Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist dominated the final FIA European Formula 3 qualifying session of the season at Hockenheim today.
The Italian Marciello claimed pole position for races one and three, while Rosenqvist assumes the top spot for race two, having set the quickest “second-fastest lap” in Q1.
The opening session was a touch frantic, although Marciello had set out his stall by the midway point in the twenty-minute session with a lap at 1:34.730; however Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Lynn, Eddie Cheever and Lucas Auer all shadowed Marciello as the top five was covered by less than two-tenths.
Thereafter the times tumbled with van Amersfoort duo Dennis van de Laar and Sven Muller leapfrogging the leading group by half-a-second. That was until the final run, when Marciello and Rosenqvist again showed their worth with laps in the 1:34.1 bracket.
As the circuit rubbered in, Rosenqvist would be the first to break into the 1:33’s, soon followed by Lynn, Auer and Tincknell, before Marciello jumped back to the peak with a 1:33.778 in the dying moments.
Though Marciello was now out of reach, Rosenqvist nabbed 2nd spot, ahead of Tincknell, Lynn and Auer, while the van Amersfoort duo claimed 6th (Muller) and 7th (van de Laar).
Unsurprisingly, Marciello cast a delighted figure after qualifying as he revelled in the confidence offered by his Mercedes-powered machine. “Two pole positions, I could hardly have hoped for more,” beamed the Italian, who will be declared champion if he wins tomorrow’s opener. He continued, “In qualifying, everything was great, my car was good. Even when it rains tomorrow, I have no worries, because in the first Hockenheim weekend in the early stage of the season, I also won in the rain.”
Rosenqvist secured race two pole with a best 2nd lap time of 1:33.937, making the Swede the only driver to reach the 1:33’s twice in a single qualifying session.
“For all of us, it took relatively long before the lap times were fast. I think that this was due to the asphalt, which is very smooth here, so that it takes relatively long for the tyres to reach the right temperature window” – a situation surely not helped by a Hankook tyre with a soft drop off curve.
Rosenqvist then added, “Second place is annoying [for races one and three], but actually, it also is a good position for the races. In first qualifying, pole position would have been within reach, but I was stuck for one lap behind no-one else but Raffaele. That was slightly disappointing.”
Marciello missed out on the leading race two grid placing by 0.081s, with Lynn a mere one-hundredth adrift of Marciello in 3rd. Tincknell and Auer continued their good form as they recorded 4th and 5th respectively.
Antonio Giovinazzi grabbed 6th thanks to a fine display in his Double R machine, pipping Muller, Jordan King, van de Laar and Kevin Korjus.
Marciello made it two-out-of-three in the final qualifying session, setting the quickest time of the whole weekend in the process.
The Prema racer rose to the top of the standings with ten minutes remaining, before tearing up the order on his following lap. His time of 1:33.495 would not be beaten.
Rosenqvist followed suit when he jumped up to 2nd place, first with a lap at 1:33.650, followed by another fast tour that ran a tenth quicker. Tincknell confirmed his good showing with another stellar job to take 3rd, while Auer lines up 4th having run just 0.002s shy of Tincknell. King will start 5th ahead of the returning Nick Cassidy, while Giovinazzi, Felix Serralles, Tom Blomqvist and Eddie Cheever close out the top ten.
Van Amersfoort pairing Muller and van de Laar lost out in Q2, when traffic caught them out; however as Auer noted post-session, the entire field was in a similar situation. Lynn could qualify only 20th, when an visit to a gravel trap damaged the underbody of his Prema machine.
It was a tricky session for the series’ guest drivers, Stefano Coletti and Korjus. Following an accident in practice this morning, Coletti could only manage 24th, 25th and 28th and was also the target of plenty of criticism from his fellow drivers, due to his lack of pace.
Korjus fared better and will line-up 9th, 10th and 21st.
Initial weather forecasts project a sunny Saturday, although the Sunday may be very wet, although the heaviest of the showers may miss the final F3 race.
2013 FIA European Formula 3 Championship (Rd 10, Race 1 grid) Pos Driver Team/Engine Time 1. Raffaele Marciello Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.778 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke-Mercedes 1:33.868 3. Harry Tincknell Carlin-Volkswagen 1:33.928 4. Alex Lynn Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.943 5. Lucas Auer Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.981 6. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.106 7. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.115 8. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R-Mercedes 1:34.124 9. Kevin Korjus T-Sport-Nissan 1:34.213 10. Jordan King Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.260 11. Eddie Cheever Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.274 12. Felix Serralles Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.450 12. Pipo Derani Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.506 14. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.540 15. Nick Cassidy Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.560 16. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational-Mercedes 1:34.592 17. Jann Mardenborough Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.663 18. Nicholas Latifi Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.700 19. Mitch Gilbert Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.708 20. Michael Lewis Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.753 21. Roy Nissany Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.841 22. Lucas Wolf URD-Mercedes 1:34.924 23. Sean Gelael Double R-Mercedes 1:35.141 24. Stefano Coletti ma-con-Mercedes 1:35.224 25. Andre Rudersdorf ma-con-Mercedes 1:35.321 26. Spike Goddard T-Sport-Nissan 1:35.362 27. Sandro Zeller Zeller-Mercedes 1:35.480 28. Tatiana Calderon Double R-Mercedes 1:35.808 2013 FIA European Formula 3 Championship (Rd 10, Race 2 grid) Pos Driver Team/Engine Time 1. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke-Mercedes 1:33.937 2. Raffaele Marciello Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.018 3. Alex Lynn Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.028 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.045 5. Lucas Auer Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.059 6. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R-Mercedes 1:34.176 7. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.228 8. Jordan King Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.372 9. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.380 10. Kevin Korjus T-Sport-Nissan 1:34.390 11. Eddie Cheever Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.399 12. Felix Serralles Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.484 13. Pipo Derani Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.526 14. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational-Mercedes 1:34.653 15. Nick Cassidy Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.673 16. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.748 17. Nicholas Latifi Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.801 18. Mitch Gilbert Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.814 19. Michael Lewis Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.868 20. Jann Mardenborough Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.883 21. Roy Nissany Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.934 22. Sean Gelael Double R-Mercedes 1:35.233 23. Lucas Wolf URD-Mercedes 1:35.430 24. Sandro Zeller Zeller-Mercedes 1:35.558 25. Stefano Coletti ma-con-Mercedes 1:35.679 26. Spike Goddard T-Sport-Nissan 1:35.710 27. Tatiana Calderon Double R-Mercedes 1:35.852 28. Andre Rudersdorf ma-con-Mercedes 1:36.145 2013 FIA European Formula 3 Championship (Rd 10, Race 3 grid) Pos Driver Team/Engine Time 1. Raffaele Marciello Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.495 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke-Mercedes 1:33.563 3. Harry Tincknell Carlin-Volkswagen 1:33.680 4. Lucas Auer Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.682 5. Jordan King Carlin-Volkswagen 1:33.831 6. Nick Cassidy Carlin-Volkswagen 1:33.834 7. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R-Mercedes 1:33.864 8. Felix Serralles Fortec-Mercedes 1:33.896 9. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational-Mercedes 1:33.935 10. Eddie Cheever Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:33.967 11. Nicholas Latifi Carlin-Volkswagen 1:33.968 12. Pipo Derani Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.034 13. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.092 14. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec-Mercedes 1:34.100 15. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort-Volkswagen 1:34.198 16. Michael Lewis Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.310 17. Mitch Gilbert Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.384 18. Jann Mardenborough Carlin-Volkswagen 1:34.399 19. Lucas Wolf URD-Mercedes 1:34.486 20. Alex Lynn Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 1:34.489 21. Kevin Korjus T-Sport-Nissan 1:34.499 22. Andre Rudersdorf ma-con-Mercedes 1:34.512 23. Roy Nissany Mucke-Mercedes 1:34.530 24. Spike Goddard T-Sport-Nissan 1:35.012 25. Sean Gelael Double R-Mercedes 1:35.138 26. Tatiana Calderon Double R-Mercedes 1:35.164 27. Sandro Zeller Zeller-Mercedes 1:35.321 28. Stefano Coletti ma-con-Mercedes 1:35.753