The final race of the race weekend for the 29-strong field of the FIA F3 European Championship saw a different winner this time around in the form of Felix Rosenqvist and a good solid result for one particular guest driver, Daniil Kvyat, who secured a welcome third place for Carlin at Hockenheim.
The ninth round at the 4.574km Grand Prix track saw the Swede move out in front from the very beginning, moving ahead of Kvyat who was on pole for the final race at the Baden-Württemberg track in his guest appearance for the British squad this weekend. But on lap 3, there was another major accident, where Spike Goddard again was involved for the second time this weekend, with kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport’s Roy Nissany, ma-con’s Andre Rudersdorf and Double R Racing’s Sean Galeal also coming together, meaning the Safety Car again was deployed for the second race in succession.
Rosenqvist was on point from the moment the Safety Car came in, and had Fortec Motorsports’ Felix Serrallés close behind, but Carlin’s Jordan King was also in the mix, and overtook the Puerto Rican soon after the restart. King’s race went downhill after his attack on the leader, which it dropped him back out of the podium places, losing out to both Serrallés and Kvyat within 2 laps. King then also succumbed to a charging Marciello, who was playing the points game, as he was already carrying a healthy lead that he has calmly extended over the weekend’s proceedings.
The Italian had made steady progress up from 10th on the grid, and made sure his lead was safe going into the next race weekend at Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time. His Prema Powerteam stable mates Alex Lynn and Eddie Cheever placed within the top ten, 6th and 9th respectively. Sven Muller placed 7th, ahead of Tom Blomqvist, with Fortec’s Luis Felipe Derani rounding out the top ten, and Lucas Wolf missing out on the final points place on home soil.
Rosenqvist keeps his second place in the championship, and was happy with the race pace he was able to maintain, even though the Safety Car closed up his lead, but is not being over confident with regards to his title chances: “I had a good start and was able to pull a gap from the drivers behind me right away. After the restart, Félix Serrallés was very closely behind me, but I was able to pull away quickly. I am happy that I have won this race. However, I am not looking at the title. I made that mistake last year and it didn’t bring me anything.”
Serrallés, who again scored another podium finish for Fortec, was happy with his results this weekend, but realized that there was still work ahead for him and the team: “I had a good start and I am happy that I am on the podium here. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the restart after the safety car intervention, which was the reason that I got massive pressure from behind after that. Fortunately, I still managed to bring second place home.”
Kvyat also had trouble with his start from pole position, as he missed out on the win in his best race of the weekend, coming third, but Marciello is classed as P3, with Kvyat not scoring points this weekend. The Russian driver is hopeful that this is not the end of him racing in F3 this season: “After the start, I quickly found to my rhythm and I was able to stay behind Félix for second place. All in all, it was a great debut weekend in Formula 3 for me with a pole position and a podium finish. I really hope that this wasn’t my last outing in Formula 3.”
So Marciello again keeps his advantage, having almost double the points over his nearest rival, as the championship returns to the United Kingdom for the second time in two months, as the Brands Hatch Indy circuit hosts the fourth race meeting of the year, with the likes of Josh Hill, Alex Lynn, Jordan King and Harry Tincknell looking to get some great results on home soil in a fortnight’s time.
Will Marciello’s luck run out next time out? Can Rosenqvist close the gap on the man roaring off into the distance? Time will only tell…