The fourth round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria proved a tough affair for Felix Rosenqvist. Despite getting his weekend off to a strong start by posting the second-fastest time in Friday qualifying – and underlining his pace at the event by scoring the fastest lap in Race 1 – the 19-year-old left the Spielberg venue with zero points to his name after three highly frustrating races. Rosenqvist had to retire from the first race due to a crash, strongly compromising his chances of a good result in the rain-affected Race 2 in the process as he was forced to start from the back of the grid. The Swede was then sent into retirement in the final race after being hit by championship leader Roberto Merhi on the opening lap.
"This definitely wasn’t a great weekend from a results point of view, but I am actually not as disappointed as one might think," says Felix Rosenqvist. "We have taken another step forward, and the second place in qualifying – where I was just a tenth away from Pole Position – was our strongest qualifying showing so far. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t turn my front row slot in Race 3 into a decent result, but Roberto has apologised for the clash and I think his respect for me has increased this weekend."
In the opening race, Rosenqvist was recovering from a problematic start when he set the fastest lap of the race before crashing at Turn 1 and retiring with broken suspension. Race 2 literally wasn’t a sunnier story, as rain drenched the Styria mountains and forced the 20-minute sprint to be started behind the Safety Car. From dead last on the grid (a direct result of his Race 1 DNF), Felix took the chequered flag in tenth place having posted the third-fastest lap time, before the collision with Merhi then brought Race 3 to an early end.
"It’s obviously a shame not to score any points on a weekend when our pace was at least as good as at Zandvoort, where we came away with three podiums," Rosenqvist concludes. "We had a few issues getting the car to where I wanted it here in Austria, and that led me to make a couple of mistakes that I shouldn’t have made. I want to highlight the efforts of my team, though; I didn’t give them the easiest of weekends, but they did a fantastic job. I will learn a lot from these few days – not least when it comes to driving in the rain – and I think this will make us an even stronger force over the up-coming races."
Felix Rosenqvist currently lies in fifth place in the championship standings. The next round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season will take place on the German streets of Nuremberg (Norisring) on July 1-3.