Felix Rosenqvist took the second FIA European Formula 3 race of the weekend at Zandvoort this evening.
Like the opening event of the day, the race was twice interrupted by the safety car; however unlike this morning’s contest Rosenqvist could not pull too far away from the chasing Alex Lynn.
Following the final restart, Rosenqvist quickly built a 1.8s lead over Lynn, only to fall back to toward the Englishman in the final tours, as his already used rears aged further. Across the chequered flag, Rosenqvist held just 0.7s over his Prema Powerteam rival.
It could have been much easier for Rosenqvist. A fantastic opening half lap gave the Mucke racer a significant lead, only for that to be wiped out when an overambitious Antonio Giovinazzi attempted to overtake Eddie Cheever III by driving over the top of him while exiting Tarzan.
With the wounded cars stuck trackside, the race was neutralised while the broken machines were removed.
Of course, it was not a completely perfect performance by Rosenqvist, as underlined by a mistake as the first safety car pulled in. Exiting the Audi S corner, Rosenqvist put just a touch too much throttle in, half-losing his rear-end over the kerbs as a result.
The sudden plume of dust and the desperately spinning wheels gave Lynn the briefest of opportunities, but the Fortec racer was too close to Rosenqvist to take advantage – a slight lift to avoid the Mucke entry killed Lynn’s momentum and saved Rosenqvist’s lead.
It would be three laps before the safety car returned, this time to allow marshals to clear the stricken Lucas Wolf, but thereafter Rosenqvist was clear – his escape from Lynn more confident – his lead confirmed – yet in the action, grip fell by the wayside, allowing Lynn – on fresher Hankook’s – to close in.
For Lynn, it was another successful run to the podium – his tenth of the season – and it gives the Prema racer an enviable advantage over his rival for 3rd in the championship, Lucas Auer.
Daniil Kvyat completed the podium following a solid drive. From the front row, the Russian – like Rosenqvist, also on old tyres – dropped behind Lynn into Tarzan, but maintained that position for the duration.
In his mirrors, Jordan King threatened politely, but was never in a serious enough position to push Kvyat over the edge, allowing the Russian to score his sixth podium of the season.
King’s 4th place finish means he has jumped Tom Blomqvist in the points. The new British F3 champion led a Pipo Derani / Harry Tincknell battle for the duration, with the fighting pair doing more to take time off of each other, rather than claw into King’s advantage.
And it was feisty. Derani clouted the rear of Tincknell in race one, but on this occasion, the Brazilian led and even expertly shoved Tincknell’s turn one challenge aside in the early tours.
Sven Muller and Blomqvist spent the event tussling over 7th and 8th places, with Muller winning out thanks to a move after the first safety car. Thereafter, Blomqvist kept close, but not enough to overly worry Muller and his van Amersfoort entry.
There were more points for Mitchell Gilbert who took 9th, just 0.4s ahead of Alexander Sims. Gilbert initially dealt with an attack from Michel Lewis; however an off by the American on lap ten dropped him to 13th and out of contention.
With Kvyat guest listing meaning he doesn’t score points, Nicholas Latifi took a solid 11th thanks to a twelfth lap pass on Auer, when the Austrian was displaced by an aggressive Sims.
Latifi’s position was helped by Lewis’ off and a clumsy crash by Felix Serralles (lap 9).
Latifi’s rookie teammate Jann Mardenborough endured a difficult race. Starting 11th, the Nissan GT Academy winner fell behind Sims after the first restart, with Latifi passing after the next stoppage.
Mardenborough was ragged thereafter and suffered two offs, the second of which took him out of the race on the final lap.
One of the biggest stories of the race concerned championship leader Raffaele Marciello. From 7th on the grid, the Prema partially stalled, dropping to 19th, but could only recover to 15th place by the end of the race.
Interestingly, Marciello’s pace appeared fragile when in the pack as he attempted to work his way around Alfonso Celis; however once passed the F3 rookie, Marciello could nothing about Roy Nissany and Dennis van de Laar. Marciello would benefit a few positions from the retirement of others, but the Italian’s race was a relatively quiet event.
It means his lead over Rosenqvist has now been chopped to 34.5 points, with Rosenqvist starting on pole tomorrow; four spots ahead of the Swiss-Italian racer.
Suddenly, the European championship has life once again.
2013 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 8, Race 2; 18 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Mercedes 30m52.010s 2. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Mercedes +0.723s 3. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +5.708s 4. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +6.236s 5. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +7.046s 6. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.223s 7. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort Dallara-Volkswagen +8.247s 8. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-Mercedes +9.782s 9. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +10.609s 10. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +11.090s 11. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +11.738s 12. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Mercedes +13.718s 13. Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +17.363s 14. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +18.782s 15. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-Volkswagen +19.469s 16. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Mercedes +20.658s 17. Alfonso Celis Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +23.295s 18. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +24.055s 19. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Mercedes +36.343s 20. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Mercedes +36.378s 21. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-Volkswagen +36.745s 22. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Mercedes +37.299s 23. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen + 1 lap 24. Lucas Wolf Dallara-Mercedes + 1 lap Retirements: Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +9 laps Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Mercedes +18 laps Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Mercedes +18 laps