Felix once again lost out on a seemingly certain podium when the fuel pump on his Mücke Motorsport car failed – twice – in the very final stages of this weekend’s opening FIA F3 European Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps.
After a strong first lap from seventh on the grid, Felix jumped to third with a series of moves on the run to Les Combes, slotting in behind Max Verstappen and team-mate Lucas Auer while championship leader Esteban Ocon was taken out in a clash with Antonio Fuoco.
From there, the order up front remained unchanged until the penultimate lap – when, as per diabolic intervention, disaster struck in by-now traditional 2014 fashion.
In a reoccurrence of the issues that held him back in yesterday’s qualifying session, a fuel pump failure saw Felix drop to fourth as Jake Dennis took advantage of the problem to grab third on the run through Blanchimont, although Felix fought back to reclaim P3 as the pair commenced the final lap after successfully enabling the spare pump installed in each F3 chassis.
It would all come to nothing, however, as – a few corners later – the spare pump failed as well, leaving Felix defenseless on the final sprint towards the Bus Stop chicane and dropping to seventh on the very final lap. He was able to freewheel across the line.
Mücke Motorsport are currently investigating the cause of the problems, which have struck Felix and team-mate Roy Nissany repeatedly in 2014.
“What can I say? First of all, I was lacking speed on the straights and could not attack Lucas in front of me even when getting a very good slipstream. I think that’s the first thing we need to investigate. Secondly, after the first fuel pump failed, I was able to activate the second one, which we can enable from the cockpit. When the second one failed two corners from the finish, it wasn’t a great feeling. There’s not much more to add.”
|1||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||15||35:52.582|
|2||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||15||35:53.399||0.817|
|3||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||15||35:56.807||4.225|
|4||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||15||35:57.252||4.670|
|5||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||15||35:59.974||7.392|
|6||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||15||36:00.381||7.799|
|7||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||15||36:02.009||9.427|
|8||14||Felipe Guimaraes / BRA Double R Racing||15||36:05.629||13.047|
|9||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||15||36:06.812||14.230|
|10||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||15||36:07.475||14.893|
|11||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||15||36:12.249||19.667|
|12||11||Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport||15||36:12.751||20.169|
|13||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||15||36:13.859||21.277|
|14||10||John Bryant-Meisner / SWE Fortec Motorsports||15||36:14.423||21.841|
|15||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||15||36:15.044||22.462|
|16||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||15||36:15.822||23.240|
|17||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||15||36:18.166||25.584|
|18||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||15||36:18.765||26.183|
|19||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||15||36:20.487||27.905|
|20||9||Mitchell Gilbert / AUS Fortec Motorsports||15||36:21.838||29.256|
|21||17||Sandro Zeller / SUI Jo Zeller Racing||15||36:24.045||31.463|
|22||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||15||36:25.087||32.505|
|–||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||5||11:15.601||D.N.F.|
|–||29||Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational||5||11:16.122||D.N.F.|
|–||12||Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport||2||4:35.091||D.N.F.|
|–||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||0||D.N.F.|