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Felix rises from 22nd to fifth as chaos erupts at Norisring

FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES / FIA EUROPEAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
Venue:
Norisring (Germany) | Date: June 30th, 2012 | Weather: Warm and sunny

By Mattias Persson

AMENDED - Daniel Juncadella excluded after the race

Felix rose from 22nd on the grid to fifth overall - and to a Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship podium - by the chequered flag in the opening race of the weekend at the Norisring, after surviving a frantic event that featured two safety car periods and which was eventually red-flagged.

Felix got away well at the start, and immediately passed several cars on the run down to Turn 1. After making contact with Lucas Wolf on the exit of the hairpin, however, Felix lost some momentum and had to relinquish a couple of the places he made up off the line.

At the end of the opening lap, Felix sat in 18th place - and there would be no looking back from there. Having overtaken a host of rivals, including Sandro Zeller, Philip Ellis, Harry Tincknell and Tom Blomqvist, as he charged up through the field - helped in part by accidents that eliminated the likes of Luis Derani and Michael Lewis - Felix proved that the outcome of qualifying was not representative of his actual pace by posting the fourth fastest lap of the race.

Once the mid-race dust had settled, Felix found himself in eighth. After a succession of incidents involving Daniel Juncadella, where the Spaniard first collided with Pascal Wehrlein and then sent his Prema Powerteam colleague Raffaele Marciello into retirement in one of the Nuremberg walls, Felix suddenly found himself in sixth place when the safety car was deployed for the second time in the race (the first one was due to a clash in the midfield shortly after the start). With just a few laps remaining, officials decided to bring out the red flags and stop the race as Marciello's car was being retrieved from the track.

Felix thus took the chequered flag in sixth place on the road following the greatest fightback of the race - a result which then became fifth after Juncadella was excluded for his on-track antics. Starting from 22nd on the grid, Felix overcame one of the most eventful races for a long time to claw his way up to a Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship podium, with Pietro Fantin and Felix Serralles - third and fourth respectively - only eligible for points in the British F3 Series.

The results also mean that Felix will start this evening's Race 2 from fourth on the partially reversed grid, opening up possibilities for a second podium in as many races - proving that everything is possible in F3 racing after the more than torrid outcome of qualifying.

QUOTE | FELIX
"A very positive race for us, and I would never have thought that I would end up fifth from 22nd on the grid. We had good pace and I managed to post almost exactly the same lap time as Daniel (Juncadella) who was running at the front from the beginning. This race really confirmed my feelings from qualifying, where I think our performance was heavily compromised by the fact that we never got the tyres up to temperature. In this race, those issues were much less significant, and then we're up there. 

"It was great fun to be able to make some neat and clean overtaking moves, and for once, luck was on my side as I managed to avoid any incidents. We can take a lot of positives away from this race, and it will be interesting to see what we can do from much further up the grid in Race 2 this afternoon."


Results (top five)
Download full results (pdf)

Pos Name Team Time

1

Will Buller Carlin-Volkswagen

42 laps

Emil Bernstorff ma-con Motorsport-Volkswagen +1.109s

3

Pietro Fantin Carlin-Volkswagen

+1.720s

4

Felix Serralles Fortec-Mercedes

+3.014s

5

Felix Rosenqvist Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes

+4.298s






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