Day two of the FIA F3 European Championship saw a complete contrast in the weather, as the continuous rain ultimately gave the clerk of the course no other choice but to start Race 2 under Safety Car conditions. The planned 19 laps went ahead, with the field keeping pace for the first four laps behind the Maserati Safety Car, which then peeled off, allowing racing to finally get underway.
Pascal Wehrlein was determined to at least get one race victory in the series during the weekend, before joining Mercedes-Benz for his first test as a DTM driver, and was in the lead for part of the first lap. However, a mistake from the 18-year-old gave rival Raffaelle Marciello from Prema Powerteam the lead, as Wehrlein went off track. But the determined young German gave chase, and put in some pretty impressive fast laps to catch up to his Italian rival. Lap 11 saw last year’s runner-up use the slipstream to his best advantage, and passed the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé for the lead, and the eventual win.
Wehrlein said that it was no easy feat to win the race, as it was his first time driving in the rain: “On the first free lap, I made a mistake because I was pushing too much. But I was able to close up to Raffaele again and overtake him later on. Victory in my final weekend of Formula 3 racing is what I had hoped for.”
Marciello was clearly not worried about the winner of the race, as he would be moving onto the DTM, and was glad to get some valuable points on the board for the season: “Second place is a good result, I am happy with it as it gives many valuable points. When Pascal attacked me just before the end, I didn’t do much to defend my position. Pascal is only racing Formula 3 this weekend and will then graduate into the DTM, so he isn’t a rival in the battle for the title.”
Eurointernational‘s Tom Blomqvist ended up securing the final podium place, having explained that the visibility was literally non-existent, as well as saying the conditions were incredibly slippery: ” My goal was to bring the car home in one piece. Of course, I am very happy with the fact that I finished third.”
The rain was playing havoc throughout the race, as several drivers were found to spin off track, with Felix Rosenqvist, Harry Tincknell, Felix Serralles, Josh Hill, Sven Muller and Dennis van de Laar rounding off the top ten.
The race, however, ended under the Safety Car, as a heavy accident occurred, when Van Amersfoort Racing‘s Mans Grenhagen collided with the back of William Buller‘s car, whilst trying to overtake Carlin’s Jordan King. Grenhagen’s car rolled several times, but the driver emerged unhurt, with the race subsequently being neutralised as a direct result of the incident.