Felix Rosenqvist stormed to victory at the final FIA European F3 race at the Hockenheimring this morning.
The Swede led from start to finish, while the distant pack shuffled positions in his mirrors.
Coming home 4.8 shy of the winner, Felix Serralles (Fortec) grabbed his second podium of the season with a fine 2nd place, half-a-second clear of guest racer Daniil Kvyat.
A stellar start by Rosenqvist saw him jump from 4th to the lead by the opening turn, with a challenge initially coming from Jordan King (briefly) and later Serralles.
Resisting the pressure, Rosenqvist built a lead of 0.8s in the opening two circulations, only for the race to be briefly neutralised with a safety car thanks to a four-way smash in the mid-pack.
Going green on lap six, Rosenqvist surged ahead of Serralles and King; the latter pressing for the lead, before dropping back into 3rd. From there, Rosenqvist extended his lead, ensuring a safe gap by race end.
Serralles may not have challenged Rosenqvist too closely, but he spent much of the running heading a pack containing King, Kvyat and Raffaele Marciello.
Indeed King grabbed 2nd spot from Serralles on lap seven; however a failed dive for the lead at Mercedes on lap ten left King in a weakened position, allowing Serralles to retake the position in the Sachskurve.
Kvyat swept passed King a laps later for the final podium place, after several laps under Marciello’s microscope, with the championship leader also taking King on lap 13 to settle 4th and 5th.
Alex Lynn came home 6th in his Prema machine. The Essex racer had originally jumped Marciello at the start, only for the positions to swap again on lap nine. Lynn also endured several laps under pressure from Sven Muller, until the ma-con racer clattered the rear of Lynn late on.
Muller had enough of a gap over Tom Blomqvist (8th, EuroInternational) to not worry about attacks from the rear, while Eddie Cheever took a respectable 9th. Pipo Derani rounded out the top ten. With Kvyat not scoring as a guest driver, Lucas Wolf took the final point in 11th place.
The lap three safety car came when Andre Rudersdorf tipped the left-rear of Roy Nissany as they straightened out following the hairpin. From there, an out of control Nissany hit the innocent Spike Goddard, before pitching hard into the side of Sean Gelael. For his woes, Rudersdorf bounced off of Nissany and into the outside barrier. All four retired on the spot.
2013 FIA European Championship (Rd 3, Race 3) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 35m48.454s 2. Felix Serralles Prema Dallara-Merc + 4.841s 3. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW + 5.340s 4. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc + 6.580s 5. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW + 7.178s 6. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc + 7.768s 7. Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW + 8.930s 8. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational Dallara-VW + 16.563s 9. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc + 17.586s 10. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 18.613s 11. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc + 19.071s 12. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc + 19.621s 13. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc + 19.880s 14. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW + 21.942s 15. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW + 22.527s 16. Michael Lewis Prema Dallara-Merc + 24.355s 17. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 25.289s 18. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc + 26.208s 19. Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW + 32.856s 20. Ed Jones Fortec Dallara-Merc + 35.853s 21. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc + 36.712s 22. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW + 37.679s 23. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc + 38.472s 24. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc + 1m17.976s 25. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 1 lap Retirements: Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW +19 laps Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc +19 laps Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +19 laps Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc +19 laps