Monza European F3: Felix Rosenqvist fends off Mikkel Jensen for win

Felix Rosenqvist took victory in a gripping first Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Monza

Monza European F3: Felix Rosenqvist fends off Mikkel Jensen for win

Although the Swede led from start to finish, it was a close race in fitting with Monza F3 tradition - with just four laps remaining he was leading a train of six cars and survived minor contact from Mikkel Jensen at the Roggia chicane, only to pull away again over the final stages to win by just over a second.

"That was one of my most important wins I think," said Rosenqvist. "After the first two laps I had a problem with the clutch; it was spinning more and more as I went up the gears and I lost of a lot of acceleration and top speed.

"But luckily they were fighting behind - that was key for me because I was losing six or seven tenths on the straights."

From pole, Rosenqvist's Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes extended a small gap over the first half of the race from the Mucke Motorsport machine of Santino Ferrucci.

Ferrucci's Mucke team-mate Jensen wriggled free of an early battle with Prema pair Lance Stroll and Jake Dennis, and the Dane then passed Ferrucci with a textbook move on the brakes into the Rettifilo chicane on the ninth lap of 19.

Ferrucci subsequently came under attack from Dennis. The Brit was ahead as they entered the 13th lap, but Ferrucci attempted to repass under braking for Rettifilo, only to run into the back of Dennis, sending him wide and ending the American's race on the spot (pictured below).

Meanwhile, Jensen was closing the gap to Rosenqvist, while Dennis, Stroll, Raoul Hyman and Charles Leclerc all closed up behind.

Although Dennis tried one move on Jensen, the top three then settled.

"It was battle on really," said Dennis, who started seventh due to a grid penalty. "I did some intense moves that were on the limit even for me, Santino hit the back of me, and Lance kept squeezing me off the track."

Hyman and Leclerc both got ahead of Stroll. Ferrari Driver Academy prospect Stroll then came under attack from Antonio Giovinazzi - the championship leader dived to the inside into the Rettifilo on the final lap, only for Stroll to close the door and get pitched into a spin.

Incredibly, Giovinazzi then passed Leclerc and Hyman over the course of the final lap to claim fourth.

George Russell had been embroiled in that scrap early on, but lost out late in the race to Pietro Fittipaldi, who finished seventh, while Brandon Maisano and Arjun Maini completed the points scorers.

Alexander Albon lost his third place on the grid when his car didn't get away on the green-flag lap, while there was one safety car early on caused by a collision between Artur Janosz and Markus Pommer on the grid, which required Janosz's car to be removed.

RESULTS - 19 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 36m09.669s
2 Mikkel Jensen KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1.131s
3 Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1.529s
4 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 5.265s
5 Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 5.316s
6 Raoul Hyman Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 5.693s
7 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 6.056s
8 George Russell Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 6.473s
9 Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 7.492s
10 Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 13.755s
11 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 15.540s
12 Ryan Tveter Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17.412s
13 Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 19.691s
14 Martin Cao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 24.927s
15 Michele Beretta KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 25.446s
16 Matt Rao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 26.480s
17 Tatiana Calderon Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 36.637s
18 Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 42.686s
19 Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 46.855s
20 Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 48.296s
21 Alexander Albon Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 1 Lap
- Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Santino Ferrucci KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Nabil Jeffri Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Fabian Schiller Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Maximilian Guenther KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Julio Moreno ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE Retirement
- Matt Solomon Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Kang Ling KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Sam MacLeod Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Dorian Boccolacci Signature Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Markus Pommer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Artur Janosz EuroInternational Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Facu Regalia EuroInternational Dallara/Mercedes Withdrawn


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Monza European F3: Felix Rosenqvist completes pole hat-trick

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