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Felix finishes fourth among European Championship drivers in Race 1

FIA EUROPEAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
Venue:
Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) | Date: July 27th, 2012 | Weather: Sunny

By Mattias Persson

Felix finished the opening race of the weekend at Spa in fourth place among the European Championship drivers and in ninth overall, giving himself a spot on the front row for this afternoon's Race 2 in the process.

Felix got away well off the grid, and immediately made up one position on the run to La Source. The race then turned into a strategic challenge, as the Cooper tyres faded and regained performance over the course of the 30-minute event, with different drivers being quick at different stages of the race.

With slipstreaming providing a big advantage on the stretch from La Source through Eau Rouge and all the way down the long Kemmel straight, several drivers were caught out as others drove past at much higher speeds. Felix went from strength to strength and managed to get past Tom Blomqvist towards the end of the race, sporting very competitive lap times once in free air in the closing stages - often out-paced only by leader Felix Serralles' Fortec.

Felix ended up ninth overall and fourth among the FIA European F3 Championship drivers, while simultaneously taking to the podium in third within the Invitational class starters. 

After the race, winner Serralles drew number ten in the traditional British F3-invented ballot system used to decide the grid for Race 2, which means that the top ten finishers from Race 1 will start this afternoon's shorter event in reversed order. As a result, Felix will share the front row with Blomqvist, but it should be noted that Race 2 won't be eligible for points in the European Championship. All drivers, however, will take part in order to gain track time and prepare themselves for tomorrow's points-paying Race 3.     

QUOTE | FELIX
"This was a highly entertaining race! The slipstreaming battles along Kemmel were fantastic, and at one stage, we were three abreast going into the Les Combes chicane as we all just kept closing in on each other. I lost contact with the group ahead of me when I was passed by my team-mate at the end of the straight, and before I could take the place back, the guys ahead were too far away. I did manage to close the gap to Tom (Blomqvist) and overtake him before the end though, which was good.

Tyres are a big factor here, and they drop off very quickly. I think I managed to conserve them better than most, however, and at the end of the race I was constantly second or third on lap time. Looking ahead, it's a bit typical of this season that when I finally have some luck and get onto the front row, it will be in a race that doesn't count for anything! I will still do my best to try and get an outright podium, though, and I'm looking forward to the second race."


Results (top five)
View complete results

Pos Name Team Time
1 Felix Serralles Fortec-Mercedes 13 laps

2

Daniel Juncadella Prema Powerteam-Mercedes

+5.657s

3 Carlos Sainz Jr. Carlin-Volkswagen +10.462s

4

Jack Harvey Carlin-Volkswagen

+12.678s

5

Jazeman Jaafar Carlin-Volkswagen

+14.364s

9

Felix Rosenqvist Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes

+18.081s






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