Felix Rosenqvist put in a series of spirited fightback drives at the penultimate FIA Formula 3 European Championship round of the season at Vallelunga this weekend, as he battled to minimise the damage of a broken suspension that put him on the sidelines in the early stages of Saturday qualifying.
The qualifying adversity forced Rosenqvist to line up 27th and last for both the first and second race of the weekend – on a track notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities. The 21-year-old would take no prisoners once the red lights went out, however, clawing his way back up to tenth and ninth respectively in the two races to earn himself some potentially decisive championship points.
In the final race of the weekend, Rosenqvist finished sixth after once again making up several positions from another lowly grid slot (also a consequence of his qualifying woes). The Mücke Motorsport man leaves Vallelunga – which he visited for the first time this weekend – still in second place in the overall standings, with title rival Raffaele Marciello using the benefit of home soil to open up a 45.5-point advantage with 75 points left up for grabs at next weekend’s Hockenheim finale.
"Results-wise, this was obviously a dark weekend, although we did manage to make the most of where we were after qualifying," Felix Rosenqvist says. "Our chances were effectively ruined by one tenth of bad luck in qualifying – I hit a kerb from an unfortunate angle, and broke the suspension before I could set any representative time – but to fight back like that and actually score some points felt really good. I am disappointed at some of the on-track behaviour and some decisions taken this weekend – particularly in the final race, where I think some of our main rivals got away with some clear infringements – but that has only made me even more motivated for Hockenheim; and I will be going absolutely flat out again in a couple of days’ time."
Felix Rosenqvist has now mathematically secured at least second place overall in the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship standings, with third-placed Alex Lynn unable to overhaul the Swede regardless of the outcome at Hockenheim.