The final race of the FIA F3 European Championship at Silverstone ended a weekend of action that has been prevalent in this iconic championship over its illustrious history, as Prema Powerteam‘s Raffele Marciello battled hard with kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist in the last half of the race to secure another victory, and with it, extended his points lead going into the next race weekend in three weeks at Hockenheim, as the series will now support the DTM for the better part of its duration.
British driver Alex Lynn was on Pole Postion, but as the drivers made their way around the 5.891km Northamptonshire circuit, the track was still damp off the racing line when the formation lap was underway. Lynn lost out to the Swede into Abbey, as the field were justling for position, with URD Rennsport‘s Lucas Wolf and Eddie Cheever being just a mere handful of drivers deciding to chance wet tyres on a drying track. Wolf’s race was clearly full of promise at early doors, but the German’s race spiralled out of control as the action continued. Cheever and Michael Lewis were out early on, with both drivers arguing at the side of the track over who was at fault.
The Safety Car made its second appearance of the weekend after ma-con‘s Sven Muller spun out, and beached his Dallara on the grass whilst trying to get back on track. Racing got back underway on lap 5, with Rosenqvist not making the same mistake twice, and bolted away, regaining the 2 second advantage he had before the Safety Car was deployed. Marciello overtook Lynn shortly after and started to close the gap of his Swedish rival lap by lap.
The Italian finally made his way past Rosenqvist on lap 15 after numerous attempts at getting by, with the kfzteile Mucke Motorsport driver seeming to suffer with his rear tyres from around half way through the race, as his car was sliding into corners and running wide. Lynn was on his own for the rest of the race picking up another podium finish for the weekend on home soil, with Fortec Motorsport‘s Felix Serralles stormed his way through the field from 19th on the grid to 4th place. The
Threebond with T-Sport’s William Buller was embroiled in a 4 car battle toward the end of the race for 5th place, with F3 rookie Carlin driver Jordan King, Lucas Auer and Jann Mardenborough rounded out the top 8 after an intense fight, with Auer getting the better of the GT Academy winner on the last lap. Harry Tincknell could not produce any form to replicate any chance of a top 5 finish, especially with his victory in the first race of the weekend, with his Canadian teammate Nicholas Latifi finishing in the final points scoring place. Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi made his way up to 11th, and TCF resident blogger Tatiana Calderon having a spin on the National Straight heading to Copse, rounding off just how difficult her weekend has been here.
Other retirements during the race included Roy Nissany, who lost his rear wing, and was instructed to pit by race officials, Josh Hill, Pipo Derani, Mitchell Gilbert, Dennis van der Laar, Sandro Zeller and Spike Goddard.
Marciello now leads by 36.5 points over Rosenqvist, as Tincknell now finds himself in third place in the overall standings with a lack of results at the front of the field in both Races 2 and 3, with the series back off to Germany, before returning to Brands Hatch just two weeks later.
The current points leader has had a steep learning curve, but with the experience he gained this weekend in damp and wet conditions at his first visit was impressive, as it was a tough task to pass Rosenqvist: “The battle for victory was tough and overtaking him wasn’t easy. Only when he made a mistake, I was able to get past.”
Rosenqvist was asked about not making the same mistake on the Safety Car restart, and said that he had learnt from the error is race two, but was trying his hardest to secure the double but it was not the case: “Raffaele put me under massive pressure and I tried to do everything to bring first place home. I had the impression that I was faster at a damp track, but the more it dried out, the better Raffaele got. With two laps remaining, I made a slight mistake and I lost the lead.”
But Lynn was clearly frustrated with the fact that it hadn’t worked out, especially with the damp conditions paying a factor in him securing third place: “To be honest, I am disappointed, because when starting from pole, you want more than third place. Raffaele, Felix and I were clearly faster than the rest of the field, but unfortunately, I was slightly slower than Raffaele and Felix.”
With racing at Silverstone concluded, Marciello is the man to beat, with all the other drivers looking to close the gap in the