Raffaele Marciello romped to his seventh FIA European Formula 3 victory of the season, in a commanding display that saw him first hold off Alex Lynn and then later Lucas Auer.
After a solid start, the Prema Powerteam racer pulled alongside Lynn off the line, holding his line around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend, before solidifying the move in Druids.
From there, Marciello maintained a small gap up, with Lynn refusing to give up on the victory.
It all came to naught for Lynn on lap 15, when the Essex racer spun exiting Paddock Hill, spinning to a stop and stalling halfway up the short chute to Druids.
Much of the pack dodged the stranded Prema car – all that is, except Lynn’s teammate Eddie Cheever III, who clipped the rear of Lynn, forcing both into retirement and forcing a safety car call.
With Lynn out, Auer rose to 2nd, but his challenge under green proved ill effective against the confident might of Marciello. The Italian had drawn a 2.1 second lead come the 46th tour, before easing off at the approach to the chequered flag. “Like yesterday, [the start] is the key to good race. Alex was next to me in the first corner, but I was a bit in front of him. The lapping was good – today with the safety car was easier, but everybody was close.”
Auer assumed a comfortable 2nd place to make it three podiums for the Austrian, admitting too that avoiding Lynn was no big issue. “It was easy to avoid [Lynn]; he spun and I had enough space to pass him and after that, we had a safety car. At the restart, I was at one time quite close to Marciello and I pushed quite hard, but then I lost my tyres a bit.”
With the halfway point in the series only a round away, Auer is rather circumspect about his championship chances, but is pleased with what he has achieved so far. “Only Marciello is quite far away in the championship, but for the rest, we are quite tight. It is a long season, but this weekend was really good for points.”
Carlin’s Harry Tincknell grabbed 3rd, following a tense race long battle with Felix Rosenqvist and Sven Muller. The English squad worked hard over night to fix a suspension problem that had hampered Tincknell all weekend. “The pace was much stronger today. Last night we found a small problem with the car, which was affecting us in the first couple of races. We were struggling a little bit, but starting 4th today, we had a good chance for a podium. It was a small problem with the suspension, nothing major – we were struggling in high speed corners and today it was much better.”
Despite his issues, the Englishman was happy with the eventual outcome. “My pace after the safety car was quite good, but not enough to stay with the front two. It’s good to spoil the Prema party slightly this weekend.”
There was another 4.5s gap to 6th place man Tom Blomqvist, while Lucas Wolf took a confidence boosting 7th for URD Rennsport. Nicholas Latifi came home 8th, ahead of Roy Nissany (scoring his first points) and Antonio Giovinazzi, the latter of whom grabbed 10th despite stalling at the start.
There was chaotic period following the safety car when Josh Hill, Felix Serralles, Daniil Kvyat, Spike Goddard, Mitch Gilbert, Will Buller, Sean Gelael, Michele Cerruti, and Jordan King all picked up drive through penalties for setting their fastest sectors in a caution zone.
Following his suspension, Mans Grenhagen returned to action today, only to go off by himself at Druids on lap six.
2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 4, Race 3; 48 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Raffaelle Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 35m03.945s 2. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc + 1.865s 3. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 5.743s 4. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 6.244s 5. Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW + 6.962s 6. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-VW + 11.523s 7. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-VW + 15.039s 8. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW + 17.983s 9. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc + 21.489s 10. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc + 22.454s 11. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW + 27.466s 12. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW + 27.795s 13. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 31.167s 14. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc + 31.572s 15. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW + 32.907s 16. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc + 1 lap 17. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 1 lap 18. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 1 lap 19. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 1 lap 20. Michela Cerruti Ferraris Dallara-Merc + 1 lap 21. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc + 1 lap Retirements: Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc +6 laps Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc +11 laps Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc +14 laps Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc +34 laps Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +42 laps Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +47 laps Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW +47 laps
2013 FIA European F3 Championship points standings (Rd 4) Pos Driver Points 1. Raffaele Marciello 239.5 2. Felix Rosenqvist 134 3. Lucas Auer 123 4. Alex Lynn 119.5 5. Harry Tincknell 104 6. Tom Blomqvist 86.5 7. Felix Serralles 76 8. Pascal Wehrlein 49 9. Sven Muller 48 10. Josh Hill 44 Pos Team Points 1. Prema Powerteam 371 2. Mucke Motorsport 206 3. Carlin 177 4. Fortec 125 5. EuroInternational 102