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Felix survives chaotic final race to score important points at Zandvoort

FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES / FIA EUROPEAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
Venue:
Zandvoort (the Netherlands) | Date: August 26th, 2012 | Weather: Changeable

By Mattias Persson

Felix came home fourth in a chaotic final race of the weekend at Zandvoort, after surviving a highly dramatic event marred by pit stops, crashes and some stunning overtaking moves in changeable weather conditions.

On a wet but drying track, teams and drivers were faced with the dilemma of whether they should equip their cars with slicks or wet-weather tyres ahead of the start. Felix took the decision to start the race on wets, as did the majority of the field - with the exception of Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam), Will Buller (Carlin) and Felix's Mücke Motorsport team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

The event got underway behind the safety car, but chaos struck as soon as the real racing began. After accelerating hard out of the final corner to try and open up a gap to his pursuers, pole-sitter Sven Müller was forced to brake on the start/finish straight when he came up on the safety car again before the appropriate line, with Prema Powerteam colleague Raffaele Marciello being taken by surprise and running straight into the back of his team-mate. Both were out on the spot, propelling Felix into the lead from his initial third place.

The circuit rapidly dried out, however, and as the safety car came out while the stricken Prema cars were retrieved, Felix and the rest of the runners shod with rain tyres - barring Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) - came into the pits to change to slicks. A problem with one of the wheel nuts meant that Felix was delayed, though, losing two positions while stationary and re-joining the track in seventh place.

Felix then produced a couple of stunning overtaking moves as he went past Wehrlein, Michael Lewis (Prema Powerteam), Carlos Sainz Jr. (Carlin) and the struggling Zeller in quick succession to claw himself back into third.

After further chaos erupted when ma-con Motorsport's Tom Blomqvist collided with Lewis on the start/finish straight on lap 11, another safety car intervention meant only two more laps at full speed were run before the chequered flag, with Felix unfortunately losing the final spot on the podium when he was passed by an opportunistic Wehrlein a few corners from home.

Fourth place still saw Felix end up as the top finisher out of those who had started the race on wets, and gave him 12 important points towards the Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship standings on a day when several rivals retired. Felix leaves Zandvoort in fifth place overall in both series.

QUOTE | FELIX
"A very eventful race, where I was able to grab the lead but where we unfortunately made the wrong choice on tyres ahead of the start. Our pit stop for slicks wasn't great, but even though I lost two positions there we still managed to haul ourselves back into a position to fight for the podium. It was good fun out there today, but I'm a bit disappointed at myself for having lost third on the final lap. I thought it was wetter than it really was off line, and unfortunately got a bit taken by surprise there. Overall, though, this has been a good weekend for us, and I'm happy to have scored some valuable points in this final race today."



Results (top five)
Download full results (pdf)

Pos Name Team Time
1 Daniel Juncadella Prema Powerteam-Mercedes 18 laps

2

Will Buller Carlin-Volkswagen

+3.293s

3 Pascal Wehrlein Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes +4.454s

4

Felix Rosenqvist Mücke Motorsport-Mercedes

+4.691s

5

Carlos Sainz Jr. Carlin-Volkswagen

+5.708s






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