With the skies having opened before the second race of the FIA F3 European Championship, there was incidents and accidents throughout the 35 minute race,which started under damp conditions. From the off, Antonio Giovinazzi, Jann Mardenborough and Felix Seralles were involved in a collision that would see a very premature end to their day of racing, as the Formula Pilota China Champion from 2012 didn’t appear to get off the line when the lights went out. Alex Lynn spun out at Village and dropped down to 20th place, but this was the start of a spirited effort to climb his way back up the order.
The Safety Car was deployed whilst the cars and respective debris were cleared off the start/finish straight, before racing got back underway after three laps. Just as the Safety Car went in, Rosenqvist slowed as the cars passed over the Safety Car line and was suddenly overtaken by both Harry Tincknell and Willam Buller. But carnage transpired, as Nicholas Lafiti, Sven Muller and Mans Grenhagen were involved in a nose-to-rear wing collision, with the Canadian retiring due to suspension damage. Tincknell was leading once again, with Buller, Rosenqvist, Tom Blomqvist and Josh Hill in close pursuit. Third-generation racer Hill was coming under increased pressure from Raffaele Marciello as the race carried on at its furious pace.
Rosenqvist was a man on a mission, as he was looking to make good on his accidental oversight behind the Safety Car, and drove like the wind to catch Tincknell. Just three laps from the end, the Swedish driver made his move, and went into Brooklands with clear intent. As he got on the inside of the Devon driver, Rosenqvist kissed the grass and made the pass for the lead and the subsequent win. A move that clearly showed the determination and grit of the young driver, who is competing for the third successive season.
Tincknell appeared to be suffering as the tyres on his Carlin Dallara appeared to be completely exhausted, as he tried to fend of the charging Prema Powerteam duo of Marciello and Lucas Auer, who was showing great improvement yet again in Race 2. Buller’s race progress was abruptly halted, as he span out at Club corner, with the driver from Northern Ireland ending up in 9th place. Lynn was cleaning house as he made his way rapidly up the field, and on just the final lap, he overtook Hill into Brooklands for 6th place.
So after a race that was ablaze with drama all the way through, Rosenqvist secured his first win of the season, with Marciello extending his points lead over Tincknell to 20.5 points. Lucas Auer secured the final place on the podium, and said that the race didn’t start as planned: “In fact, my start was quite good, but then my car was stuck in first gear and I lost a few positions. After the safety car had left the track again, I was able to move up to the front, together with my team-mate Raffaele. I am very happy with third place.”
Rosenqvist admitted his faux-pas at the restart, and said that he apologised to the team, but made good for his error: “After that, I was determined to win this race at all costs. My car was fast and I was able to overtake William Buller and Harry Tincknell. The move against Harry was a close one, but I knew that I wouldn’t have many chances and I had to use this one.”
Marciello was clearly looking to finish races, as he didn’t want to lose his lead, even though the season has barely gotten started: “After the start, I was second, but then I made a mistake and I dropped back to ninth. After the safety car, I was able to make up a few places again. However, I didn’t want to take too many risks, because I didn’t want to risk a non-score.”
So with the final race of the weekend set to take place tomorrow morning, come rain or shine, Lynn could be just one of the drivers to clearly factor in for the win, as he starts from Pole Position, but there will be others baying for blood…..