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Felix retires from Race 1 after clashing with Tom Blomqvist

FIA Formula 3 European Championship | Round 1
Venue:
Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy) | Date: 23 March 2013 | Weather: Cloudy

By Mattias Persson

Felix was sent into retirement in the first race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at Monza on Saturday, after being hit from behind by Red Bull protégé Tom Blomqvist under braking on lap 11.  

Starting from 11th on the grid, Felix immediately demonstrated that he's lost none of his reactions over the winter to shoot straight into fifth place. He completed the first lap in P6 and lost a spot to Will Buller on the following tour, but then went back into sixth by charging ahead of Blomqvist under braking for Turn 1.

Blomqvist was able to reclaim the place just moments later, though, with Felix missing an upshift out of the Prima Variante chicane. Felix got stuck behind the Eurointernational driver for the next couple of laps, losing valuable time to the leaders before again overtaking Blomqvist to finally, it seemed, settle the battle in his favour.

On lap 11, however, disaster struck as Blomqvist misjudged his braking into the first chicance and clattered the back of Felix's Mücke Motorsport car, sending him into retirement with broken suspension. Blomqvist was deemed guilty for the accident, and received a drive-through penalty by the stewards.

The race was won by home hero Raffaele Marciello, with Prema Powerteam celebrating a one-two as Lucas Auer came home second.

Race 2 at Monza will take place tomorrow morning, with Felix eager to make amends from seventh slot on the grid.

QUOTE | FELIX
"Things looked very good for me at the beginning of the race, and I was able to make up a lot of places off the line. I managed to get ahead of Tom into Turn 1 a few laps in, but then I missed an upshift on the exit of the chicane - and that allowed Tom to get back ahead. That was really a big shame, because I felt quite a lot faster than him at that stage and lost a lot of time to the leaders running behind him.

"It didn't really matter in the end, though, since I was forced to retire anyway. I think Tom knows he made a mistake, and we all do that every now and then. It was very unfortunate and the worst possible way to start the season, but we can at least take comfort from the fact that we were able to make up a lot of ground until the accident - and the pace was good enough to challenge at the front today. All we can do now is focus on tomorrow, and hopefully we will be able to bring home our first points of the year by then."

Results (top five)

View full results

Pos Name Team Time
1 Raffaele Marciello Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 19 laps

2

Lucas Auer Prema Powerteam-Mercedes

+2.079s

3 Pascal Wehrlein Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes +5.200s

4

Will Buller ThreeBond with T-Sport-Nissan

+13.956s

5

Harry Tincknell Carlin-Volkswagen

+15.855s

DNF

Felix Rosenqvist Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes

+9 laps







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