3 race at Norisring”

July 1, 2012

© SRO.

Raffaele Marciello won the final European Formula 3 race of the weekend at a rain hit Norisring, ahead of Daniel Juncadella and Felix Serralles.

The Italian survived a torrential downpour, tiptoeing his way around the bumpy German streets, in an event that could realistically have been called off!!

Alas, it became a race dominated by the safety car. With 21 laps completed – two-thirds of which were run behind the safety car – the red flag was shown as conditions eventually passed beyond the point of sensibility.

The race started under neutralised conditions and did not receive a green flag until the seventh tour.
Sensing an opportunity, Marciello slipped down the inside of poleman Pascal Wehrlein at turn one; however the unfortunate Wehrlein was in turn hit by the out of control Will Buller at the opening corner – an incident that encouraged a wry smile from Marciello.
“At the first corner, I need to overtake Wehrlein, but I turn[ed] in first and Buller took him. It was dangerous, because in the dry you can see if a driver has stopped; in the race, you see nothing.”
Buller was given a drive through penalty for his actions – a harsh decision considering the appalling conditions.

Carlin’s Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar also suffered incidents at the restart, with Harvey clipping the rear of an overly cautious Sven Muller in the towering spray.
Jaafar clattered Buller’s strewn front wing, damaging his suspension in the process – Jaafar continued briefly, but soon fell out of the event due to his wounded car.

Meanwhile, Marciello kept ahead of Juncadella although the gap between the pair rarely drew past one second.
The line-up would be locked come the start of lap 15, when the safety car emerged for the second time, thanks to Philip Ellis’ stranded GU Racing machine. The Englishman had a near miss with Carlos Sainz Jr through the first hairpin, only to slide straight into the wall at turn three.

The static field ensured Marciello of the win, although the Italian was less than impressed with the conclusion of the race.
“I don’t know why the put out the red flag, because the rain was less, so I think we could have made full points. I am a little disappointed. The start, there was a lot of rain. After I saw the safety car, there was less, so I don’t know why we stopped.”

Despite missing out on the victory, Juncadella was pleased to have taken solid points from the race he felt was becoming too dangerous.
“Here you need to race with no downforce [in the dry], but when it’s raining there’s a lot of rivers in the straights and it’s quite crazy racing. I wouldn’t call it a race, because there was all those yellow flags, so I have to be happy with points and 2nd position.”

The Spaniard lamented the conditions feeling the effects of the torrid weather impeded racing far too much:
“When you are really close to the guy in front, you always have a lot of spray in front and you don’t always see anything – you just look at his rear light and you look at the sides to see the braking point and when you are really slow in the hairpins, you see a lot.
“The most dangerous place was the braking for the first hairpin; there’s a few rivers and also on the main straight, there are quite a few rivers and we’re in 5th gear flat and you feel the wheels spinning and that’s when a guy spun on the straight. It was quite dangerous.”

Serralles brought his Fortec racing machine home a safe 3rd, after skipping through the restart carnage. Apart from sleeping passed the Buller / Wehrlein melee, the Puerto Rican took Pietro Fantin and Emil Bernstorff, as the pack filtered amongst the hanging rain.

Serralles managed the gap to a fired-up Bernstorff; however Fantin’s fortunes took a slight knock when lost 5th to Hannes van Asseldonk on the ninth tour.
The Brazilian collided with the power sliding Pipo Derani in turn three, pushing both wide and opening the door for van Asseldonk to sneak through. Out of control, Derani lost his front wing against the harsh turn three wall, necessitating a pit stop.
Unable to match van Asseldonk, Fantin maintained 6th until the end.
Fortec proved their worth for van Asseldonk, when his engine failed when fired-up in the morning. The team mechanics worked frantically to change the unit in 37 minutes, ensuring the Dutchman made the start.

Tom Blomqvist pipped Michael Lewis to 7th before the final safety car emerged, while both Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell climbed up the order with little fuss to take 9th and 10th respectively.

2012 European F3 Championship (Rd 5, race 3, 21 laps)
(also British F3 (Rd 6) & F3 Euro Series (Rd 4) 
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  Raffaelle Marciello   Prema Dallara-Merc      26m22.376s
 2.  Daniel Juncadella     Prema Dallara-Merc        + 0.731s
 3.  Felix Serralles       Fortec Dallara-Merc       + 1.194s
 4.  Emil Bernstorff       Ma-Con Dallara-VW         + 2.783s
 5.  Hannes van Asseldonk  Fortec Dallara-Merc       + 3.715s
 6.  Pietro Fantin         Carlin Dallara-VW         + 5.632s
 7.  Tom Blomqvist         Ma-Con Dallara-VW         + 9.081s
 8.  Michael Lewis         Prema Dallara-Merc        + 9.409s
 9.  Alex Lynn             Fortec Dallara-Merc       + 9.780s
10.  Harry Tincknell       Carlin Dallara-VW        + 11.027s
11.  Sven Muller           Prema Dallara-Merc       + 11.388s
12.  Fahmi Ilyas           Double R Dallara-Merc    + 11.708s
13.  Andrea Roda           Zeller Dallara-Merc      + 14.617s
14.  Felix Rosenqvist      Mucke Dallara-Merc       + 16.343s
15.  Nick McBride          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan   + 19.313s
16.  Luis Sa Silva         Angola Dallara-Merc      + 20.992s
17.  Spike Goddard         T-Sport Dallara-Mugen    + 25.529s
18.  William Buller        Carlin Dallara-VW          + 1 lap
19.  Carlos Sainz Jr       Carlin Dallara-VW          + 1 lap
20.  Duvashen Padayachee   Double R Dallara-Mugen     + 1 lap
21.  Pipo Derani           Fortec Dallara-Merc       + 2 laps
22.  Lucas Wolf            URD Dallara-Merc          + 2 laps
23.  Sandro Zeller         Zeller Dallara-Merc       + 3 laps
Retirements:
     Philip Ellis          GU Dallara-Merc            13 laps
     Geoff Uhrhane         Double R Dallara-Merc      13 laps
     Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW           9 laps
     Pascal Wehrlein       Mucke Dallara-Merc          8 laps
     Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW           7 laps

Bold = British F3
Italics = British F3 National Class

2012 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 5, Race 1)
Drivers Championship
Pos Driver Points
 1. Raffaele Marciello    149.5
 2. Daniel Juncadella       124
 3. Carlos Sainz Jr          96
 4. Will Buller              78
 5. Felix Rosenqvist         66 
 6. Pascal Wehrlein          62
 7. Michael Lewis            51
 8. Sven Muller              49
 9. Tom Blomqvist            33
10. Emil Bernstorff          23
2012 British F3 Series (Rd 6, Race 1)
International Class
Pos Driver Points
 1. Jazeman Jaafar          186
 2. Jack Harvey             182
 3. Felix Serralles         176
 5. Alex Lynn               144
 4. Carlos Sainz Jr         140
 6. Pietro Fantin           137
 7. Harry Tincknell         133
 8. Pipo Derani              96
 9. Hannes van Asseldonk     81
10. Nick McBride             57
National Class
Pos Driver Points
 1. Spike Goddard           270
 2. Duvashen Padayachee     232
 3. Adderly Fong             62
2012 Formula 3 Euro Series (Rd 4, race 1)
Drivers' Championship
Pos Driver Points
 1. Daniel Juncadella       122
 3. Raffaele Marciello    116.5 
 2. William Buller        105.5
 4. Pascal Wehrlein          92
 6. Sven Muller              83
 5. Carlos Sainz Jr          82
 7. Felix Rosenqvist         76
 8. Michael Lewis            74
 9. Tom Blomqvist            67
10. Emil Bernstroff        33.5

Teams' Championship
Pos Team Points
 1. Prema Powerteam       313.5
 2. Carlin                187.5
 3. Mucke Motorsport        168
 4. ma-con Motorsport     100.5
 5. Jo Zeller Racing         24
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