Felix Rosenqvist scored the eighth podium of his maiden Formula 3 Euro Series season when he finished second in the opening race of the weekend at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The Swede posted the second-fastest time overall in Friday free practice after having topped the first part of the session, and then overcame oversteering issues in qualifying to line up in third place on the grid for Race 1. A good start saw the 19-year-old out-accelerate home favourite Roberto Merhi – who later went on to claim the championship title in the final race of the weekend – into the first corner, and Rosenqvist then held on to second for the duration of the race and eventually shadowed Mücke Motorsport team-mate Nigel Melker by just 0.7 seconds at the chequered flag.
"An OK weekend for us, where we’ve been quick enough to challenge for wins and podiums," says Felix Rosenqvist. "I felt I was slightly faster than Nigel in Race 1, but it’s almost impossible to overtake here at Valencia and I also had to watch out for Roberto behind me for much of the race. It was great to give the team another 1-2, but after six second places this season I would obviously have preferred to win. I would also like to congratulate Roberto on winning the title – he has done the best job this season, and he is a very worthy champion."
In Race 2, where the positions on the grid are based on the results of Race 1 but with the top eight reversed, Rosenqvist and Merhi treated the on-site fans to one of the most spectacular battles of the year with a wheel-to-wheel dice at over 220 km/h. After disputing fifth place side-by-side for more than half a lap, Merhi eventually managed to take the position and Felix crossed the line in sixth. Race 3 saw Rosenqvist again challenge for the podium as he finished in fourth place – just 1.5 seconds adrift of second-placed Daniel Juncadella.
"For me, the Race 2 fight with Roberto was the highlight of this weekend – extremely tough racing, but still with a lot of respect for each other and completely fair," Rosenqvist concludes. "I have rarely found myself in real man-to-man situations in my career, so this was a very valuable experience. Race 3 was rather processional due to the difficulties of overtaking at this circuit, but all in all it’s been a good weekend. We have every chance of fighting for victory again at Hockenheim, and I am definitely ready to go for it!"
Following this weekend’s results, Felix Rosenqvist climbs to fifth overall in the championship standings. The Formula 3 Euro Series season finale takes place on October 21-23.