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“FIA F3: Marciello dominates race one in Hockenheim”

May 4, 2013

© FIA.

© FIA.

Ferrari Development Academy driver Raffaele Marciello cruised to his fourth FIA European Formula 3 victory of the season at the Hockenheimring this morning, despite spinning in torrential rain.

The Italian raced virtually unchallenged for the distance, eventually winning by 14.8 seconds in 19 laps after losing four seconds on the tenth tour.

Behind Marciello, Fortec’s Felix Serralles and EuroInternational’s Tom Blomqvist fought a tense battle for the other podium places, with the former emerging on top.

On a frantic opening lap, shrouded in hanging spray, Marciello pulled a 5.1s lead from the pack, as cars assorted positions, banged wheels and spun in the background.
Amidst the gaggle, spins that took both Lucas Auer and Alex Lynn out of contention, with Auer looping around 360° exiting the second turn (dropping to 9th), while Lynn caught a slick white line through Mercedes corner (rejoining 22nd).
All of this played into Marciello’s hands. “Alex had a battle with Lucas [on the first lap], so they lost time, but the car was immediately fast. I was not pushing very hard.”

Marciello continued to extend his lead by one second per lap, until the tenth lap, when – feeling adventurous – the Prema Powerteam racer ran onto the wet green patch on the exit of the NordKurve, spinning him around.
His 14.4s advantage, was cut, but only by 3.7s thanks mostly to quick thinking as his Mercedes-powered machine flung around. “I was thinking the green part was a bit dry and it was wet and I spun,” noted the Italian. He continued, “I was very far away (ahead) and I was able to continue to victory. I said a bad word, but was lucky because the wall is very close. I dropped the engine when I went off and released the clutch, let the engine go and that was it.”

There was still the race of the race to go and despite orders from his pitwall not to overdo it, Marciello began pushing once again, extending his final advantage to 14.8s at the flag, although he did lift off somewhat in the final three tours. “It’s a victory. We were fast yesterday, so for me it is the same whether in the dry or wet, but in the wet our car is very fast.”
It’s a big result that gives the Italian a 57.5 point lead in the standings, with another start from pole position coming later today, yet Marciello still talks down the championship at this early stage. “It’s a very long championship and tomorrow I’m starting 10th, so it’s better to take the maximum points this morning now and this afternoon, but I hope tomorrow I can overtake some cars and get some good points.”

For Serralles, the Auer / Lynn mishap played perfectly into his hands. Starting 5th, the Puerto Rican had risen to 2nd by the opening corner, only to be re-passed by front row man Lynn at the Hairpin.
With Blomqvist, Harry Tincknell and Sven Müller in their mirrors, Serralles continued to wheel-to-wheel with Lynn, until the Englishman lost his Prema machine, clearing the way for Serralles.
The 20-year-old was then chased down for the duration by Blomqvist – both whom had broken away from the Tincknell / Müller fight – however Serralles held the EuroInternational racer at bay. “I saw Tom through the whole race, but had to race very strategically. I knew where he was quicker and where I was quicker, so I just had to be very careful to get a good run out of the corner, so that he wouldn’t get a tow. It was a good, thinking race.”

There was a touch of relief in Serralles after the race. A difficult opening couple of rounds had left the Puerto Rican well down the points order. “Marciello was unbelievably fast and Blomqvist kept putting the pressure on. In the end, from the first two rounds, having such a bad start to the season and finally getting a podium, I think we are a bit on in the top five. It‘s a very good result.”
He then added, “Since Fortec has run the British championship for many years, we took a bit to get used to the tyres, but I think now that we finally have the tyres situation correct, I think everything is going in the right direction.”

Relief also crossed Blomqvist. The EuroInternational racer narrowly avoided the spinning Auer on the opening tour and then again came close to clattering Lynn later on the lap as he spun. It was more than enough to keep his wits afloat: “I was a little bit fortunate at the start of the race, with two spins in front – I had to dodge them, so that was a bit tricky and lost a bit of time. There was a bit of wheel bashing on the first lap, so that was quite interesting, but I don’t know what happened behind. From our side of things, it was plain sailing.”
With two of the favourites removed from the running, Blomqvist saw an opportunity for the runner-up spot, but could do nothing to force a way by Serralles.
“At the beginning of the race, I thought I was a little bit quicker than Felix – it was pretty difficult to find a way by without him making a mistake. He picked up the pace a little bit, so to get close enough to actually make a move was a bit difficult,” said the son of Stig. He added, “I followed him home and tried to keep it on the black stuff. It’s a good bunch of points, so happy with the result for sure.”

Behind them, Muller grabbed 4th from Tincknell on lap 7 after pressing the Englishman for some time, while Josh Hill persevered to keep a hold of 6th spot ahead of Lucas Auer. Running 8th was Felix Rosenqvist, who had a scary moment on the twelfth tour, when he lost control at the hairpin, coming close to wiping out Will Buller (9th).
Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten in his first F3 race; however as he is not registered for the championship, the Russian did not claim the point. That went to Jordan King who took 11th place, following a late move on Antonio Giovinazzi.

2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 3, Race 1; 19 laps)
Pos Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1. Raffaele Marciello  Prema Dallara-Merc               36m00.250s
 2. Felix Serralles     Fortec Dallara-Merc              + 14.834s
 3. Tom Blomqvist       Eurointernational Dallara-Merc   + 15.719s
 4. Sven Muller         Ma-con Dallara-VW                + 20.088s
 5. Harry Tincknell     Carlin Dallara-VW                + 27.135s
 6. Josh Hill           Fortec Dallara-Merc              + 29.504s
 7. Lucas Auer          Prema Dallara-Merc               + 32.245s
 8. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke Dallara-Merc               + 32.875s
 9. Will Buller         T-Sport Dallara-Nissan           + 36.821s
10. Daniil Kvyat        Carlin Dallara-VW                + 44.211s
11. Jordan King         Carlin Dallara-VW                + 47.010s
12. Antonio Giovinazzi  Double R Dallara-Merc            + 54.209s
13. Dennis van de Laar  Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW        + 57.214s
14. Pipo Derani         Fortec Dallara-Merc              + 58.256s
15. Alex Lynn           Prema Dallara-Merc               + 59.102s
16. Jann Mardenborough  Carlin Dallara-VW                + +1m02.361s
17. Mitchell Gilbert    Mucke Dallara-Merc               + +1m06.467s
18. Lucas Wolf          URD Dallara-Merc                 + +1m15.784s
19. Mans Grenhagen      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW        + +1m25.312s
20. Ed Jones            Fortec Dallara-Merc              + +1m25.809s
21. Sean Gelael         Double R Dallara-Merc            + +1m32.525s
22. Michael Lewis       Mucke Dallara-Merc               + +1m33.300s
23. Nicholas Latifi     Carlin Dallara-VW                + +1m41.660s
24. Roy Nissany         Mucke Dallara-Merc               + +1m42.873s
25. Andre Rudersdorf    Ma-con Dallara-VW                + 1 lap
26. Tatiana Calderon    Double R Dallara-Merc            + 1 lap
27. Spike Goddard       T-Sport Dallara-Nissan           + 1 lap
Retirements:
    Sandro Zeller       Zeller Dallara-Merc              7 laps
    Eddie Cheever       Prema Dallara-Merc              18 laps
2013 FIA European Championship points standings (Rd 3, Race 1)
Pos Driver                 Points
 1. Raffaele Marciello     131.5
 2. Felix Rosenqvist        74
 3. Harry Tincknell         73
 4. Lucas Auer              63
 5. Alex Lynn               60.5
 6. Pascal Wehrlein         49
 7. Felix Serralles         48
 8. Tom Blomqvist           41.5
 9. Will Buller             35
10. Josh Hill               18

Pos Team                   Points
 1. Prema Powerteam        200
 2. Mucke                  135
 3. Carlin                 108
 4. Fortec                  76
 5. ThreeBond with T-Sport  51
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