This is where it all begins - the chase for the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title. Hosting the opening round of the season this weekend is Silverstone; a venue not only entrenched in motorsport history, but also the site of an important podium clean-sweep – and spectacular race win – for Felix Rosenqvist in 2013.
Length: 5.901 km
Lap record, F3: 1m53.831s (Alex Lynn, 2013)
2013 results (Felix): 3rd/1st/2nd
Number of laps (per race): 18
Silverstone is a circuit of much variation, featuring everything from long straights to fast, flowing corners and slow, tight hairpins. The most challenging section of them all is probably the legendary Maggotts/Becketts “S” sequence on the back of the circuit, which places both man and machine under extreme demands through a series of direction changes at well over 200 km/h. Other notable parts of the track include the famous Copse – which, up until the 2010 redevelopment of the venue, used to be Turn 1 – and Stowe corners.
The Silverstone layout also promotes overtaking. The lap features a host of opportunities for a faster driver to pass an opponent, but there are a couple of spots that will stand out for anyone on the attack. The Village and Loop hairpins in the Arena segment (Sector 1) mark golden opportunities to out-brake a slower driver, and the subsequent Brooklands/Luffield section also provides all the ingredients for a memorable move (as vividly demonstrated by Felix himself in 2013).
“I’m really looking forward to the new season, and Silverstone is a great circuit. I won one of the races there last year and finished on the podium in the other two as well, so I obviously head into this weekend with some high ambitions. Having said that, it’s always difficult to know what to expect from the first race of the year; testing doesn’t really reveal everyone’s true form, and there are some added unknowns this year because of the new regulations. It’s going to be an interesting weekend. It’s important to score solid points and lay the foundations for our bid to win the championship. I’m more than ready to finally get racing underway!”
All times local (GMT+01:00)
Friday 18 April
Free Practice 1: 09.00 (40 minutes)
Free Practice 2: 09.45 (35 minutes)
Qualifying 1: 13.40 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 2: 17.40 (20 minutes)
Saturday 19 April
Race 1: 10.20 (35 minutes)
Race 2: 13.20 (35 minutes)
Sunday 20 April
Race 3: 09.15 (35 minutes)
HOW IT WORKS
Each round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is made up of three races, all of which are of equal length (35 minutes) and importance for the outcome in the title chase. The points structure mirrors that in use in Formula 1, running to the 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 system.
The grid for all three races is formed in Friday’s two qualifying sessions. For Race 1, the starting order is established by the outright results of Qualifying 1, while the subsequent second qualifying session forms the grid for Race 2. For Race 3, the grid will be based on each driver’s second-fastest lap in Qualifying 2.
The full 2014 calendar can be viewed here.
FIA Formula 3 European Championship 2014 – teams and drivers
HOW TO FOLLOW FELIX THIS WEEKEND
As always, www.felixracing.se will be fully updated throughout the weekend, with reports from each of the sessions that take place. The website is the central hub of information for everything that goes on both on and off the track, and will also feature other relevant news, pictures and videos.
All three races at the event will be streamed LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com. In addition to the real-time broadcasts, a new-for-2014 agreement will also see Eurosport produce a magazine-style wrap-up show to be aired on the Tuesday following each round.
The interaction with fans and followers will principally involve Felix Racing’s official Facebook Fan Page, where supporters can discuss all the goings-on and post potential questions to Felix. Tweets will also be forthcoming through Felix’s own Twitter account (@FRosenqvist).