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Category: Formula 3 Euro Series

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist endured a challenging time when Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European Formula 3 Championship visited the legendary grounds of Brands Hatch this weekend. Although getting the event off to a strong start with second place in Friday free practice, a less-than-perfect qualifying outing – where Rosenqvist had his fastest lap cancelled after posting it just seconds after the session was red-flagged – meant that the Swede faced an uphill struggle for the rest of the weekend. Rosenqvist’s best result eventually came in Race 2, where he wound up fifth after having been pushed off the track as he challenged for the lead on the opening lap.

“There is no reason to call this anything else than what it was; a bad weekend for us,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “Much like at Pau last weekend, we didn’t at all make the most out of qualifying, and again that cost us the opportunity of challenging for podiums. Having said that, though – and while I do believe our pace was better than the results showed – I still think we lacked a bit of performance compared to Prema Powerteam here. Everyone in our team agrees that we have a lot of work to do, but if we can just get through an entire weekend without any problems then I think we will be able to do a much better job. ”

Despite the qualifying mishap and a seventh place in Race 1, things suddenly looked a bit brighter ahead of the start of the second race of the weekend as Rosenqvist set off from the front row of the grid. After a good start saw the 20-year-old attack Jazeman Jaafar (Malaysia) for the lead going through the first few corners, however, Rosenqvist was pushed wide onto the gravel run-off area, losing three positions in the process and eventually ending up fifth. A clutch failure then forced the 2011 Masters of Formula 3 winner to retire from the concluding Race 3.

“This simply wasn’t our weekend, and almost everything that could have gone wrong did so,” Rosenqvist concludes. “It’s in situations like this, however, that you really grow – and I learned so much this weekend. I have already put Brands Hatch behind me, and we are now fully focussed on the up-coming events on the calendar.”

Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European Formula 3 Championship now move on to Austria and the Red Bull Ring, where the next round of the season takes place on June 1-3.

Felix Rosenqvist, PauFelix Rosenqvist ended up fourth and sixth respectively in this weekend’s two Formula 3 races at the Grand Prix de Pau, with the French street classic gathering all of Europe’s F3 elite as the European and British championships combined to make up a competitive 24-car field. Rosenqvist was held back by a challenging and troubled qualifying session on Saturday morning, but proved that the pace was there for more with assertive drives in both races to reduce the gap to the top of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings.

“Our victory chances more or less disappeared in qualifying, and we had pace for more this weekend,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The car felt good here – better than at Hockenheim two weeks ago – but we never really got the opportunity to prove what we were really capable of. I didn’t plan my qualifying outing brilliantly, and when the tyres were at their best I ran into traffic and yellow flags. Luckily, we managed to limit the damage thanks to two good races, but I’m obviously not entirely satisfied with how things went this weekend.”

Making his first-ever appearance at the Grand Prix de Pau, Rosenqvist spent the opening two practice sessions acquainting himself with the demanding street circuit, before a good start in Race 1 enabled the Swede to take the chequered flag in fourth place overall – and second among the FIA European Formula 3 Championship drivers. Race 2 then saw the Mücke Motorsport man produce “the best start of his career” to gain a full four places on the run down to Turn 1.

“I’ve done a few really good starts lately, but the one I did in Race 2 was definitely the best I’ve ever done,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I posted the third quickest lap time of the race and managed to stay with the group ahead of me relatively easy, and I think overall we have to be happy with the outcome considering where we were after qualifying. I’m already looking ahead to the next race, though, and hopefully we’ll finally manage to get every part of the package together by then.”

The next round of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship takes place at Brands Hatch, Great Britain, already next weekend, at an event which will also mark the return of Formula 3 Euro Series to the limelight.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist kick-started his 2012 European F3 campaign by taking to the podium in all three races of the opening weekend at Hockenheim. Rosenqvist finished in third place behind Spanish duo Daniel Juncadella and Carlos Sainz Jr. in both the first and third race of the meeting, and added another third-place finish to his tally as he rose from sixth on a partially reversed grid in Race 2. The results mean that the Swede leaves Hockenheim in third place in both the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings.

“Three podiums from three races is obviously a very good result and a decent start to the season, but we didn’t have the pace to challenge Carlos and Daniel this weekend and will have to work out why that was,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I made three good starts and took the lead initially in the first race, but then we lacked a bit of performance in our set-up and third was the maximum we could achieve here – and we did.”

Rosenqvist qualified in second place on the grid for the first race of the weekend, behind Sainz Jr. and just 0.004 seconds ahead of Juncadella. Having grabbed the lead after overtaking Sainz Jr. with a bold move on the opening lap of the 40-minute event, the Mücke Motorsport driver was later unable to defend his position as the Spanish duo used a top speed advantage to move ahead of the 20-year-old at the end of the back straight. A further two third-place finishes later, however, Rosenqvist could take comfort from the fact that he had become the only driver to take to the podium in every race throughout the weekend.

“We’re aware that we have quite a lot of work ahead of us before we’re as competitive as we want to be, but it could definitely have been worse and I scored a lot of valuable points this weekend,” Rosenqvist concludes. “The car has got good potential, but at the moment we just have to unlock all the performance in an effective way while I might also have to adapt my driving a bit. The team is already hard at work trying to find out where we need to improve, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car for the next race in two weeks’ time!”

Rosenqvist’s next race will take place on the French streets of Pau on May 11-13, an event that will count exclusively to the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Formula 3 Euro Series will then be back in the limelight, together with the European Championship, at Brands Hatch the following weekend.
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Daniel JuncadellaPrema Powerteam was back to their usual winning habits at the Hockenheim Ring. In the first round of the 2012 European F.3 Championship, the team scored three wins to round out an extremely positive weekend. The Italian squad, fielding four Mercedes-powered Dallara cars, was brought to win twice by Daniel Juncadella and one time by Raffaele Marciello, while Michael Lewis and Sven Muller also proved pretty impressive. After having started race 1 in third place (the grid was set by the second best laptimes of qualifying), Juncadella quickly overtook Carlos Sainz and Felix Rosenqvist before setting up a pace that proved unreachable for everybody else.

The Catalan-based racer than had to retire following to a contact with William Buller in race 2, before providing a sensational drive in the main race. After having started in 2nd place thanks to his top qualifying laptime, he went into the lead at the first corner and pulled away from Sainz, dominating the whole 25-lap run. Thanks to his two wins, Juncadella is leading the championship with 50 points, 9 more than second-placed Sainz.

The sprint race was won by Marciello, who took-off from 3rd thanks to his race 1 position, that also being sensational as he recovered from the back of the pack due to a problem during the formation lap. The young Ferrari Driver Academy racer quickly moved on Lucas Wolf and Tom Blomqvist and performed flawlessly from start to finish. Unfortunately, in Race 3 he was penalized with a pass through for not having respected the track limits and finished well down the order.

Muller, who was at his F.3 debut after stepping up from the F.Adac Masters, brought home 5th and 6th place in race 2 and race 3, and just a penalty for a yellow-flag pass prevented him from scoring valuable points in the first. Michael Lewis had a pretty tough weekend. After ending up race 1 in 9th due to a spin, he ended up in 10th in race 2 and retired following to an off-track exit in race 3.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We certainly did not expect such a fantastic start. Collecting three wins out of the first three races is a major accomplishment for us considered how much the series’ level has improved compared to last year. I thank Mercedes Benz and HWA staffs for the great support that we receive. Juncadella drove some great races and showed why he will be our key driver for the season. Marciello also gave us a sensational result with a win in race 2 and also with his recovery from last to 6th in race 1. Muller and Lewis were off to good starts and, despite only our German driver made it to points, Michael is very strong and there’ll be time for him to recover”.

Photo by ts-photo / Thomas Suer.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist is set to expand his Formula 3 commitments for 2012, with the 20-year-old Swede joining the revived FIA European Formula 3 Championship in addition to his Formula 3 Euro Series assault. The European Formula 3 Championship originally took place between 1975-1984, and has been reintroduced to the sport ahead of the new campaign as a means by international motor racing governing body, the FIA, to further strengthen the category. The European Championship will run over ten weekends, eight of which will take place in conjunction with Formula 3 Euro Series events and the other two being contested within the framework of the British F3 Series. The winner of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship will be rewarded with a test in Formula 1.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to double up this year and get the chance of racing in an official European Championship,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “From a practical point of view, this doesn’t change too much in my 2012 programme, and the vast majority of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship races will be run together with Formula 3 Euro Series. The FIA has come up with a concept that enables the teams and drivers to dovetail their campaigns, and this will undoubtedly stimulate very tough competition. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Despite its races being synchronised with Formula 3 Euro Series and British F3 events, the FIA European Formula 3 Championship will hold status as a separate series with its own, standalone points’ structure. Unlike in Formula 3 Euro Series – where each round consists of three points-paying races – only one or two selected races at each of the meetings will count towards the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Forming the backbone of the European Championship, Formula 3 Euro Series in itself has also attracted an increasing number of drivers ahead of the new season, which kicks off at Hockenheim next weekend. The official entry list will be made available at once it is published by the FIA.

The 2012 FIA European Formula 3 champion receives a Formula 1 test session with Ferrari, and the most successful drivers will also be invited to try out both DTM and Formula 2 machinery.

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.”

Raffaele MarcielloPrema Powerteam is glad to announce that Raffaele Marciello will be behind the wheel of the team’s fourth entry in the 2012 F.3 Euro Series. Born in 1994 and part of the Ferrari Driving Academy, he successfully entered the 2011 F.3 Italia championship. After cruising to 3rd place overall and grabbing two wins and a pole position, he’s now ready to step up to the European stage. The Italian will be driving a Mercedes-powered Dallara to partner Daniel Juncadella, Michael Lewis and Sven Muller in the Euro Series and in the extra-championship rounds at Pau. Prema Powerteam is particularly proud of having Marciello for 2012 and to bring an Italian racer back to the Euro Series.

Angelo ROSIN – Team Principal
“The improvements shown by Marciello are under everybody’s eyes. He rapidly cruised to the top of every developmental series he lined-up in. He moved from Formula Abarth to F.3 Italia without any problem and he deserved to be promoted to the F.3 Euro Series. I think that his great speed skills will enable him to take on his main rivals since the very beginning and follow in a positive international run”.

“I’m really happy of driving for Prema Powerteam in the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series – told Raffaele – the upcoming season will be key in my career as I’ll be racing in an International, highly competitive series where I’ll give my best to reward the confidence that has been put in me. I want to thank Ferrari Driver Academy and Prema for having offered me this opportunity.”

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist scored the eighth podium of his maiden Formula 3 Euro Series season when he finished second in the opening race of the weekend at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The Swede posted the second-fastest time overall in Friday free practice after having topped the first part of the session, and then overcame oversteering issues in qualifying to line up in third place on the grid for Race 1. A good start saw the 19-year-old out-accelerate home favourite Roberto Merhi – who later went on to claim the championship title in the final race of the weekend – into the first corner, and Rosenqvist then held on to second for the duration of the race and eventually shadowed Mücke Motorsport team-mate Nigel Melker by just 0.7 seconds at the chequered flag.

“An OK weekend for us, where we’ve been quick enough to challenge for wins and podiums,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I felt I was slightly faster than Nigel in Race 1, but it’s almost impossible to overtake here at Valencia and I also had to watch out for Roberto behind me for much of the race. It was great to give the team another 1-2, but after six second places this season I would obviously have preferred to win. I would also like to congratulate Roberto on winning the title – he has done the best job this season, and he is a very worthy champion.”

In Race 2, where the positions on the grid are based on the results of Race 1 but with the top eight reversed, Rosenqvist and Merhi treated the on-site fans to one of the most spectacular battles of the year with a wheel-to-wheel dice at over 220 km/h. After disputing fifth place side-by-side for more than half a lap, Merhi eventually managed to take the position and Felix crossed the line in sixth. Race 3 saw Rosenqvist again challenge for the podium as he finished in fourth place – just 1.5 seconds adrift of second-placed Daniel Juncadella.

“For me, the Race 2 fight with Roberto was the highlight of this weekend – extremely tough racing, but still with a lot of respect for each other and completely fair,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I have rarely found myself in real man-to-man situations in my career, so this was a very valuable experience. Race 3 was rather processional due to the difficulties of overtaking at this circuit, but all in all it’s been a good weekend. We have every chance of fighting for victory again at Hockenheim, and I am definitely ready to go for it!”

Following this weekend’s results, Felix Rosenqvist climbs to fifth overall in the championship standings. The Formula 3 Euro Series season finale takes place on October 21-23.

Felix Rosenqvist, SilverstoneThis weekend’s Formula 3 Euro Series round at Silverstone proved to be a case of mixed emotions for Felix Rosenqvist. The 19-year-old arrived at the British Grand Prix venue as one of the pre-event favourites following his Masters of Formula 3 victory at Zandvoort four weeks ago, and immediately showed his intentions by topping the timesheets in Friday free practice. After taking third in qualifying – where he was beaten only by the two leading cars of Italian squad Prema Powerteam – Rosenqvist found himself in a strong position for the rest of the weekend, but a range of technical problems and early-race incidents saw the Mücke Motorsport driver repeatedly having to fight his way back up through the field and eventually leave Silverstone with fourth place as his best race result.

“We were among the quickest this weekend, but sometimes that’s just not enough in motor racing – things have to run smoothly,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We didn’t have the most straightforward of times here, and an example of that is an issue we had at the start of the first race when the hand brake system we use failed. I quickly adopted an alternative start technique, but I still lost three places off the line. I managed to overtake my team-mate and Daniel Abt to come home fourth, and in the second race I got pushed wide by Laurens Vanthoor on the opening lap and had to fight my way up to seventh having re-joined last. I have learned a lot about racing in traffic this weekend, and it has definitely helped improve my race craft.”

As if Rosenqvist hadn’t already endured his fair share of incidents, a first-lap collision with Daniel Juncadella forced him to retire from the third and concluding race of the weekend on Sunday.

“I made a great start in the third race and was extremely close to Daniel at the first braking zone, but then, unfortunately, we clashed going into Turn 4,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I have spoken to Daniel and we agreed that it was a “race incident” – and I accept that I was partly to blame for what happened. I have already set my sights on the next race in Valencia, where we will hopefully be able to turn our pace into better results. The team has done a great job with the car, and we are in a good position to remain competitive in the final part of the championship.”

The eighth and penultimate round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season sees the championship travel to Spain and Valencia on September 30 – October 2.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist battled his way to a double podium result when the Formula 3 Euro Series season resumed at the Nürburgring this weekend. The Mücke Motorsport driver finished third and second respectively in the two races run on Saturday, before challenging for a further place on the rostrum in Sunday’s Race 3. Rosenqvist overtook team-mate Nigel Melker for third place after having chased the Dutchman hard for the majority of the race, only to drop back to fifth following a mistake in the Mercedes Arena on the subsequent lap. The 19-year-old, however, managed to power his way back up into fourth after having emerged victorious from a spectacular wheel-to-wheel dice with Laurens Vanthoor.

“A good weekend for us, and it’s nice to return to the podium following our misfortune in the last two rounds of the championship” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I was two hundredths of a second adrift of the front row for both the first and third race in qualifying, and it was extremely close between the top four. It would’ve been great to make the podium in Race 3 as well; the pace was definitely there for it, but unfortunately, I made a rather stupid mistake shortly after I got past Nigel for third. Everyone within Mücke Motorsport has been working hard for this, and even though we weren’t able to stay with the Prema Powerteam cars this weekend, we should still be happy with our results.”

Felix Rosenqvist will return to the cockpit of his Mücke Motorsport Dallara already next weekend, when the Swede takes part in one of the highlights of the F3 season – the RTL GP Masters of F3. The race is considered one of the two most prestigious Formula 3 events on the calendar next to the Macau Grand Prix in November, and traditionally takes place at Zandvoort – where Rosenqvist claimed three podiums from three races during the Formula 3 Euro Series round at the venue back in May.

“I am really looking forward to getting back to Zandvoort next weekend,” Rosenqvist continues. “I felt really comfortable there last time out – despite it being my first visit at the track – and the car was competitive. All the best F3 drivers in the world will be participating, but I think we have every chance to challenge at the front.”

The RTL GP Masters of F3 weekend will commence with practice and qualifying on Saturday, with the all-important race taking centre stage on Sunday afternoon.