Changeable conditions and Silverstone go hand in hand, as the weather again factored in how Qualifying for all three races for this weekend’s round of the FIA F3 European Championship ended up for all drivers. With Pascal Wehrlein now hard at work in the DTM for Mercedes-Benz, as well as Michela Cerruti resuming her duties in the Italian GT series with ROAL Motorsport, points leader Rafaele Marciello would be the hunted, as the other 29 drivers looked were baying for blood, as the battles commenced to secure grid positions for the weekend’s on track action at the “Home of British Motorsport.”
Carlin‘s Harry Tincknell got things off to a great start for the home drivers, as he moved into top spot for Race 1 with half of the session remaining, as both kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport‘s Felix Rosenqvist and Prema Powerteam‘s Alex Lynn were hot on his heels to secure Pole Position. However, Tincknell’s time of 1:54.098 was a clear 3 tenths faster than his countryman, who fended off the Swede for the front row. Marciello, however was on the other spot of the second row, just over a further tenth of a second behind.
The session would be red flagged 90 seconds before the end, which found Spike Goddard‘s fastest lap disallowed, as well as Fortec Motorsport‘s Luis Felipe Derani losing his rear wing thanks to a shunt from behind by Sandro Zeller.
For race two, when it came to the driver’s second fastest laps, it was Tincknell again, who scored pole for the second race of the weekend, with Rosenqvist not far behind. Marciello again had to settle for fourth, as he was classified behind Lynn.
The briefest of showers at Silverstone occurred just as the second part of qualifying was getting underway, but Eurointernational‘s Tom Blomqvist lost a wheel of his car, bringing out the second red flag of the day. Tincknell again headed the times at the halfway point, but Lucas Auer, Lynn’s teammate at Prema Powerteam got in on the action and posted the top time, to which the veteran Brit replied with another stunning time.
The last few minutes of the session saw several changes in grid positions before Lynn struck the final blow, and recorded a time of 2:04.726 around the 5.89 kilometre circuit, with Marciello completing the front row, with Rosenqvist and Carlin’s Jordan King completing the top four for race three.
Tincknell was happy, as Carlin had been putting the hours into their assault on the championship in the off-season: “Therefore, I am happy being able to reward them with these two pole positions. My car was brilliant, my team has done a great job. However, I know the Silverstone track very well and I like it. A British driver just fits to a British circuit…”
Lynn said that the weather had made things difficult in second qualifying, but complimented the team for making the call to get the Briton onto slicks: “In the final minutes, my car was fantastic. My mechanics handled the tyre change really quickly, which was very important. The first few laps with slicks were still difficult, but then, they got warmer and things improved. For the three races, I now hope to score some points. Even more so, as this is my home race.”
We’ll be reporting live from Silverstone over the next two days, as Marciello will have to watch out for the hometown heroes, who will clearly look to make their claim to a prestigious title, and will fight every step of the way…