Felix will have to make do with 11th on the grid for tomorrow’s opening FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at Moscow Raceway following a difficult qualifying session at the Russian venue on Friday afternoon.
The early stages of the session were noticeable for a host of drivers backing off significantly down the back straight as they appeared to seek uninterrupted laps. In coming up towards the traffic, Felix was among a group of runners forced to lift dramatically in the third sector on each of their first five flying laps, robbing them of the chance to post a representative time at the peak of tyre performance.
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon suffered no such dramas, and duly went on to grab pole by a substantial six tenths of a second.
Once in clear air, Felix was always going to face an uphill struggle on tyres that were now past their prime, and to further exacerbate matters, a general lack of car consistency added up to restrict him to what he labelled “the most difficult qualifying outing of the year”.
Race 1 gets underway tomorrow morning.
“A very poor session, to sum it all up. There were a lot of factors that contributed towards this – not least the fact that everyone was running so slowly over the first five laps. I caught traffic time and time again, and once I got into some clean air, the tyres were past their best. I don’t know why people did that, but I guess they tried to find a clear lap.
“Still, it’s more to it than that. With a decent lap, I could probably have shaved off quite a few tenths and challenged for second behind Esteban, but I just couldn’t get to grips with the car and get to that point. The balance changed dramatically from one lap to another, from one corner to the next; one time, I would lock up massively at the front, and the next time, it would be the rears.
“It was extremely difficult to drive today and unfortunately, the feeling was the worst it’s been since Silverstone. I’m sure the potential is there, but I – using all my experience – simply can’t unlock it at the moment. It’s difficult, but we will have a close look at all the data overnight and hopefully we can improve the situation by tomorrow.”
|1||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||8||1:26.530|
|2||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||10||1:27.149||00.619|
|3||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||9||1:27.341||00.811|
|4||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||11||1:27.361||00.831|
|5||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||10||1:27.422||00.892|
|6||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||10||1:27.496||00.966|
|7||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||10||1:27.516||00.986|
|8||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||10||1:27.643||01.113|
|9||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||10||1:27.676||01.146|
|10||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||11||1:27.684||01.154|
|11||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||10||1:27.724||01.194|
|12||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||10||1:27.819||01.289|
|13||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||10||1:27.929||01.399|
|14||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||11||1:28.039||01.509|
|15||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||11||1:28.052||01.522|
|16||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||10||1:28.253||01.723|
|17||29||Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational||9||1:28.498||01.968|
|18||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||11||1:28.506||01.976|
|19||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||10||1:28.791||02.261|
|20||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||11||1:29.103||02.573|