Raffaele Marciello experienced a mixed weekend at Vallelunga in the FIA F3 European Championship to leave the title fight still anybody’s game going into the final round at Hockenheim.
Retiring at the very start of race two with a technical fault, the Prema Powerteam racer saw his lead in the F3 points table diminished by main rival Felix Rosenqvist who finished ninth.
The race was still a good one for Marciello’s team however, as they gained the teams title thanks to a first place by Alex Lynn, with the British driver saying: “My pace was really good in this race. Other than Alexander Sims I had a fresh set of tyres and therefore, I had expected that I would be faster than him. But I hadn’t believed that I would be that much faster. In the end, it was a good race, ending with the great first place.”
Indeed Sims, racing for T-Sport, scored a solid second place fending off Daniil Kvyat for much of the race after both men successfully negotiated two safety car restarts for both Jann Mardenbrough and Lucas Wolf going for an off track adventure.
Rosenqvist who – as mentioned above – finished in the points should be congratulated having started at the very back of the grid following dramas in qualifying.
In the third race Marciello got back to the kind of luck – and pace – that had seen him get a commanding 28.5 point lead coming into the 27th round of the season.
However, the grid had to negotiate a start line collision as Carlin‘s Nicholas Latifi went into the back of a stalled Eddie Cheever before either car had properly got off the grid. Later that very same lap Sean Gelael and Lucas Wolf came together sending both off track.
Following a safety car period Marciello made a brilliant restart fending off Luis Felipe Derani, who eventually finished second, and Felix Serralles.
Fortec Motorsport man Seralles was at the rough end of it later though and was spun into early retirement following a very hard battle with Alex Lynn.
Crossing the line ahead of Derani and Alex Sims, Marciello now has a 45.5 point lead over Rosenqvist, who had to settle for sixth, as the title fight goes to rounds 28, 29 and 30 at Hockenheim.
“Winning the race was important as Felix stood further back on the grid and so, this win this allowed me to re-extend my championship lead. Nonetheless, I’m aware that there still is a long way to go to the title. I learned at Zandvoort that even a big lead doesn’t mean you’re safe. Now I will focus on the season finale at Hockenheim to also give my very best, there.” Stated Marciello