Felix RosenqvistFelix ended the second and final official Formula 3 Euro Series pre-season test in third place on the timesheets after a fierce dispute with Roberto Merhi and Nigel Melker over top spot during the afternoon session at Circuit de Catalunya today.

The trio – who are all racing with Mercedes engine power this season – all took turns at the top of the list in an intense chase for fractions during the final hour of the day, with Felix eventually winding up third – just 0.197s shy of Merhi, who once again stamped his authority on proceedings by going fastest. Some methodical work in the beginning of the day ensured Mücke Motorsport was able to adapt Felix’s car according to his overnight feedback, a fact which partly eradicated the problems on new tyres that had marred pre-season running up to date. Team-mate Melker also continued his convincing testing form, going second-fastest in the afternoon on a circuit which gave the Dutchman the first-ever GP3 Pole Position last year. Earlier in the day, Melker had posted the outright fastest lap of the test in more favourable conditions this morning.

Felix was ninth in the morning session as work carried out to find a better set-up required most of his attention.

Several teams used the opportunity of the final real test before the season-opener to conduct race simulation work. With three races at each championship meeting – and two of them spanning approximately 40 minutes – consistency and tyre management are set to become major factors in 2011. A number of small but time-consuming technical gremlins – including a re-build of the Dallara chassis in order to dial out an imbalance – meant Felix’s programme was slightly interrupted, but he still managed to complete at least a couple of long runs on old tyres.

Before the season kicks off for real at the former F1 circuit of Paul Ricard in France on April 1-3, Felix will get back behind the wheel of his Formula 3 Euro Series machine one more time as Mücke Motorsport travels to EuroSpeedway Lausitz (Germany) for a final, unofficial test later this week.

“A mixed day. We worked systematically to try and improve a number of things which we weren’t happy with this morning, and then I was stood in the pits for about an hour as we set about re-building the car after lunch. When I got back out on the circuit, though, the balance felt much better and I think we have taken a big step forward here in Barcelona. It’s still as hard as ever to try and predict how strong we will be this year – these times won’t count for much when we get to Paul Ricard – but I have a positive feeling and, more importantly, I think I’ve found a good way of working with the team.”