Alex Lynn scored a lights-to-flag victory at Brands Hatch this morning, although it was no easy task for the Englishman.
Lucas Auer made it a Prema 1-2-3 as he took his Dallara F312 home to 3rd place.
The poleman Lynn kept ahead of front row rival Marciello off the line, dodging the Italian’s advances through Paddock Hill Bend and Graham Hill hairpin, pulling out a narrow lead, before being pulled back by the 2nd placed man.
Indeed, the lead was never more than one second throughout the 51-lap event, with Marciello keep tabs on the leader in through the opening 22 tours. The race became somewhat more complicated for Lynn thereafter, when lapped traffic began to come into play.
Most of the tail end runners played kindly as the leaders came through, except for T-Sport man Spike Goddard, who from lap 40-42 seemed determined to sit in front of the quick men.
It was moments that proved a touch stressful for Lynn. “There were two or three laps that I was behind [Goddard]. It frustrating now when I think about it and at the time, I was even more frustrated but I take it when it comes and luckily we are on a circuit where it is quite easy to defend. My engineer was saying ‘stay calm, stay calm’ and I was saying ‘I am calm, but I lose this win I’m going to be really miffed’, but it was fine.”
With Goddard eventually dispatched, Lynn and Marciello charged towards the flag, with the 19-year-old Essex man taking the chequered flag, a mere 0.6s ahead of his Prema Powerteam teammate. “I made a good start and managed to get into turn one in the lead and for the first few laps, I was trying to get a gap to Marciello, because I knew we would be catching traffic. Unfortunately every time I started to pull a bit of a gap, we caught some cars, so he caught up a bit, but I was quite happy and I think I controlled the race quite well.”
The victor added, “He got too close for my liking (on lap 43), but he put his front wing on the outside and it’s a little difficult to try and pass someone in turn one, so I just focussed on keeping my mind and after that just concentrate on taking the cars we were lapping.”
Auer took 3rd, despite a poor start. The Austrian had started 3rd, but was 5th by the opening bend after slight contact with Sven Muller, allowing Felix Rosenqvist blend through as well. According to Auer, “My start was not the best after a little touch with Sven Muller. I was 5th and Rosenqvist made a mistake, so I overtook him and toward the end of the race I was quite strong.”
That became 4th thanks to a lap 30 move on Rosenqvist following a mistake by the Swedish racer in Surtees. The Prema man was then promoted further when a technical fault ended Muller’s race four tours later. Continuing, Auer commented that, “I tried to attack [Muller] in the last turn, didn’t manage and then in the first corner he suddenly went slow, I overtook him and finished the race in p3. For this afternoon and tomorrow, I have to concentrate on the start.”
With Muller gone, Rosenqvist held 4th to the flag, with Carlin’s Harry Tincknell in a relatively distant 5th. Tincknell led a group over the line, with Tom Blomqvist (6th) not far behind. Jordan King made 7th his own thanks to a lap 35 pass on Josh Hill (8th), with Will Buller (9th) and Daniil Kvyat (10th) rounding out the top ten.
As Kvyat is non-points scoring driver, Antonio Giovinazzi picks up the final score with his 11th place finish.
It was a tricky day for Fortec’s Felix Serralles. An off on lap four dropped the Puerto Rican from 12th to 15th, before a tangle with Mans Grenhagen on lap 20, pitching Serralles to the edge of the top twenty. Several retirements would see the Fortec rise to 16th, but no further.
2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 4, Race 1; 51 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time / Gap 1. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 35:41.189s 2. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc +0.680 3. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc +7.728 4. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc +8.843 5. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW +21.824 6. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-Merc +21.895 7. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW +22.481 8. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc +22.903 9. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +25.647 10. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW +31.958 11. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc +32.703 12. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc +41.243 13. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW +1 lap 14. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc +1 lap 15. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +1 lap 16. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc +1 lap 17. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc +1 lap 18. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc +1 lap 19. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc +1 lap 20. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc +1 lap 21. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW +1 lap 22. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc +1 lap 23. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc +1 lap 24. Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +1 lap 25. Michela Cerruti Romeo Ferraris Dallara-Merc +1 lap Retirements: Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW +12 laps Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW +16 laps Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +16 laps Did Not Start: Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Merc DNS
2013 FIA European F3 Championship points standings Pos Driver Points 1. Raffaele Marciello 189.5 2. Felix Rosenqvist 112 3. Alex Lynn 101.5 4. Lucas Auer 90 5. Harry Tincknell 83 6. Felix Serralles 76 7. Tom Blomqvist 70.5 8. Pascal Wehrlein 49 9. Josh Hill 40 10. Will Buller 37 Pos Team Points 1. Prema Powerteam 303 2. Mucke Motorsport 179 3. Carlin 147 4. Fortec 119 5. EuroInternational 82