Felix Rosenqvist has closed to within 9.5 points of FIA European F3 Championship leader Raffaele Marciello today, following another win by the Swede.
Rosenqvist led the final race of the weekend from lights-to-flag, although the Mucke racer struggled to escape from the clutches of Jordan King, who took an excellent 2nd place.
Alex Lynn made it three podiums from three this weekend, taking him clear of Lucas Auer for 3rd place in the points standings.
It was a steady start by Rosenqvist, with the Mucke man pulling into a respectable lead from the fast starting King. With everything to lose, Rosenqvist played the race perfectly, as he managed a narrow gap over King for the duration.
Admittedly King rarely appeared to cloud Rosenqvist’s mirrors too much, but the glimmer of his Volkswagen-powered Carlin machine was enough to keep the title challenger on his toes.
Like the other two races of the weekend, the safety car interrupted proceedings, but on this occasion there were massive championship implications when title leader Raffaele Marciello went hard into the barriers at Masters corner,
The Italian had, up until that point, being chasing Daniil Kvyat for 4th place, but ran wide and onto the grass through the long bend, pitching his Prema Powerteam machine hard into the Armco.
It was a disaster for young Italian, who – under the watchful eye of Ferrari Driver Academy boss, Luca Baldisseri – has loss 63 points to his main rival.
The wreckage was cleared shortly afterward, but it left only a single lap to complete – a task that presented Rosenqvist with no real issue. This win – his eighth of the season – puts real pressure on Marciello; however as the next round is at Prema’s home track of Vallelunga, the championship may take another turn.
From 3rd, King made a great start to slip by Kvyat, with the ever-steady Lynn following through into 3rd, while the Russian – a race winner yesterday – fell to 4th ahead of Marciello’s Prema entry.
Marciello’s accident promoted Pipo Derani to 5th, ahead of Harry Tincknell (6th) – a duel that has developed throughout the weekend. After a race long battle, Lucas Auer finally grabbed 7th place from Tom Blomqvist on the final lap, when the EuroInternational driver was ran wide through Tarzan corner.
A close Alexander Sims failed to punish Blomqvist further, with the T-Sport racer maintaining 9th position in front of Mitchell Gilbert (10th, Mucke) and Antonio Giovinazzi (11th, Double R).
With Kvyat not registered to score points, Giovinazzi was allowed to take the final score of the weekend, denying Roy Nissany with a clever move on the final lap.