Roberto Merhi scores an effortless victory at Silverstone
|By Sam Tremayne
||Saturday, September 10th 2011, 12:05 GMT
Roberto Merhi cruised to his eighth F3 Euro Series victory of the season with a seemingly effortless performance in race one at Silverstone.
The Prema Powerteam man made a good getaway from pole and was never troubled thereafter. By lap four his lead was approaching five seconds, and with metronomic efficiency he extended it almost without fail to eventually win by more than 18 seconds.
Marco Wittmann (Signature) bolted from fourth to second at the start and held position for the remainder of the race, with Daniel Juncadella (Prema) rounding out the podium trio.
An otherwise processional race was spiced up by a brief spell of rain six laps in, which helped Mucke Motorsport's Felix Rosenqvist play a starring role.
The 2011 F3 Masters winner had dropped from third to sixth from the start, but fought his way back to finish fourth, right on the tail of Juncadella.
Rosenqvist first passed Mucke team-mate Marco Sorensen for fifth on the outside of Luffield, only to be repassed as the pair went side by side into Copse. A lap later he made the move stick, before passing Daniel Abt (Signature) moments later with an assured move on the outside of Stowe.
Abt managed to hold on to fifth, but Sorensen dropped a further place when he was picked off by Signature's Laurens Vanthoor on lap 11.
Kimiya Sato (Motopark) was the only driver able to match Rosenqvist's pace in the wet but he faded as the circuit dried, eventually finishing eighth ahead of team-mate Jimmy Eriksson and Signature's Carlos Munoz.
Results - 24 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 37m05.123s
2. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW + 18.773s
3. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc + 19.478s
4. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 20.393s
5. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW + 29.719s
6. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW + 30.485s
7. Marco Sorensen Mucke Dallara-Merc + 31.257s
8. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW + 32.393s
9. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW + 40.923s
10. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW + 42.430s
11. Alon Day HS Dallara-VW + 49.040s
12. Gianmarco Raimondo Prema Dallara-Merc + 2 laps