Felix brought the FIA Formula 3 European Championship round at Moscow Raceway to a close with a solid performance in Sunday’s concluding Race 3, after taking advantage of a late safety car situation to haul himself into the top five on the final lap.
In what turned out to be the most entertaining race of the F3 fraternity’s maiden visit to Russia, the event had to be shortened for time reasons due to two safety car appearances; the first of which was triggered by an opening-lap clash involving Félix Serrallés and Jules Szymkowiak, and the second one being called in the closing stages following a spectacular collision between Lucas Auer and Jordan King.
Felix, having stayed away from the early wrangles from tenth on the grid, was running sixth when the second safety car was called back into the pits with one lap to spare, setting up a last-gasp sprint to the finish.
Felix duly took advantage to overtake Dennis van de Laar for fifth on the start/finish straight, grabbing his best result of what has otherwise been a challenging weekend on the outskirts of the Russian capital.
The Auer/King clash prompted wild gesticulation as the duo debated who was to blame, but the stewards ultimately held Auer responsible and awarded the Austrian a five-place grid penalty for the opening race of his home event in Spielberg next month.
Felix leaves Moscow having scored in all of this weekend’s three races, although he will be looking to return to the podium as the championship regroups at the Red Bull Ring – scene of his historic triple win of 2013 – in three weeks’ time.
“That was the best race of the weekend for me. Fifth isn’t a result I’m thrilled about, but we did improve our race pace and I was much quicker than the drivers I was battling. When the second safety car came out, I knew that was my final opportunity to get inside the top five, and it was good to pull that move off. We made some changes to the car after the second race, and they seemed to improve matters a bit.
“It’s been a tough weekend for me – one of the tougher of my career – but I’ve had so many good ones in the past and I know how small the margins are between success and failure. For the same reason, I know how quickly a situation can turn around, and we’ll be aiming to prove that at the Red Bull Ring next time out.”
|1||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||21||36:08.124|
|2||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||21||36:08.815||+00.691|
|3||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||21||36:09.326||+01.202|
|4||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||21||36:10.042||+01.918|
|5||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||21||36:10.495||+02.371|
|6||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||21||36:10.948||+02.824|
|7||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||21||36:11.626||+03.502|
|8||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||21||36:12.218||+04.094|
|9||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||21||36:13.649||+05.525|
|10||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||21||36:14.354||+06.230|
|11||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||21||36:15.115||+06.991|
|12||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||21||36:16.706||+08.582|
|13||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||21||36:16.900||+08.776|
|14||29||Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational||21||36:17.299||+09.175|
|15||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||21||36:17.789||+09.665|
|16||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||20||36:15.576||1L|
|17||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||19||32:24.365||2L|
|18||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||16||26:18.951||5L|
|19||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||16||26:19.107||5L|
|-||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||0|