Four weeks have passed since the last round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season in Austria, but this weekend will mark a spectacular return to the limelight as the championship takes to the avenues of Nuremberg for the only street race on the calendar. Set within the tight confines of the German city, the 2.3 km Norisring represents a unique challenge for teams and drivers alike – and Felix Rosenqvist is determined to strike back from the disappointments of Spielberg.
For Felix, the break ahead of the Norisring races has provided a good opportunity to analyse what has generally been a strong first few rounds of the campaign. Five podiums and two fastest laps so far in 2011 has signalled a promising start to the 19-year-old’s debut season in the championship, where Felix now holds fifth overall. Not scoring at all obviously wasn’t what the Mücke Motorsport driver had hoped for last time out in Austria, however – particularly not after qualifying second and running in that same position only to be taken out by Roberto Merhi on the opening lap of Race 3.
"We were genuinely quick at Spielberg, so it was a real shame that we weren’t able to score any points there whatsoever," Felix says. "I came within one tenth of Pole Position in qualifying, but the races are what count and I made a couple of mistakes that I have undoubtedly learnt a lot from. There is no point in dragging on about the past, though, and you just have to stay focussed on things that you are able to affect – and that’s why I’ve been working on maintaining my physical stamina in the build-up to the races at the Norisring. I feel as motivated as always and have very good memories of street circuits following the race in Macau last year."
Coming on the back of Circuit Paul Ricard, Zandvoort and Spielberg, the Norisring will be the fourth circuit out of five so far this season that Felix has to get acquainted to for the very first time. The bumpy, uneven surface on the former parade boulevards makes finding a consistent set-up quite a challenge, and the Norisring demands an aggressive driving style as the cars sweep past the ever-so-close walls and barriers.
The lap begins with a flat out right-hand kink, negotiated at top gear before drivers brake hard for a sharp hairpin which has been the scene of many first lap accidents (and plenty of spectacular overtaking moves) over years gone past. A short straight then leads into a fast right-left “S” combination – a sequence that has become somewhat of a fans’ favourite due to the close proximity of the walls on corner exit. Provided the drivers do make it through this daring test, a few seconds of hard acceleration leads them to the Dutzendteich Kehre – another slow hairpin – before they set out onto the start/finish straight to start another lap.
Joining the Formula 3 Euro Series grid for a one-off showing this weekend will be René Binder. The Austrian, who was one of Felix’s rivals in the German F3 championship last year, has signed a deal with Jo Zeller Racing. For the fourth time this season, Formula 3 Euro Series will be part of the DTM support package.
The annual Norisring summer races are considered one of the highlights on the German motor racing calendar – and it’s not exactly difficult to understand why. The circuit itself has become famous for the remarkable racing its street layout produces, and the unique possibility for spectators to get closer to the action than at any other venue has made the Norisring an immensely popular destination for fans throughout Europe. Pictures, results, news and the regular LIVE commentary service from qualifying and all three races will once again be brought to you at www.felixracing.se over the course of the weekend – literally from the streets of battle.
Formula 3 Euro Series - Norisring
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.