Felix was forced to retire from the second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend in Austria, having sustained damage to his Mücke Motorsport machine in a clash with championship leader Esteban Ocon.
From fifth on the grid, Felix did not get the best of starts and dropped behind Ocon (who had been starting sixth), only to produce an emphatic move on the Frenchman at the Remus hairpin just seconds later, grabbing fourth after simultaneously passing team-mate Lucas Auer.
After running wide at the exit of Turn 1 a few laps later, however, Felix was demoted by Ocon once more, although he then stayed right on the gearbox of the Lotus junior until a second safety car appeared as marshals attended to a stricken Dennis van de Laar (the first intervention having come after Jordan King retired with broken suspension).
At the restart, Felix got into Ocon’s slipstream along the start/finish straight, dragging alongside the Prema Powerteam man in a battle over fourth as they entered the braking zone for Turn 1. Ocon then appeared to move over on Felix, who was on the outside, with the resulting contact sending Ocon spinning into the run-off area and Felix into retirement with suspension damage.
The collision marks the second time this year that the duo has clashed, coming on the back of their tangle while disputing the lead at Pau earlier in the season.
The race then featured a third safety car situation after Spike Goddard made contact with Roy Nissany under braking for Remus, sending the Australian T-boning the innocent Sandro Zeller in an incident reminiscent to the Nick Heidfeld/Takuma Sato crash of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.
The race was won by Antonio Fuoco, who inherited the win after fellow Italian Antonio Giovinazzi – who crossed the line first - was handed a penalty for a faulty safety car restart process in the closing stages.
Race 3, the final event of this weekend, takes place late this afternoon.
UPDATE: Following the race, Ocon picked up a penalty for the clash with Felix, after the stewards issued the Frenchman with a ten-place grid demotion for Race 3 after judging him to have caused the situation by changing his line under braking.
“Such a shame – I was feeling really strong in this race and a podium was within reach. This is the second time I and Esteban have clashed this year, and he again changed his line under braking – it was all very similar to what happened at Pau. I was quicker than him and got a good run after the restart, and this retirement really hurts. The car felt strong and I think we were set for a good result. There’s not much to do, however, and hopefully we can bring the weekend to a more positive close in the final race this afternoon, albeit from P8 on the grid.”
|1||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||22||35:21.893|
|2||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||22||35:22.291||+00.398|
|3||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||22||35:23.738||+01.845|
|4||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||22||35:25.671||+03.778|
|5||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||22||35:26.577||+04.684|
|6||6||Edward Jones / UAE Carlin||22||35:27.630||+05.737|
|7||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||22||35:28.237||+06.344|
|8||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||22||35:28.998||+07.105|
|9||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||22||35:29.724||+07.831|
|10||12||Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport||22||35:30.517||+08.624|
|11||10||John Bryant-Meisner / SWE Fortec Motorsports||22||35:31.494||+09.601|
|12||29||Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational||22||35:31.878||+09.985|
|13||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||22||35:32.545||+10.652|
|14||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||22||35:34.084||+12.191|
|15||9||Alfonso Celis / MEX Fortec Motorsports||22||35:36.505||+14.612|
|16||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||22||35:40.108||+18.215|
|17||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||22||35:45.650||+23.757|
|18||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||21||34:22.397||1L|
|19||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||21||35:38.605||1L|
|-||17||Sandro Zeller / SUI Jo Zeller Racing||15||23:51.183||7L|
|-||11||Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport||15||23:51.673||7L|
|-||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||11||18:33.604||11L|
|-||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||10||16:26.962||12L|
|-||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||8||13:03.465||14L|
|-||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||7||11:55.148||15L|
|-||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||2||3:02.078||20L|