Length: 1.929 km
F3 lap record: 40.953s (Marco Wittmann, 2010)
Circuit map: click here
Geographic position: click here
With two wins and four podiums to his tally, Felix Rosenqvist has enjoyed a strong start to the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Holding second place overall in what is one of the unquestionable arenas for the Formula 1 stars of tomorrow, the Mücke Motorsport Swede is eager to get back behind the wheel as round four of the season takes centre stage at the classic circuit of Brands Hatch on the outskirts of London.
The up-coming weekend marks a return to British territory just a month on from Felix's race-winning outing at Silverstone - but apart from the geographic proximity of the venues, the two UK rounds of the championship have very little in common. While Silverstone is regarded as a traditional track that tests the overall strengths of man and machine, the 1.9 km Brands Hatch Indy circuit offers a set of vastly contrasting challenges; not least when it comes to the potential perils of traffic in the 30-car field...
Flashback: the previous round
Video: Felix discusses his fourth Hockenheim F3 win
Press Release: Felix wins again at Hockenheim
Featuring the shortest lap on the calendar at only 1.929 km, the intensity behind the wheel is relentless at Brands Hatch. The circuit is known for its roller-coaster, no-time-to-rest nature, with even the (short) straights sweeping their way through the landscape. The start and finish area - where the cars will line up on the grid - is banked, which is another unique feature to take into consideration at the start of races.
The place to watch this weekend will be Turn 1 - or, as it's known within the motorsport fraternity, Paddock Hill Bend. Approached at over 200 km/h, drivers enter this corner with limited visibility as they go over a banked crest, before shooting downhill into a compression and onto the exit kerb. Paddock Hill Bend requires maximum dedication, and with multiple alternative lines to choose from, this section of the lap will aid those with a natural feeling for car control.
With the intense layout of the lap, where one corner leads into another, overtaking opportunities are highly limited at Brands Hatch, and a good performance in qualifying will greatly assist anyone's chances of success. Getting everything together on one flying lap, however, will be easier said than done considering the amount of traffic likely to play a significant role in the outcome of qualifying.
Felix: why qualifying will be essential at Brands Hatch
As always in the UK, the weather is expected to feature intermittent showers and grey clouds for most of the weekend. According to current predictions, Friday looks set to bring in the highest risk of rain, with Saturday and Sunday conditions offering slightly more cause for optimism.
Click here for a detailed weather forecast
"Brands Hatch is a very particular circuit, which places us drivers under quite unusual and specific demands. It's a short lap and there are no hard braking zones, which makes it close to impossible to overtake. Qualifying will be absolutely vital this weekend, and you simply have to start from the front of the field. My target is the same as always; I want to fight for victories, and I think we've got a realistic chance of doing that again this weekend. We were lacking a bit of top speed at Hockenheim two weeks ago, but we think we know the reason for that - and Brands Hatch should suit us fairly well. Traffic is certain to be a factor this weekend, but it's the same for everyone and I view it as an interesting challenge with which to cope. It will be great to get back into the car."
All times local (GMT+01:00)
Friday 17 May
Free Practice 1: 12.55 (40 minutes)
Free Practice 2: 13.40 (40 minutes)
Qualifying 1: 16.25 - Group 1 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 1: 16.50 - Group 2 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 2: 17.25 - Group 1 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 2: 17.50 - Group 2 (20 minutes)
Saturday 18 May
Race 1: 11.10 (35 minutes)
Race 2: 16.40 (35 minutes)
Sunday 19 May
Race 3: 10.20 (35 minutes)
How it works
Each round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is made up of three races, all of which are of equal length (35 minutes) and importance for the outcome in the title chase. The points structure mirrors that in use in Formula 1, with the winner of each race being awarded 25 points.
The grid for all three races is formed in Friday's two qualifying sessions, which are separated by a short break. The reverse-grid regulations in use during the championship's previous Formula 3 Euro Series incarnation have been dropped for 2013, with qualifying now left as the only tool for shaping up starting positions.
The Race 1 grid is established by the outright results of Qualifying 1, while the subsequent second qualifying session forms the grid for Race 3. For Race 2, the grid will be based on each driver's second-fastest lap in Qualifying 1.
With the Brands Hatch Indy circuit offering such a short lap, FIA Formula 3 European Championship organisers have decided to split the field into two groups for the all-important qualifying sessions in a bid to reduce traffic and promote sporting equality. In doing so, the fastest driver from the quicker of the two groups will be handed pole position, while the fastest driver in the other, slower group will take up the remaining slot on the front row (second place). The second-fastest driver in the quicker group will start in third place, with the rest of the runners from that qualifying cluster filling the "uneven" side of the grid in fifth, seventh, ninth etc.
Following the same logic, the second-fastest driver from the slower group will start fourth, with the subsequent places on the "even" side of the grid (sixth, eighth, tenth etc.) going to those finishing third, fourth and fifth etc. in that same group.
The full 2013 calendar and points system can be viewed here.
Preliminary entry list
FIA Formula 3 European Championship - 2013 entry list
HOW TO FOLLOW FELIX THIS WEEKEND
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 hub of information for everything that goes on both on and off the track, and will also feature other relevant news, pictures and videos.
All three races at the event will be streamed LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com. A link to the stream will appear at the start page of www.felixracing.se. All-in-all, FIA Formula 3 European Championship action is broadcast in 149 countries throughout the world, out of which more than 80 provide LIVE TV coverage. For further information, please click here.
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. Tweets will also be forthcoming through Felix's own Twitter account (@FRosenqvist).