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THE CIRCUIT

        

Length: 4.307 km
Opened: 1948
F3 lap record: 1m31.076s (Jules Bianchi, 2009)
Circuit map: click here
Geographic position: click here

One year on from the most significant victory so far in his career, this weekend sees Felix Rosenqvist return to the dunes of Zandvoort as defending champion in the RTL GP Masters of Formula 3. Held on an annual basis each year since 1991, the Dutch classic is one of the most important races on the international F3 calendar, second only to the world-wide finale at Macau in November. The list of previous winners basically speaks for itself, featuring names such as David Coulthard, Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and - since last year - a certain Felix Rosenqvist.


Characteristics

Circuit Park Zandvoort is located on the Dutch North Sea coastline, at the heart of one of the country’s most popular summer retreats. The proximity of the sea and the massive sand dunes surrounding the area make grip levels low at the beginning of the weekend, but the situation usually improves as more and more rubber is laid down on the track.

Zandvoort is rated as one of few remaining old-fashioned, true driving challenges, with fast and flowing corners that sweep into each other with seamless finesse. Turn 1 – the classic Tarzan Bocht – marks the best spot for overtaking, and the 4.307 km lap in general is a firm favourite with teams and drivers alike.

The most spectacular section of the circuit can be found in the sequence of corners at the far end of the lap, starting with the ultra-fast Scheivlak Bocht. On new tyres – and with a fair amount of bravery – Scheivlak can be negotiated flat out at 230 km/h, although the slightest mistake can have devastating effects. As if that in itself isn’t enough, the section that follows right afterwards is one of the most technical on the entire calendar, featuring two difficult right-handers and culminating in the critical Bocht 8 where a selection of potential lines are on offer.  


Weather

Zandvoort is a relatively weather-safe location, especially during the summer when the town is invaded by sun-seeking tourists and holiday-goers. For the weekend ahead, though, the forecast speaks of quite substantial amounts of rain, with all three days of the event likely to be hit by showers at different times.   

Click here for a detailed weather forecast


WEEKEND DATA

Felix's perspective

     

"My victory in the RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 last year made me realise just how big this race really is. I have never received the same amount of messages, calls and congratulations as I did back then, and I do head into the Masters with the aim of defending my title - although it will obviously be a very, very competitive weekend. I have actually never missed out on a spot on the podium at Zandvoort so far, and it is one of my favourite circuits in the world. We were quick there last year, and if we can only get all the new factors that came into play ahead of this season to gel, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be able to challenge near the front again this time around. I will never forget the feeling I had when I returned to the pitlane at the end of last year's race, and it's definitely something I wouldn't mind experiencing for a second time."

     

Time schedule

All times local

Friday 13 July
Free Practice 1: 13.05-13.45
Free Practice 2: 16.15-16.55

Saturday 14 July
Qualifying 1: 11.45-12.05
Qualifying 2: 15.40-16.00

Sunday 15 July
RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 (Race - 25 laps): 14.00-15.00


How it works

RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 is an entirely independent event, and is not part of any championship. No other F3 race in the world - except the Macau Grand Prix each November - enjoys the same status, and the list of previous winners includes a range of subsequent Formula 1 stars.

As a result of the independence of the race, the RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 features a different event structure than that in use in Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European F3 Championship. Only a single, all-important race will be run, with the winner taking honours in the most important F3 event in Europe. As mentioned above, Felix Rosenqvist goes into the race as the defending champion having led every lap of the 2011 edition.

The weekend kicks off with two individual free practice sessions on Friday, which are then followed by two 20-minute qualifying segments a day later. The grid for Sunday's race is based on each driver's best lap time in either of the two qualifying sessions. In the normal scenario, the fastest laps should be posted in the second session, when grip levels are at their peak and the drivers have completed the most mileage. However, should any driver still - for whatever reason - fail to improve on his best time from Qualifying 1 in the second session, his initial effort will be used to determine his position on the grid.      

The RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 is contested on Kumho tyres to provide a level playing field for all participants regardless of what national championship they normally race in, meaning that the regular F3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship Hankook rubber will not be used this weekend.

The full 2012 calendar can be viewed here.


Preliminary entry list

Nr. Name           Nat.           Team             Engine 
1 Felix Rosenqvist           SWE           Mücke Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
2 Pascal Wehrlein           GER           Mücke Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
3 Dennis van de Laar           NED           Carlin             Volkswagen
4 Carlos Sainz Jr.           ESP           Carlin             Volkswagen
5 Will Buller           GBR           Carlin             Volkswagen
7 Raffaele Marciello           ITA           Prema Powerteam             Mercedes-Benz
8 Daniel Juncadella           ESP           Prema Powerteam             Mercedes-Benz
9 Michael Lewis           USA           Prema Powerteam             Mercedes-Benz
10 Sven Müller           GER           Prema Powerteam             Mercedes-Benz
11 Felix Serralles           PUR           Fortec Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
12 Alex Lynn           GBR           Fortec Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
14 Hannes van Asseldonk           NED           Fortec Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
15 Luis Derani           BRA           Fortec Motorsport             Mercedes-Benz
16 Conor Daly           USA            Double R Racing             Mercedes-Benz
17 Geoff Uhrhane           AUS           Double R Racing             Mercedes-Benz
18 Andrea Roda           ITA           Jo Zeller Racing             Mercedes-Benz
19 Luis Sá Silva           AGO           Angola Racing Team             Mercedes-Benz
30 Sandro Zeller           SWI           Jo Zeller Racing             Mercedes-Benz
31 Richard Goddard           AUS           T-Sport             Honda
32 Josh Webster           GBR            T-Sport             Honda
 


HOW TO FOLLOW FELIX THIS WEEKEND

Website

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 information hub for everything that goes on both on and off the track, and will also feature other relevant news, pictures and videos.


TV stream / live timing

Sunday's race can be watched via an official LIVE TV stream at the Circuit Park Zandvoort website. A link to the broadcast will also appear in the shape of a banner on the start page at www.felixracing.se.

Unfortunately, there will be no live timing available from the event.


Social media

The interaction with fans and followers will principally involve Felix Racing's official Facebook Fan Page (link below), where supporters can discuss all the goings-on and post potential questions to Felix.

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