• Saturday , 23 September 2017

Felix leads Mücke Motorsport charge as red flags fly in qualifying

gal21Felix will start the opening FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Imola from fifth on the grid, after an untimely red-flag stoppage forced him to abandon a charge for pole position in the closing stages of Friday qualifying.

The grid-deciding session served to further emphasise the challenges of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, on a week so far littered with off-track excursions. After a sequence of red flags throughout testing and practice, it wasn’t long until qualifying followed the same pattern, with Sean Gelael spinning off at Variante Villeneuve with seven minutes remaining.

As the session restarted, Felix (sitting fifth after the first runs) worked himself more and more into contention, and had just set a personal best - just fractions off pace-setter Esteban Ocon’s benchmark - through the first two sectors when the red flags flew again as Alexander Toril crashed his ThreeBond with T-Sport machine on the exit of Rivazza. Felix had to abandon his lap (as did many others) and, with just two minutes remaining, there would be no further improvements barring a last-second flyer from Jordan King that took the Englishman up to third.

Ocon held on to pole on home soil for Prema Powerteam, with Italian favourite Antonio Giovinazzi second*. Behind King, Tom Blomqvist followed in fourth, with Max Verstappen fifth – just one hundredth of a second ahead of Felix in sixth.

Verstappen, however, will have to serve a ten-place grid penalty for the first two races of this weekend following an engine change at the last round in Germany, leaving the Toro Rosso F1-man-to-be 15th and promoting Felix to fifth.

Felix spearheaded the Mücke Motorsport armada, with Lucas Auer next up for the Berlin squad in ninth and Roy Nissany struggling to 20th.

Race 1 is set to be run tomorrow morning.

*NOTE: After the session, Giovinazzi also picked up a penalty, dropping the Italian three places on the Race 1 grid. As a result, Felix will start the race from fourth, one slot ahead of Giovinazzi.

FELIX:

“It was a shame about that second red flag, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it cost us too much. I was on a lap that was meant to be my quickest and which would have yielded a clear improvement, but I’m sure the others have similar feelings. We could probably have been a bit further up the grid, but I doubt we’d have found half a second. The car is quite a handful to drive around here - that’s why we’ve had quite a lot of offs – but I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow and we’re definitely in contention for the podium.”

#ForzaJules


RESULTS (grid for Race 1)

Pos. No Driver Laps Time Gap
1 2 Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam 13 1’36.479 183,174
2 19 Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin PENALTY 6 1’36.611 0.132
3 5 Jordan King / GBR Carlin 14 1’36.890 0.411
4 31 Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 6 1’36.973 0.494
5 30 Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing PENALTY 7 1’37.006 0.527
6 27 Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 11 1’37.016 0.537
7 28 Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin 7 1’37.031 0.552
8 25 Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam 6 1’37.125 0.646
9 3 Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 5 1’37.147 0.668
10 1 Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam 13 1’37.187 0.708
11 20 Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 7 1’37.375 0.896
12 26 Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam 6 1’37.481 1.002
13 21 Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3 5 1’37.491 1.012
14 16 Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing 7 1’37.564 1.085
15 18 Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing 5 1’37.592 1.113
16 15 Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing PENALTY 6 1’37.659 1.180
17 23 William Buller / GBR 5 1’37.679 1.200
18 6 Edward Jones / UAE Carlin 5 1’37.758 1.279
19 32 Nick Cassidy / NZL ThreeBond with T-Sport 6 1’37.775 1.296
20 4 Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport 7 1’37.925 1.446
21 12 Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport 5 1’37.926 1.447
22 11 Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport PENALTY 7 1’38.105 1.626
23 10 Santino Ferrucci / USA Fortec Motorsports 6 1’38.363 1.884
24 9 Hongwei Cao / CHN Fortec Motorsports 6 1’38.415 1.936
25 29 Sergio Sette Camara / BRA Eurointernational 6 1’38.609 2.130
26 8 Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational 7 1’38.825 2.346
27 22 Wing Chung Chang / MAC Signature 8 1’39.292 2.813

Related Posts