Felix RosenqvistThe final day of pre-season testing for the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series championship campaign once again saw Felix claim top spot on the timesheets, as he underlined a strong start to the year by heading the lists for the third time out of a possible four this winter.

Running didn’t exactly get off to the most intense of starts at Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday morning, as the storms from yesterday survived the night and literally flooded the Barcelona venue just half an hour into testing. The session was red-flagged due to safety concerns, and didn’t get going again until conditions had improved at around 11.00 local time.

Once the action resumed – still on a seriously wet track – Felix immediately shot to the top of the sheets as he continued to adapt his driving style to just the sort of weather in which he hasn’t done much running over previous years.

With his wet-weather programme completed well ahead of time, Mücke Motorsport decided to bring Felix’s morning to an early end with half an hour left until lunch, which meant he would be the only driver – barring Luis Sá Silva – not to take advantage of the by-now rapidly-improving conditions as the circuit continued to dry at the end of the session. Felix duly fell to sixth place as the times tumbled, but took a lot of encouragement from seeing his time hold firm surprisingly well.

The afternoon finally made Spain feel like Spain and not like Sweden, as the sun came out and eventually made the track all but completely dry. Much like in Valencia last weekend, the best times were all set as the teams equipped their cars with new tyres over the final 20 minutes, with Felix leading the field on a 1m40.396s effort when everything was said and done. Raffaele Marciello continued his strong form to end up second, 0.165s behind Felix. Pascal Wehrlein gave Mücke Motorsport an added smile on their faces be going third.

The opening round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season takes place at Hockenheim on April 27-29.

“We have learned so much over these four days of testing, and we have managed to stick to our own programme without any distractions, crashes or incidents in either of the sessions. It’s been very fruitful and the pace seems to underline that, even though I know how tough this championship is and will be under no illusions as we go into Hockenheim.”

I didn’t quite have the same confidence in the car today as I had yesterday and it actually didn’t feel very good, but we are analysing the data as we speak and I think some of it had to do with the winds around here. All-in-all, however, we’ve been very strong in both wet and dry conditions, on new and old tyres and both here and in Valencia, so we do look forward to the season and should be in good shape. We’re up to the challenge and I’m more motivated than ever.”