After eight rounds, spread out over six different countries, time - as unbelievable as it may seem - has come for the final stop on the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series calendar. For a championship which has its historic roots in Germany, the conclusion to the campaign fittingly takes place at Grand Prix venue Hockenheim a short drive from Stuttgart - and Felix Rosenqvist heads into the weekend in a positive frame of mind following yet another podium in Valencia last time out.
Just two days on from the news that he will race at the blue riband Macau Grand Prix for the second consecutive year, Felix now shifts his focus towards the important meeting at Hockenheim - a circuit the Swede has generally gone well at on previous visits. This was where he came within laps of scoring his first-ever F3 win last year only to be thrown into retirement after being hit by Germany's Daniel Abt while in the lead, and this is where he claimed his second-ever Formula 3 Euro Series podium earlier this season.
"I've always enjoyed racing at Hockenheim, and it's a circuit which has suited me well before," Felix says. "When we raced there back in April/May, we didn't necessarily have the best car in the field, but we still had good pace and I managed to finish third in the final race of the weekend after a nice little battle with Marco Wittmann at the end. Turn 1 is a big challenge; it's possible to take it flat out at 220 km/h with the right set of conditions, but it's very easy to run wide over the tarmac run-off area on the exit - and that results in a penalty. I am looking forward to the weekend and can't wait to get back in the car!"
With eight podiums to his name, it's hard to label Felix's debut season in one of the world's most competitive junior single-seater championships anything else than a success. Five second places - and three thirds - go to show that the collaboration with Mücke Motorsport has evolved into a very fruitful one, and the performance in Friday qualifying has also gone from strength to strength over the course of the year (a more thorough look into the details of qualifying can be read here).
The first win, though, has so far proven to be elusive - somewhat unfairly, according to most. The RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 victory back in August surely made up for much of the bad luck Felix has suffered in Formula 3 Euro Series, however, and Hockenheim represents a new opportunity to fight it out at the front - even though the competition will be every bit as tough as before, and once again looks set to be headed by newly-crowned champion Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam).
In a replay of the events in the build-up to the last round in Valencia, Felix's Mücke Motorsport team-mate Nigel Melker will arrive at Hockenheim straight from another GP2 test outing - this time at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. The Dutchman runs for ex-F1 driver Tiago Monteiro's Ocean Racing Technology outfit on Wednesday, before swapping machinery to one of the iSport team's cars on Thursday.
The Hockenheim event - which is part of the DTM season finale - also marks a one-off addition to the standard entry list. Carlos Sainz Jr., the son of two-time world rally champion and 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz, joins an extended five-car attack from the Signature squad in preparation for the Spaniard's outing with the team at Macau next month.
Just like at every previous round of the 2011 campaign, qualifying and the full three races of the weekend can be followed in real-time through the regular LIVE text commentary feature at www.felixracing.se. Furthermore, a full range of pictures, comments and results will also be made available online - all in order to bring you that bit closer to what looks set to be a thrilling finale to a truly fantastic season.
Formula 3 Euro Series - Hockenheim
TIMETABLE (local time - GMT+02:00)
FP: 09.50-11.55 (60 min - 5 min pause - 60 min)
Calendar and championship points structure
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The allocation of starting grid positions:
Race 1: Second-fastest lap from qualifying.
Race 2: Based on Race 1 results. Top eight drivers reversed for Race 2 grid.
Race 3: Outright fastest lap from qualifying.