Felix RosenqvistFelix went second-fastest in his very first day of Formula 3 Euro Series testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia today. Felix finally got his first chance to work with his new team – Mücke Motorsport – and ended up with a lap time just under half a second adrift of Signature driver Laurens Vanthoor.

Efforts to get up to speed following his move to the highly-rated championship ahead of this season got off to a bad start this morning, as technical problems forced Felix to sit out most of the early running. Four hours into the day, he had still just completed 15 laps, but a busy afternoon ensured Felix still got a decent opportunity to evaluate the new tyres from series partner Kumho. As the circuit began to dry following intense showers throughout the night, several drivers became increasingly eager to push their limits, resulting in quite a few offs in the concluding couple of hours.

There was no such drama for Felix, though, who continued work on the programme set up by the team before travelling to Valencia. With 20 minutes to go, the circuit had dried enough for some exploratory laps on slicks; times tumbled quickly, and Felix eventually wound up an impressive second-fastest behind Formula 3 Euro Series stalwart Vanthoor. The third best time of the day was set by Daniel Juncadella, while Felix’s team-mate Nigel Melker was denied the opportunity of a run on slicks after going off when conditions were at their worst.

Testing continues in Valencia tomorrow, with more rain forecast for the day’s running. With teams eager to increase their understanding of the new-for-2011 Kumho rubber compounds, the prospect of not having any real dry-weather running under their belt before the next test at Barcelona will be slightly worrying.

COMMENT | FELIX
“I think we got off to a decent start with our preparations for the year ahead today. There are many new things I have to learn before the season kicks off in a few weeks, and the disruption this morning certainly wasn’t what I had hoped for. Nevertheless, I think we compensated for that quite well by running much more extensively on a drier circuit in the afternoon.”

“I didn’t feel too comfortable behind the wheel at the beginning of the day – I haven’t driven a metre since I climbed out of the car at the end of the race in Macau in November – but I pretty much fell back into the rhythm in the afternoon. It’s good to see that I have finished my first Formula 3 Euro Series test among the frontrunners, but it has to be said that lap time performance probably isn’t the major concern for anyone right now. Being half a second off Vanthoor, one of the benchmark drivers this year, still is an OK start. I enjoy working with the team and am hoping for some sun tomorrow – although the chances of that look rather slim at the moment!”