Felix Rosenqvist fought back in the fight for the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title by claiming the maximum 75 points on offer – and winning twice – at Zandvoort this weekend.
Rosenqvist once again proved to be the man to beat at the Dutch venue – where he won the Masters of Formula 3 for a second time earlier in the year – as he blitzed the 27-car field to score two pole positions in Friday qualifying; one of them by a margin of more than four tenths. The Swede then finished second in the first race of the weekend, but was handed the maximum score of 25 points as he came home behind non-championship runner Daniil Kvyat – before going on to convert pole position into victory in both of the remaining races at the meeting.
Further underlining his pace, Rosenqvist notched up the fastest lap of both races two and three, while simultaneously bettering his own 2012 FIA Formula 3 European Championship lap record.
Rosenqvist’s Dutch performance means he has now reduced the deficit to championship rival Raffaele Marciello (Italy) from 72.5 to just 9.5 points, setting up an ultra-dramatic chase for the title with 150 points still up for grabs in the two remaining rounds of the campaign. Marciello and Rosenqvist are now more than 120 points clear of third-placed Alex Lynn in the standings.
"An absolutely incredible weekend; Zandvoort certainly is the place for me," Felix Rosenqvist says. "I did not expect to go away from here less than ten points adrift of the championship lead, and the outcome of this weekend has put us firmly back in the title hunt once more. We've scored the maximum 75 points on offer, won two out of three races, topped qualifying and set two fastest laps and a new lap record – it certainly could have been a lot worse! Big, big thanks to the entire team at Mücke Motorsport for giving me such a great car this weekend. We now have to redirect our focus towards the final two rounds of the season, and we have to work as hard as we humanly can to try and maintain this form in Italy and Germany."
The penultimate round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season will be staged at the Italian circuit of Vallelunga – a new acquaintance for Rosenqvist – on October 11-13. The finale takes place at Hockenheim (Germany) a week later.