FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES
Date: October 21st, 2011
Venue: Hockenheim (Germany)
Weather: Foggy, overcast
Felix set the fastest time in free practice at Hockenheim on Friday, after dipping well below the current lap record in a session which was delayed almost two hours due to foggy conditions.
With a thick layer of mist greeting the teams and drivers upon arrival at the circuit this morning, the weather was deemed too treacherous for the important ambulance helicopter to take off from the Hockenheim helipad in the event of a potential accident.
Organisers therefore decided to postpone all early morning activities until conditions had improved, which meant Formula 3 Euro Series practice didn't get up and running until just before noon. In a time-saving measure to try and get the day's schedule somewhat back on track, practice was shortened from its usual two hours to one and a half.
With drivers struggling to get adequate heat into their Kumho tyres in the very low temperatures, the best times were all set towards the end of each stint, with the first 45 minutes of action placing Felix second on the list - just 0.024s adrift of early pace-setter Laurens Vanthoor - after bedding in new brakes.
In a considerably quicker final half of practice, however, Felix shot to the top of the timesheets with a best time of 1m32.594s - comfortably inside Edoardo Mortara's 2010 lap record of 1m33.246s. Felix's effort - like everybody else's - came in a burst of new-tyre runs at the end of the session, with 2011 champion Roberto Merhi finishing second on the list as he wound up a tenth behind Felix.
Carlos Sainz Jr. opened his first Formula 3 Euro Series event in impressive fashion by going third fastest, while Felix's Mücke Motorsport team-mates Nigel Melker and Facu Regalia ended up sixth and 14th respectively.
The final qualifying session of the season takes place this afternoon. Just like at every previous round of the championship, the pursuit of Pole Position (as well as all the weekend's three races) can be followed LIVE here at the website through Felix Racing's dedicated text commentary service.
Qualifying was originally scheduled to begin at 16.20 CEST, but the delays caused by the weather situation have forced organisers to postpone the session until 17.00. LIVE coverage kicks off at 16.45 CEST.