Nurburgring European F3: Felix Rosenqvist wins and closes on title

Felix Rosenqvist took a giant stride towards the Formula 3 European Championship title with a lights-to-flag win in the first race of the weekend at the Nurburgring

Nurburgring European F3: Felix Rosenqvist wins and closes on title

The Swede got a good launch in his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes to lead team-mate and fellow front-row man Nick Cassidy into the first corner, and controlled the race all the way.

Rosenqvist was a second to the good after two laps and gradually extended the advantage to win by 6.5s.

"I was just focusing on the start, because that's 90 per cent of the race here," said Rosenqvist.

"My start was really perfect - I think it was one of my best. I just had a feel for the car, tried to get a gap and then just maintained it."

Far from thinking of mounting an attack on Rosenqvist, Cassidy instead had to keep a wary eye on Callum Ilott, the 16-year-old Brit taking his first F3 podium in his Red Bull-backed Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen.

Ilott appeared to be gaining with a few laps to go, but New Zealander Cassidy was able to keep him at arm's length for the remainder of the race.

Ilott had staved off an attack from Charles Leclerc over the opening corners, but from then on Leclerc seriously lacked pace due to a damaged front wing on his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-VW.

A train of cars built up behind the Monegasque, as this group left a yawning chasm of half a minute to the leading trio by the finish.

But, other than a couple of wide moments at Turn 1, Leclerc rarely looked under serious threat of losing the position, with a strong defensive drive.

Mikkel Jensen (Mucke Motorsport) was the man boxed up behind Leclerc, with Motopark runner Markus Pommer in turn on his tail.

Behind them, Santino Ferrucci - thanks to a great first lap from the seventh row - was able to fend off an attack from Arjun Maini for seventh, while Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi completed the top 10.

Giovinazzi and Jake Dennis both lost out in the scramble to the first corner - Dennis clipped Ilott, damaging his front wing and forcing him into the pits, while Giovinazzi ran wide as a result of the bunching to his inside to fall initially down to 12th.

The upshot is that Rosenqvist now holds a 58.5-point lead over Giovinazzi, with 125 left on the table; Leclerc is 66.5 behind and Dennis 94 adrift.

Grid-penalised George Russell's bid to scramble into the points was hampered by a determined defensive drive from Gustavo Menezes, which in turn led to an attack from Raoul Hyman.

Alexander Albon managed to vault ahead of all of them to scythe the gap to 11th-placed Sergio Sette Camara, with Russell in his wheeltracks at the flag.

RESULTS - 25 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 34m07.623s
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 6.491s
3 Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 7.764s
4 Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 36.405s
5 Mikkel Jensen KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 36.525s
6 Markus Pommer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 36.992s
7 Santino Ferrucci KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 37.860s
8 Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 38.337s
9 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 38.878s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 39.326s
11 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 42.423s
12 Alexander Albon Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 43.019s
13 George Russell Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 43.391s
14 Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 48.009s
15 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 48.650s
16 Raoul Hyman Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 50.497s
17 Nabil Jeffri Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 51.408s
18 Felix Serralles KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 52.835s
19 Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 53.331s
20 Tatiana Calderon Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 55.800s
21 Dorian Boccolacci Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 56.324s
22 Matt Rao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 1m00.815s
23 Sam MacLeod Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m02.272s
24 Ryan Tveter Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 1m02.638s
25 Michele Beretta KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 1m03.046s
26 Andy Chang Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 1m03.739s
27 Zhi Cong Li Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 1m05.029s
28 Matt Solomon Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m05.895s
29 Julio Moreno ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 1m06.825s
30 Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1m16.701s
31 Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1m19.712s
32 Harald Schlegelmilch ArtLine Engineering ARTTech/NBE 1 Lap
- Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement


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