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Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist came away with fourth as his best result when the FIA Formula 3 European Championship kicked off at Monza this weekend. The 21-year-old Mücke Motorsport driver got the event off to a strong start by going fastest in Friday’s opening free practice session at the classic Italian venue, but lost out on a shot at a similar result in qualifying after failing to get a decent tow – one of the most important strategic tools available at the ultra-fast circuit – along Monza’s famous straights.

The qualifying mishap forced Rosenqvist to line up 11 on the grid for the first race of the meeting, but a rapid start and a series of overtaking moves saw last year’s Macau Grand Prix runner-up quickly rise through the field – only to be punted into retirement by one of his rivals under braking for the first chicane halfway through. The Swede eventually opened up his 2013 points account in a rain-affected Race 2, however, as he came home fourth after a solid drive in appalling conditions. The third and final race of the weekend was brought to a premature stop amid ever-worsening precipitation.

“It’s great to finally have the season underway and I’m happy to have experienced a circuit like Monza for the first time, but unfortunately, we didn’t maximise our potential here this weekend,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The pace was genuinely there to battle for the podium – as demonstrated by the fact that my time in free practice would have been good enough to hand me pole position for Race 1 – but I didn’t manage to find that slipstream in qualifying; and that compromised the rest of the weekend. I know what I want to achieve this year, and from that perspective, I’m obviously not satisfied with where we ended up. It’s still a very long season, however, and there’s no point thinking about what could have been; we’re much better off focussing on what’s ahead. The competition is tougher than ever, but I’m convinced that we’ve got what it takes to fight up front.”

The second round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship takes place at Silverstone in the UK – another historic venue – on April 12-14.

Felix Rosenqvist, Mücke MotorsportFelix Rosenqvist is set to remain on the international Formula 3 stage in 2013. The 21-year-old Swede has signed a deal to compete in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship – which replaces Formula 3 Euro Series as the world’s leading arena of F3 racing ahead of the up-coming campaign – and has extended his contract with Mercedes-Benz and German outfit Mücke Motorsport into a third consecutive year. Rosenqvist finished in second place at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in China in November, and won more races than any other driver during the second half of the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series season.

“It feels great to finally be able to announce my plans for 2013, and to continue my association with the guys at Mücke Motorsport for another year,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It’s been a long winter with several flattering offers to consider, but at the end of the day, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best option for my career. The FIA Formula 3 European Championship will ensure that all the best F3 teams and drivers race side-by-side in a united and strong series, and that is highly compelling to me. The competition will be even tougher than previously, but – on the back of our results at the end of last year – my sole target has got to be to win as many races as possible; and I’m here to fight for the title.”

The FIA Formula 3 European Championship is sanctioned by motorsport governing body the FIA and has been designed to create a more clear-cut structure of F3 racing, uniting all the leadings teams across Europe under one roof to guarantee large and competitive grids at each championship event. Rosenqvist will form part of a four-car line-up at Mücke Motorsport, alongside Israel’s Roy Nissany, Australian Mitchell Gilbert and 2012 team-mate Pascal Wehrlein from Germany.

”We are really looking forward to continue our successful relationship with Felix for a third straight year,” says Mücke Motorsport team principal Peter Mücke. “Felix is exceptionally fast and fits in perfectly with the team on a human level, and he is definitely one of the favourites for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title. We now have an ideal package in place for the new season, and I’m convinced that our four drivers will complement each other and drive the team forwards.”

The 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship features ten rounds in six different countries, with the curtain-raiser set to take place at Monza, Italy, on March 23-24. Pre-season testing will commence at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya on March 8-9.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist brought his 2012 Formula 3 campaign to a strong close by finishing second in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in China. Rosenqvist took the chequered flag just one and a half second behind race winner António Félix da Costa in Sunday’s 15-lap finale, as he became the first Swede to take to the podium at the event – which pitches 30 of the world’s most promising single-seater talents against each other – since Björn Wirdheim finished third in 2001. The Mücke Motorsport man ended the race as the highest-placed driver from the ranks of engine supplier Mercedes, completing a weekend that saw him constantly feature at the top of the timesheets.

“A very good conclusion to the year for us,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We have been as quick as anyone out there this weekend, and a podium at Macau makes the winter break a lot easier; even though I would have loved to win today. António drove a great race, though, and I just couldn’t get close enough to him on the straights to overtake. Still, I am obviously happy with the way the weekend went, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Mücke Motorsport and Mercedes for a great car – this wouldn’t have happened without them.”

Rosenqvist showed his intentions already in the opening free practice session on Thursday, going second fastest, and never falling outside the top five in any of the subsequent outings across the weekend. Having topped the second practice session on Friday, Rosenqvist was then on course for a lap that would likely have put him on pole position for Saturday’s Qualification Race in the afternoon qualifying showdown, only for a last-gasp red flag to force him to abandon his effort. Once the Qualification Race got underway, however, the 21-year-old quickly established himself in second place, a position he then maintained throughout the finale after having briefly led the event off the line.

“Macau is something truly unique, and I’m thrilled to have made the podium in the most classic F3 race of all,” Rosenqvist concludes. “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic second half of the year with four wins in the European championship, and this means a lot to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this level. I am already looking forward to next year, and – regardless of what I end up doing – I am sure it will be something good.”

Felix Rosenqvist adds the Macau Grand Prix podium to his previous victory at the 2011 RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort, the Netherlands.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist brought the 2012 European Formula 3 championship campaign to the best possible close by winning both feature races at this weekend’s season-finale at Hockenheim. The Swede backed up his recent triumphs in the Netherlands and Spain with an emphatic showing in Friday qualifying, where he blitzed the 20-car field to secure pole position for the first as well as the concluding third race of the meeting with the biggest margin of the year (0.378s). Rosenqvist then went on to control both events from start to finish, posting the fastest lap of the opening race as he underlined his performance on a weekend that gave him third place overall in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings.

“The perfect way to end the season, and proof that all the hard work we’ve carried out over the last few rounds has really paid off,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “Following my wins at Zandvoort and Valencia, I really wanted to keep the momentum going throughout this weekend, and I couldn’t have asked for more than a double pole position and two race wins. Big, big thanks to everyone at Mücke Motorsport who made it possible for us to achieve this!”

Rosenqvist – who took the chequered flag in ninth in the shorter, reverse-grid Race 2 – ends up fourth overall in the Formula 3 Euro Series standings (27.5 points behind champion Daniel Juncadella), and third in the FIA European F3 Championship. The Swede’s recent charge has seen him out-score every single one of his rivals over the last three rounds of 2012, during which he has won four out of the six full-length feature races that have been run.

“Unfortunately, we found our feet a bit too late to be able to truly challenge for the title – and, considering the massive amounts of misfortune we’ve had this year, it’s still somewhat of a chock to find myself in third in the FIA European F3 Championship,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I’ve lost out on three potential wins due to penalties and on-track incidents, but some of that was due to my own mistakes and I have to be happy with having enjoyed such a positive end to the campaign. Last, but not least, big congratulations to Daniel Juncadella; he deserves the title.”

Felix Rosenqvist’s final outing of 2012 will take place at the end-of-season Macau Grand Prix in China, the most prestigious and important Formula 3 race on the entire calendar, on November 15-18.

Felix Rosenqvist, Macau Grand Prix 2011Felix Rosenqvist will participate in the world’s most prestigious Formula 3 event, the Macau Grand Prix, for the third consecutive year. Like in the 2011 edition of the famous Chinese street classic, Rosenqvist will represent his regular team Mücke Motorsport, which will also field cars for German Pascal Wehrlein and Australian Mitchell Gilbert. The spectacular race – which takes place in the central parts of the former Portuguese colony outside Hong Kong – is generally regarded as the unofficial Formula 3 world cup, and attracts an ultra-competitive grid featuring 30 young single-seater talents from a full 15 different countries in 2012.

“Macau is the absolute highlight of the year, and the greatest challenge you can face as a driver in Formula 3,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I’m really looking forward to getting back there for a third time; particularly considering the positive autumn we’ve had in Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European F3 Championship. With two race wins from the last two rounds, my confidence is currently on a high, and I obviously hope that we’ll go through the Macau weekend without all the misfortune that hit us last year. We should benefit from having three cars in the team this time out, and I really can’t think of a better way of ending the season than with another go at my favourite track.”

Mücke Motorsport team principal Peter Mücke is also buoyant going into the unique event, as his team prepares for its second outing at Macau.

“We are already looking forward to our second appearance in Macau, and we are happy to go there with Felix as one of our drivers once again,” says Mücke. “He is on a roll in the Formula 3 Euro Series right now, scoring wins and being very fast on track. He can also benefit from his experience of previous visits to Macau, and he put last year’s misfortune behind him a long time ago. Felix is able to win the Macau Grand Prix.”

The Macau Grand Prix takes place on November 15-18. Before then, Felix Rosenqvist is set to conclude the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship campaign at Hockenheim in Germany on October 19-21.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist followed up his victory at last month’s Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship round at Zandvoort with another triumph at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia this weekend. The 20-year-old Swede controlled Sunday’s concluding race from start to finish, and went on to win five and a half seconds ahead of local favourite Daniel Juncadella. On his way to victory, Rosenqvist also found time to establish a new lap record at the Spanish venue, as he shattered the previous benchmark by a whopping 2.3 seconds.

“One of my better races, and I really want to thank Mücke Motorsport for giving me a fantastic car here in Valencia,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “For once, everything came together as we had planned, and once I’d taken the lead from Daniel (Juncadella) into Turn 1, I felt very comfortable behind the wheel. I was able to open up a two-second gap on the first lap, and from there on it was all about not making any mistakes. To post a new lap record, which I did on the final lap of the race, obviously doesn’t hurt either!”

Much like at Zandvoort, Rosenqvist proved to be the only driver truly able to challenge championship leaders Prema Powerteam for pole position in Friday qualifying, eventually ending up second. A good start then saw the Swede grab the lead at the beginning of Race 1 and pull away from his rivals – in a similar development to that in the Sunday event – only for the stewards to hand him a drive-through penalty for having positioned himself incorrectly on the grid ahead of the start. Rosenqvist wound up 13 , and later fought his way back up to eighth in Race 2.

“The first part of the weekend was a nightmare, but that only makes today’s win all the more sweet,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I’m confident that we could have won the first race as well if it hadn’t been for the penalty, but that’s the way it is and we have at least proved to everyone that we were the fastest package on the track this weekend. I’m already looking forward to the season-finale, and I will be going flat out for more by then!”

The concluding round of the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship campaign is set to take place at Hockenheim in Germany – where Felix Rosenqvist won one of the races last year – on October 19-21.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist finally managed to break free from his 2012 jinx when he won the opening race of the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship weekend at Zandvoort in the Netherlands. Rosenqvist used a strong start to grab the lead from second place on the grid, and went on to control the race – which took place at the same venue where he won the prestigious RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 last year – on his way to his first win of the season. To underline his pace further still, the Swede also posted the fastest lap of the event and leaves Zandvoort with a much-improved position in the championship standings.

“Finally, we got the chance to show what we’re really capable of when we manage to steer clear of problems and incidents, and it feels great to have achieved this together with Mücke Motorsport” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We have been working hard for this, and after all the setbacks we’ve encountered off late, this was exactly what everyone in the team needed. I made a good start, and from there on it was just about not making any mistakes. We have been among the very fastest here this weekend, and Zandvoort continues to be kind to me!”

Rosenqvist showed his intentions already in Friday qualifying, as he proved to be the only driver able to challenge championship leaders Prema Powerteam for pole position. After missing out on top slot by less than a tenth of a second, the 20-year-old then managed to beat the full armada of cars from the Italian outfit in the first race, before going on to complete the weekend with sixth place in a shortened Race 2 and fourth in the concluding Race 3.

“I had to start from eighth in Race 2 due to the reverse-grid regulations, so sixth was actually an OK result – even though you always aim for more,” Rosenqvist concludes. “The final race was highly eventful and very fun to take part in, but unfortunately I started on wet-weather tyres which turned out to be the wrong choice. I took the lead in the opening stages but fell back when I had to pit for slicks, and considering all the chaos that took place, fourth was an acceptable outcome. Overall, of course, this was the best weekend so far this year!”

The next round of the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship season takes place in Valencia, Spain, on September 28-30.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist returned to the podium at this weekend’s Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship round at the Nürburgring, when he went from fifth on the grid to third by the chequered flag in the second race of the meeting at the German venue. The Swede featured in the battle for the top positions all through the event, and got his cause off to a promising start with second place in Friday qualifying. Rosenqvist then used a strong getaway to immediately challenge for the lead in the opening race of the weekend, but eventually had to settle for fourth after losing momentum around the first corner and getting stuck behind team-mate Pascal Wehrlein. The Race 2 podium was Rosenqvist’s sixth so far during the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series season.

“It’s good to be back on the Formula 3 Euro Series podium, but at the same time, we really had the potential to achieve much more here at the Nürburgring – we had pace enough to win races,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I came close to taking the lead from Daniel Juncadella in the first race, but the move didn’t quite stick and instead I found myself ending up fourth. Race 2 was actually one of my better drives to date, and we have definitely taken a step forward with the car this weekend.”

The major talking point of the event, however, was an incident that took place at the start of the final race on Sunday morning, where Rosenqvist was forced off the track in another – and controversial – dice for the lead with Juncadella. Rosenqvist was thrown into retirement when his Mücke Motorsport car hit the barriers at high speed, while Juncadella had to accept a drive-through penalty for having caused the collision.

“In my opinion, what happened at the start of Race 3 was very, very dangerous,” Rosenqvist concludes. “Daniel is normally a good guy and a friend of mine, but this time I don’t really know what he was thinking. I was left with nowhere to go as he pushed me onto the grass, and there was nothing I could do to avoid a crash. This is just not meant to be my season, but the best thing we can do is to move on from this and try to grow with every setback weencounter. It’s not easy at the moment, but I’ve got a great team behind me and I really appreciate all the support I get from friends, fans and supporters. We will be back!”

Felix Rosenqvist will return to action as early as next weekend, when the F3 fraternity heads to Zandvoort.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist came away with fourth as his best result when the FIA European Formula 3 Championship took to the legendary grounds of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Rosenqvist faced competition from 28 other drivers from both the European and British F3 series, and got off to a solid start with fifth place overall on his first acquaintance with the challenging Belgian venue behind the wheel of an F3 car in the opening free practice session.

The Swede, however, was later held back by yellow flags on no less than three out of his four flying laps in qualifying, but still managed to haul himself back up to fourth among the European Championship drivers in the first race of the weekend – aided by a strong conclusion to the event which saw him constantly lap among the fastest on track.

“This was always going to be a challenging weekend for all of the European Championship regulars as we had to adapt to the tyres and rules used in the British series, but Spa is just an amazing circuit and I thoroughly enjoyed driving here,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I was unlucky in qualifying with all the yellow flags effectively destroying my session, which made things a bit more complicated for Race 1. I eventually managed to make up some of the lost ground to finish fourth, and it was particularly pleasing to see that we took care of the tyres very well towards the end. We were not fast enough to challenge for victory here, though, so we still have a lot of work to do.”

The second race of the weekend was cancelled completely when the infamous Spa micro-climate transformed the circuit into a lake within a matter of second shortly before the start. Rosenqvist was set to start the race from the front row, but the cancellation meant he never got the opportunity to convert his grid slot into a potentially strong result. In the final race of the meeting, the Mücke Motorsport man then retired after colliding with championship leader Raffaele Marciello in the poor visibility brought about by another shower of rain.

“I want to apologise to Raffaele for the clash in the final race; I couldn’t see anything in the spray as we headed into the Bus Stop chicane, and once I realised he was there, it was too late to react,” Rosenqvist concludes. “It obviously wasn’t intentional, and it marked the end of the race for me. This was a weekend of what-could-have-been had we managed to steer clear of the misfortune which seems to haunt us this year – but we’ll bounce back…”

Felix Rosenqvist’s next race outing will take place at the Nürburgring in Germany on August 17-19.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist secured the first pole position of his Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship career at the Red Bull Ring this weekend – but an almost unreal array of misfortune still saw the 20-year-old leave the Austrian venue with just five points to his name. Rosenqvist became the first Swede in the history of the two championships to grab pole position as he topped the timesheets in Friday qualifying, only to see two separate penalties – one of which forced him to surrender his on-the-road lead in the final race of the weekend – deny him of anything like the sort of result his pace had indicated that he was capable of.

“A very, very tough weekend – and that’s putting it nicely,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It all began very well when I topped the times in free practice, and then we underlined our pace by going fastest again in qualifying. The events that took place in the races, however, were unbelievable. It was particularly tough to get penalised when I was leading the final race and felt really comfortable in the car, but unfortunately that’s motor racing. We were quick enough to win this weekend, but sometimes that’s not enough and I’m obviously disappointed.”

Having been handed a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellow flags, Rosenqvist ended up in ninth place in the first race of the weekend – where he had featured in a fight for the podium. Race 2 then saw the Swede retire following a collision with rival Lucas Wolf, but Race 3 got off to a promising start as Felix consolidated his lead from pole position. Rosenqvist and eventual race winner Daniel Juncadella immediately opened up a gap to the rest of the field, but another penalty – this time for having jumped the start – effectively turned a potential victory into sand.

“I can’t blame anyone for the false start in Race 3; I simply wanted too much,” Rosenqvist concludes. “It’s always tough to surrender a possible victory when everything looks so good, and I had even saved four new tyres for that race. We will now move on from this and look forward to the next race – at least it can’t be any worse there!”

Mücke Motorsport and Felix Rosenqvist will travel straight from Austria to EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany for two days of testing next week, before racing resumes at the Norisring street circuit on June 29-July 1.