Felix Rosenqvist rounded off his debut Formula 3 Euro Series season with one second place, one victory and a new lap record at the 2011 finale at Hockenheim this weekend. Having finished as runner-up for the sixth time this season in the opening race of the event, Rosenqvist finally overcame his jinx as he rose from seventh on a reversed grid to claim the first Formula 3 Euro Series victory ever for a Swedish driver after a storming drive in Race 2. The 19-year-old sat in first or second place in all sessions completed over the weekend, and eventually underlined his pace by erasing current DTM driver Edoardo Mortara’s F3 lap record at Hockenheim by 0.7 seconds.
"A great feeling, and a very good way to end the season," says Felix Rosenqvist. "I really want to thank my team, Mücke Motorsport, for an absolutely fantastic car – it has been a pure pleasure to drive here at Hockenheim. One of my personal goals this year was to win a race before the end of the campaign, so it was extra rewarding to make it onto the top step of the podium this weekend having come so close so many times this season."
Rosenqvist got his weekend off to a promising start by topping Friday’s free practice session, just under a tenth ahead of 2011 champion Roberto Merhi. From there, the duo would go on to make the event a two-horse affair, with their battle perhaps best manifesting itself in qualifying where they set absolutely identical lap times in the pursuit of Race 1 Pole Position. With Merhi having set his time earlier on than Rosenqvist, the Spaniard was given priority on the grid and duly translated his advantage into victory with Felix a close second. After the Race 2 win, the Swede once again found himself right on Merhi’s gearbox in the third and concluding race of the weekend, only to retire following a 200 km/h crash just seconds after establishing a new lap record.
"I simply wanted to win again and lost control of the car over the kerbs on the entry to Turn 1," Rosenqvist explains. "It was a shame it happened as I was running second and felt quite a bit quicker than Roberto right in front of me, but that’s motor racing and you have to try and learn something from it. I have developed a lot this year, and we have gradually become more and more competitive – as proven by the fact that I set the fastest lap in each of the three races this weekend. I am very happy with the conclusion to the season."
Felix Rosenqvist ends up fifth overall in the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series standings. While this weekend’s races marked the end of the championship, Rosenqvist will return to F3 action again next month when he takes part in the season-ending Macau Grand Prix on November 17-20.