Felix survived treacherous wet/dry conditions to finish sixth in a chaotic second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at the Norisring on Sunday morning, as the predicted rain duly hit Nuremberg and called for the event to be red-flagged at the halfway stages.
The race started on a largely dry track, with Felix getting away well off the line but losing two positions to Lucas Auer and Santino Ferrucci as he overshot the first corner.
Further down the field, Spike Goddard triggered a chain-reaction that brought himself, Jules Szymkowiak and Felipe Guimaraes into immediate retirement, bringing out the safety car for the first of what would prove to be a full four times.
At the restart, Felix overtook Ferrucci for fifth, but had to surrender the position to a flying Jordan King a few laps later. King subsequently passed Auer for fourth, with Felix now back in the rhythm and putting increasing pressure on the duo ahead.
On lap 12, Felix went down the inside of Auer at the Dutzendteich hairpin, stealing fifth from his team-mate only to out-brake himself as he approached Turn 1 on the following tour, the circuit now starting to suffer from deteriorating grip levels as the ever-present rain intensified.
One lap later, Auer duplicated Felix’s Turn 1 shenanigans to drop back behind Jake Dennis (the Carlin cars appearing to run strongly in the wet), before the race was eventually red-flagged to avoid a serious accident with the field running on slicks in ever-worsening conditions.
Once the race resumed, it did so with all drivers equipped with wet-weather Hankooks behind the safety car. Tom Blomqvist made contact with Esteban Ocon at the Grundig Kehre and ended up in the wall, promoting Felix to sixth, and when Ocon was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident, Felix found himself fifth.
Felix was among the fastest drivers on track in the closing stages, giving Dennis a run for his money in a late battle for fourth, but then suffered a gigantic moment under braking for Dutzendteich a few laps from home – just escaping the wall as his Mücke Motorsport car veered from left to right in spectacular fashion. Felix lost a place to Ferrucci, but eventually survived a chaotic race to finish sixth.
The final race of the weekend takes place this afternoon, with Felix set to start from third on the grid.
“That wasn’t the best race of my life. It was difficult out there, with changeable conditions, and it was just one of those races where it didn’t quite work out the way I’d been hoping for it to. I braked on the outside going into Turn 1 on the formation lap and thought the grip was good out there, so I decided to go for that line on the first lap. For some reason, however, I just locked up as soon as I hit the brakes. In the closing stages, in the rain, it was impossible to see anything behind the cars in front, so not much to do. There is one more race to go this weekend, and I really want to finish this event with a podium.”
|1||30||Max Verstappen / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||32||45:44.818|
|2||5||Jordan King / GBR Carlin||32||45:53.645||8.827|
|3||3||Lucas Auer / AUT kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||32||46:00.254||15.436|
|4||28||Jake Dennis / GBR Carlin||32||46:01.622||16.804|
|5||29||Santino Ferrucci / USA Eurointernational||32||46:02.875||18.057|
|6||27||Felix Rosenqvist / SWE kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||32||46:03.855||19.037|
|7||25||Antonio Fuoco / ITA Prema Powerteam||32||46:05.065||20.247|
|8||1||Nicholas Latifi / CAN Prema Powerteam||32||46:07.426||22.608|
|9||19||Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||32||46:09.770||24.952|
|10||16||Gustavo Menezes / USA Van Amersfoort Racing||32||46:11.663||26.845|
|11||21||Félix Serrallés / USA Team West-TecF3||32||46:12.109||27.291|
|12||26||Dennis van de Laar / NED Prema Powerteam||32||46:14.093||29.275|
|13||10||John Bryant-Meisner / SWE Fortec Motorsports||32||46:16.341||31.523|
|14||2||Esteban Ocon / FRA Prema Powerteam||32||46:20.063||35.245|
|15||22||Hector Hurst / GBR Team West-TecF3||32||46:22.136||37.318|
|16||17||Sandro Zeller / SUI Jo Zeller Racing||32||46:26.907||42.089|
|17||20||Sean Gelael / INA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||31||46:12.586||1L|
|18||12||Alexander Toril / ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport||31||46:23.652||1L|
|19||4||Roy Nissany / ISR kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||30||46:23.082||2L|
|20||9||Mitchell Gilbert / AUS Fortec Motorsports||30||46:28.003||2L|
|–||31||Tom Blomqvist / GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||21||34:37.354||11L|
|–||8||Michele Beretta / ITA Eurointernational||19||29:34.512||13L|
|–||18||Tatiana Calderón / COL Jo Zeller Racing||0||14:53.612||17L|
|–||15||Jules Szymkowiak / NED Van Amersfoort Racing||0||1:54.177||31L|
|–||11||Richard Goddard / AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport||0||00.000||32L|
|–||14||Felipe Guimaraes / BRA Double R Racing||0||00.000||32L|