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“FIA F3: Rosenqvist wins Silverstone opener”

April 11, 2015

Rosenqvist wins Race 1 at Silverstone. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Rosenqvist wins Race 1 at Silverstone. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Felix Rosenqvist claimed the opening FIA European F3 win of the season at Silverstone, during a race peppered by safety car interruptions.

The Swede – now in his fifth year at this level – led from the start and despite the constant presence in his mirrors of Carlin rival Antonio Giovinazzi, Rosenqvist could not be pressured into an error.

Starting behind the safety car, due to the changeable weather conditions, gave Rosenqvist the advantage as he drew away from Giovinazzi at the lap three green. “It is difficult when it is like this,” said Rosenqvist. “It was drying every lap and you are trying to prove yourself to the conditions, so you have to be on edge all the time and have to be a bit more brave than you think you have to be.”

The racing would last only a few short moments, George Russell and Charles Leclerc clipped on the approach of Vale, which in turn caused Brandon Maïsano to spin, while just behind Matt Rao and Kang Li had offs.

Such was the spread of cars in the gravel or stuck on still damp kerbs, the safety car was recalled for a further three tours – it was an incident that certainly captured Rosenqvist’s attention. “The place for the safety car line is maybe not the best, because […] there was a crash, so maybe they should have a rethink on that one.”
While there maybe a touch of truth in Rosenqvist’s statement, it would be amiss to mention that almost all who ran off road at that time were effectively Formula 3 rookies.

From the lap six restart, Rosenqvist headed Giovinazzi again and had built a 2.4s lead over the Italian when the race was neutralised after another off, this time for Alessio Lorandi, who had beached his van Amersfoort Volkswagen into the gravel at Woodcote.
Once again Rosenqvist led from Giovinazzi at the restart, but this time the Carlin man stayed closer to the lead, with Rosenqvist not stretching the gap to more than 1.0s.
For the 23-year-old Rosenqvist, everything came together perfectly. “It was quite controlled; I managed to do a great lap with each restart – Antonio was always quick, but was never in the situation where he was close enough. It was about managing the gap and not doing anything stupid.”

Jake Dennis completed the podium in his Racing Steps Foundation-backed Prema Powerteam Mercedes. Dennis enjoyed a brief battle in the early green flag running with Signature’s Alexander Albon, only for Dennis to settle the battle in his favour with a solid pair of post-safety car restarts.

Albon took 4th and was the highest placed rookie. He managed the gap back to Markus Pommer, while Lance Stroll rounded out the top six. Gustavo Menezes made a solid start to assume 7th, although one of the more startling performances came courtesy of Russell, who 18th after his clash with Leclerc.
From there, Russell rose through the order taking 8th at the flag after he passed Maximilian Günther, Callum Ilot, Pietro Fittopaldi, Mikkel Jensen and Nicolas Beer in the final two laps alone.
Günther (9th) and Ilot (10th) rounded out the points scores, while the quick Leclerc could only rise to 12th come the end.

2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone)
Pos. Driver                  Team                  Time / Gap
 1.  Felix Rosenqvist        Prema Powerteam-Merc    +15 laps
 2.  Antonio Giovinazzi      Jagonya Carlin-VW        +0.938s
 3.  Jake Dennis             Prema Powerteam-Merc     +2.681
 4.  Alexander Albon         Signature-VW             +4.767
 5.   Markus Pommer           Motopark-VW             +5.229
 6.  Lance Stroll            Prema Powerteam-Merc     +6.175
 7.  Gustavo Menezes         Jagonya Carlin-VW        +6.934
 8.  George Russell          Carlin-VW                +7.470
 9.  Maximilian Günther      Mücke-Merc               +7.897
10.  Callum Ilot             Carlin-VW                +8.531
11.  Pietro Fittipaldi       Fortec-Merc              +9.886
12.  Charles Leclerc         van Amersfoort-VW       +10.282
13.  Mikkel Jensen           Mücke-Merc              +12.464
14.  Nicolas Beer            EuroInternatonal-Merc   +13.147
15.  Nabil Jeffri            Motopark-VW             +14.060
16.  Fabian Schiller         West-Tec-Merc           +14.915
17.  Sérgio Sette            Motopark-VW             +15.486
18.  Santino Ferrucci        Mücke-Merc              +15.884
19.  Raoul Hyman             West-Tec-Merc           +17.549
20.  Tatiana Calderon        Carlin-VW               +17.939
21.  Dorian Boccolacci       Signature-VW            +18.687
22.  Sam MacLeod             Motopark-VW             +19.510
23.  Hongwei Cao             Fortec-Merc             +20.021
24.  Michele Beretta         Mücke-Merc              +20.304
25.  Matt Solomon            Double R-Merc           +22.949
26.  Mahaveer Raghunathan    Motopark-VW             +28.887
27.  Nicolas Pohler          Double R-Merc           +30.780
28.  Julio Moreno            ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE   +33.168
Retirements:
     Kang Ling               Mücke-Merc              +4 laps
     Zhi Cong Li             West-Tec-Merc           +5 laps
     Alessio Lorandi         van Amersfoort-VW       +7 laps
     Arjun Maini             van Amersfoort-VW       +9 laps
     Ryan Tveter             Jagonya Carlin-VW      +10 laps
     Brandon Maïsano         Prema Powerteam-Merc   +14 laps
     Matthew Rao             West-Tec-Merc          +14 laps
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