• Sunday , 19 November 2017

Felix Rosenqvist claims Monza victory clean-sweep

Felix Rosenqvist, Monza 5

Felix Rosenqvist dominated the fourth round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Monza to complete a hat-trick of pole positions and a victory clean-sweep at the famous Grand Prix venue on the outskirts of Milan.

The Swede set the benchmark from the word go by topping Friday free practice, and kept up the momentum in qualifying to notch up pole position for each of the weekend’s three races. From there, Rosenqvist controlled proceedings from the front of the 35-car field to claim an emphatic trio of wins on home soil for Prema Powerteam, bagging his second-ever FIA F3 European Championship victory clean-sweep in the process (the first coming in Austria in 2013).

In winning Sunday’s concluding race, Rosenqvist racked up his fifth triumph of the season, and the 20th of his FIA F3 European Championship career.

“A really great weekend,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “Everyone in the team has performed to their highest standards and I’m particularly proud to achieve this here in Monza, which I think is probably the most difficult track to win at. The slipstreaming effect is huge and it’s really difficult to defend when you are running on your own at the front. Big thanks to the team, who gave me a fantastic car around this place.”

Despite Rosenqvist’s dominant display, the 23-year-old was left with mixed emotions on the back of decisions to red-flag the second and third races of the meeting following a series of sizeable collisions throughout the field. With both races being called off before 75 % of the respective distances had been completed, only half points were awarded, compromising Rosenqvist’s efforts to claw back ground in the title race.

“Unfortunately, I was effectively the one who paid the highest price for the decision to award half points, but there’s nothing I can do about it,” Rosenqvist concludes. “It’s just a shame that some people are unable to race in a respectful manner and that this would be the consequence. It meant that we didn’t close the gap quite as much as we should have in the championship, but I’ve done my bit and I can’t be anything else than happy with three pole positions and three wins.”

Felix Rosenqvist remains in third place in the overall standings, but has closed to within 22 points of leader Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) and just 6.5 of second-placed Charles Leclerc (Monaco).

The FIA F3 European Championship will return to action at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps on June 19-21.

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