Length: 4.085 km
FIA F3 European Championship lap record: first visit
Circuit map: click here
Geographic position: click here
Six races, 9.5 points - the chase for the title could hardly be more refined as the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship enters its decisive stages. With two emphatic wins and a maximum points haul at Zandvoort two weeks ago, Felix Rosenqvist wiped out almost all of championship rival Raffaele Marciello's overall lead - but that was then, and now is now. Going into the penultimate round of the season at the Italian venue of Vallelunga, which joined the calendar late after replacing France's Paul Ricard earlier this year, Felix knows that he will have to perform to his absolute maximum on a circuit he's never before seen - and on home turf for Marciello.
Vallelunga's late entry, combined with the fact that it's a brand new acquaintance for the majority of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship runners, have brought about six hours of extra testing on Friday - setting up a revised weekend event structure (and a massively packed Saturday schedule). As if the challenge of a new circuit wasn't enough for Felix and Mücke Motorsport, weather forecasts predict potentially changeable conditions throughout the weekend, throwing in another unknown as the title race continues to hook the F3 fraternity on the outskirts of Rome.
Flashback: the previous round
FIA Formula 3 European Championship: Zandvoort
Press Release: Felix Rosenqvist wins twice to set up title showdown
Video: Felix fights back with Zandvoort double
Video: FIA Formula 3 European Championship - Round 8 - review
EXTRA: Felix features on "The Racer's Edge" (11:00 min)
Vallelunga - or Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi, as it's officially known - is a 4.085 km circuit situated a short drive north of Rome. The lap is made up of an interesting mix of fast and slow corners, with the first half consisting of a series of high-speed sweeps and the second one featuring substantially more technical combinations. The final five corners in particular - which include the famous, ultra-tight Tornantino hairpin, and the banked Roma right-hander - present the cars and drivers with some rather unique demands.
Italy, autumn and motorsport - does it get any better? From a weather point-of-view, the answer might just become "yes" this weekend, with several forecasts predicting rain to hit Vallelunga on Friday and Sunday. Saturday's crowded agenda, however, looks set to steer clear of precipitation, as the sun is believed to bring about temperatures in the region of 20 degrees Celsius. The risk of rain on Friday and Sunday, according to most weather institutes, is 20-50 %.
Click here for a detailed weather forecast
"Vallelunga will be a brand new acquaintance both for me personally and for the team, and there will inevitably be some question marks going into this weekend. Our main rivals - Prema Powerteam - have been going there for years both testing and racing, and we will have to perform to our absolute maximum if we want to beat them. Fortunately, however, the organisers have announced six extra hours of testing on Friday, which should help even things out a bit. We might begin this weekend with a slight disadvantage, but if we can only manage to find a strong set-up ahead of qualifying, I'm confident that we will be challenging near the front once again. Driving-wise, I have done my all to prepare for this weekend as well as possible, doing some virtual racing and watching a lot of on-board clips. I go to Italy in a very positive frame of mind following our recent success at Zandvoort, and I'm extremely focussed on doing a good job this weekend."
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Friday 11 October
Test 1: 10.00 (180 minutes)
Test 2: 14.00 (180 minutes)
Saturday 12 October
Free Practice 1: 09.40 (30 minutes)
Free Practice 2: 10.15 (30 minutes)
Qualifying 1: 12.45 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 2: 13.20 (20 minutes)
Race 1: 16.55 (35 minutes)
Sunday 13 October
Race 2: 10.50 (35 minutes)
Race 3: 14.50 (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.
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).