Raffaele Marciello secured his second FIA European Formula 3 victory of the weekend this afternoon amidst some dreadful weather at Monza.
The Italian led for each of the nine laps in his Prema Powerteam Mercedes; however nearly half of that distance was run under safety car due to the persistent heavy downpour.
Behind Marciello for the duration were race winner Pascal Wehrlein (Mucke Motorsport) – in his final F3 race before moving to DTM – and Alex Lynn (also Prema), who assumed his first podium of the season.
As the race aged, conditions worsened bringing on more incidents between competitors. With less than half the scheduled distance completed, the red flag was thrown, ending the event prematurely.
With the race classified at the end of only eight laps, only half points were awarded. For Marciello, it proved a key result that pushed his lead over his next real title challenger – Lucas Auer – to 31.5 points.
The Prema Powerteam driver managed a cool gap to Wehrlein in the short time they were racing, but the leading pair were in a different league under green. Running, at times, several seconds quicker than the rest of the field, Marciello and Wehrlein ran off into the distance, although unlike this morning’s event, the Italian had his rear covered.
According to the young Italian, “It was a tough race, because Pascal was very quick and in these extreme conditions, making a mistake is easy. I have tried to pull a gap, which wasn’t that easy. However, my car was better than in the morning and I was able to get a little advantage as a result.”
The conditions also proved tough for the departing Wehrlein. “It wasn’t easy, because we could hardly see a thing due to the water. I also think that stopping the race in these conditions was the right decision, because the spray was even more extreme in the midfield.” He then added, “It is also a pity, because perhaps, I could have been in with a shot at victory. But I can also live very well with three podium finishes, it is a happy end to my spell in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.”
Lynn, too, held a solid gap to those behind. Driving a wonderful race, the Briton made up for what had been a difficult weekend up until now, with Lynn delivering on his promise in the most difficult of conditions. By the time the race had been neutralised for the second and final time, Lynn had already worked a 10.4 second gap over 4th place Lucas Auer (Prema).
Speaking afterward, the Englishman was his straight-laced self when discussing the conditions. “All in all, it was very wet and I even reckon that it was slightly worse than this morning. I also understand very well why the race was stopped, because it was indeed slightly dangerous to a certain extent. Of course, I am happy with my podium finish, but I am also happy having scored points in every race of the weekend.”
Next up was Fortec’s Pipo Derani – this time making sure of points following his post-race time penalty from the second race. Harry Tincknell (Carlin) took 6th after Eddie Cheever III (Prema) and Jordan King (Carlin) suffered offs – both of whom finished 7th and 8th respectively. Tom Blomqvist (EuroInternational, 9th) and Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke, 10th) rounded out the top ten.
Sven Muller (ma-con) found himself involved in plenty of action. Whether it be grinding wheels with Rosenqvist and Mucke’s Mitchell Gilbert at the Rettifilo or hitting the rear of Gilbert later at Ascari, running off all by himself at the first Lesmo, the ma-con man was involved in some way.
The second round of the European F3 Championship takes place at Silverstone in just under three weeks, where the English midlands – being April – could possibly be notoriously wet once again.
2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, 8 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Raffaelle Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 20m05.546s 2. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc + 2.182s 3. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc + 8.455s 4. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc + 18.823s 5. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 21.508s 6. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 23.935s 7. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 29.684s 8. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc + 32.987s 9. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW + 37.723s 10. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-Merc + 39.326s 11. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 40.935s 12. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc + 42.195s 13. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc + 42.927s 14. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW + 47.397s 15. Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW + 50.322s 16. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 51.624s 17. Gary Thompson Ferraris Dallara-Merc + 55.293s 18. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc + 1m03.648s 19. Dmitry Suranovich Fortec Dallara-Merc + 1m08.533s 20. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 1m19.308s 21. Michela Cerruti Ferraris Dallara-Merc + 1m21.158s 22. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc + 1m29.124s Retirements: Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc 7 laps Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW 7 laps Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 6 laps Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 6 laps Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 6 laps Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc 5 laps Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 4 laps Did Not Start: Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW --
2013 FIA European F3 championship (Rd 1, Race 3) Pos Driver Points 1. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 55.5 2. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc 49 3. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 24 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 24 5. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 19.5 6. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 15.5 7. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 15 8. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 14 9. Felix Rosenqvist Prema Dallara-Merc 12 10. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 7