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FIA F3 European ChampionshipRounds 2 & 3, Silverstone, Great Britain, April 10th/12th 2015© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas

Weather:
Warm, dry, cloudy.

Qualifying Report – Rounds 2 & 3:
After claiming pole position for Round 1 tomorrow morning it should come as no surprise to anyone that Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) was in no mood to be denied the other two poles up for grabs in this evening’s qualifying session for Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2015 FIA F3 series. He was calm and collected, leaving it till very late to start his challenge but in the end he will start both races from the number 1 slot, with Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) and George Russell (Carlin) taking up the other two top three places. Leclerc also starts Round 3 from 2nd, this time ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin).

The session, which closed the day, was a few minutes late in starting, but eventually all the WEC cars were rounded up and returned to the correct places, and the session got underway under late afternoon sunshine. Initially, it seemed inertia had gripped most of the drivers and for the longest time only three drivers were circulating at all, with Zhi Cong Li (Fortec Motorsports), Alexander Albon (Signature) and Julio Moreno (ThreeBond with T-Sport) the only people to set a time in the first 8 minutes of a 20 minute session.

Albon was in the 1:52s so the times were quick, though not necessarily as fast as they could be, and suddenly everyone seemed to realise that time was ticking away and we were knee deep in traffic as all 35 drivers hit the track. Albon seemed to see that as his cue to exit the session and he headed for the pits as everyone else headed for the track. He had provisional pole at that point but no one expected him to keep it for long. At the halfway stage though, it was still his. He was followed by Li and Moreno, with Kang Ling (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Matt Rao (Fortec Motorsports), Fabian Schiller (Team West-TecF3), Dorian Boccolacci (Signature), Matt Solomon (Double R Racing), Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Nabil Jeffri (Motopark) rounding out the top 10.

Schiller and Rao swapped places, and then Michele Beretta (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) shoved them both down a place or two. It still didn’t look especially normal – and it looked less so when Pietro Fittipaldi shot round to nab the top slot. Leclerc and Rosenqvist, meanwhile, were starting to push very hard, as was demonstrated when the sector times started to go purple for each of them in turn. While they were lining up all the ducks, Nicolas Beer (Eurointernational) snuck into 3rd, but he didn’t hold it long.

Leclerc suddenly went even faster, and Giovinazzi slotted in alongside him in 2nd, but then the new “Superswede” Rosenqvist was there at the top of the order after blitzing all three sectors. That opened the floodgates and suddenly all the names you would reasonably expect to be at the sharp end began to appear. Russell was now 4th and Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) was up in 6th, just in front of Callum Ilot (Carlin) to 7th.

With seven minutes to go Leclerc went faster to nudge Rosenqvist out of pole, and Russell dug even deeper to go 3rd. Albon was back out and the rookie pushed very hard to go 5th, while behind him Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) was now 6th from Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), the American getting ahead of Stroll, while Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Ilot now completed the top ten.

Could Rosenqvist answer the Leclerc challenge? As it turned out, yes he could. A lap later and he was back at the top and there he would now stay, both pole positions definitively his. However, he was taking no chances now. With three minutes left on the clock Rosenqvist continued to push, ready to meet the challenge should Leclerc have anything left in the tank.

It was still possible that someone might have the answer to the experienced Swede, especially as everyone was proving fast through the first sector. There was much shuffling in the middle sector as the session drew to a close but no one could threaten the pole man. Brendon Maisano (Prema Powerteam) hauled himself up to 7th, while Albon reclaimed 5th and Stroll went faster but remained 8th.

And so Rosenqvist would start both races from the front of the grid, with Leclerc and Giovinazzi heading up Russell, Albon, Maisano, Dennis, Stroll, Menezes and Ilot for Round 3. 11th is Markus Pommer (Motopark), from Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Dorian Boccolacci (Signature), Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing), Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports), Nabil Jeffri (Motopark), Nicolas Beer (Eurointernational), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Arjun Maini (Van Amersfoort Racing). 21st will be Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) from Tatiana Calderón (Carlin), Beretta, Schiller, Moreno, Raoul Hyman (Team West-Tec F3) Matt Solomon (Double R Racing), Sergio Sette Camara (Motopark), Matt Rao (Fortec Motorsports) , Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.396 and Kang Ling (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). In 31st will be Hongwei Cao (Fortec Motorsports), Li, Mahaveer Raghunathan (Motopark), Sam Macleod (Motopark) and Nicolas Pohler (Double R Racing).

For Round 2 again Rosenqvist is on pole from Leclerc, Russell, Giovinazzi, Albon, Maisano, Dennis, Stroll, Menezes and Tveter. 11th will be Ilot, leading Jensen, Pommer, Schiller, Boccolacci, Fittipaldi, Günther, Maini, Ferrucci and Beretta. Starting from 21st is Beer, from Lorandi, Jeffri, Calderon, Moreno, Hyman, Sette Camara, Solomon, Rao and Ling. Cao is in 31st from Macleod, Raghunathan, Li and Pohler.

With so many rookies in the pack, the races could prove to be very interesting indeed.

Race 2 Grid (Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2):
1st – No. 1, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.087

7, Charles Leclerc*, MON, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.148
3rd – No. 10, George Russell*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.448
4th – No. 3, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.458
5th – No. 21, Alexander Albon*, THA, Signature, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.550
6th – No. 24, Brandon Maisano, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1;51.755
7th – No. 2, Jake Dennis, GBR, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.781
8th – No. 25, Lance Stroll*, CAN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.808
9th – No. 4, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Jagonya Ayam Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.982
10th – No. 26, Ryan Tveter*, USA, Jagonya Ayam, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.042
11th – No. 30, Callum Ilott*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.061
12th – No. 27, Mikkel Jensen*, DEN, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.165
13th – No. 34, Markus Pommer, GER, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.189
14th – No. 11, Fabian Schiller*, GER, Fabian Team West-Tec F3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.317
15th – No. 20, Dorian Boccolacci*, FRA, Signature, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.347
16th – No. 12, Pietro Fittipaldi*, BRA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.367
17th – No. 28, Maximilian Günther*, GER, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.376
18th – No. 29, Arjun Maini*, IND, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.402
19th – No. 5, Santino Ferrucci, USA, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.411
20th – No. 6, Michele Beretta, ITA, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.474
21st – No. 15, Nicolas Beer, DEN, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.506
22nd – No. 8, Alessio Lorandi*, ITA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.506
23rd – No. 22, Nabil Jeffri, MAS, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.564
24th – No. 9, Tatiana Calderón, COL, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.677
25th – No. 17, Julio Moreno*, ECU, ThreeBond T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:52.755
26th – No. 38, Raoul Hyman*, RSA, Team West-Tec F3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.769
27th – No. 23, Sergio Sette Camara, BRA, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.904
28th – No. 19, Matt Solomon*, HKG, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.909
29th – No. 14, Matthew Rao, GBR, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.332
30th – No. 35, Kang Ling, CHN, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.354
31st – No. 31, Hongwei Cao, CHN, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.409
32nd – No. 36, Sam Macleod, GBR, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:53.460
33rd – No. 33, Mahaveer Raghunathan*, IND, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:53.468
34th – No. 32, Zhi Cong Li, CHN, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.488
35th – No. 18, Nicolas Pohler, GER, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.954

Race 3 Grid (2nd Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2):
1st – No. 1, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.198

2nd – No. 7, Charles Leclerc*, MON, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.489
3rd – No. 3, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1;51.537
4th – No. 10, George Russell*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.543
5th – No. 21, Alexander Albon*, THA, Signature, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:51.688
6th – No. 24, Brandon Maisano, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.877
7th – No. 2, Jake Dennis, GBR, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.924
8th – No. 25, Lance Stroll*, CAN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:51.953
9th – No. 4, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Jagonya Ayam Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.006
10th – No. 30, Callum Ilott*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.081
11th – No. 34, Markus Pommer, GER, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.212
12th – No. 27, Mikkel Jensen*, DEN, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.389
13th – No. 20, Dorian Boccolacci*, FRA, Signature, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.410
14th – No. 26, Ryan Tveter*, USA, Jagonya Ayam, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.505
15th – No. 8, Alessio Lorandi*, ITA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.549
16th – No. 12, Pietro Fittipaldi*, BRA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.603
17th – No. 22, Nabil Jeffri, MAS, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.604
18th – No. 15, Nicolas Beer, DEN, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.625
19th – No. 5, Santino Ferrucci, USA, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.645
20th – No. 29, Arjun Maini*, IND, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.669
21st – No. 28, Maximilian Günther*, GER, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.716
22nd – No. 9, Tatiana Calderón, COL, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:52.744
23rd – No. 6, Michele Beretta, ITA, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.853
24th – No. 11, Fabian Schiller*, GER, Fabian Team West-Tec F3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.854
25th – No. 17, Julio Moreno*, ECU, ThreeBond T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:52.869
26th – No. 38, Raoul Hyman*, RSA, Team West-Tec F3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.884
27th – No. 19, Matt Solomon*, HKG, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:52.944
28th – No. 23, Sergio Sette Camara, BRA, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:53.005
29th – No. 14, Matthew Rao, GBR, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.396
30th – No. 35, Kang Ling, CHN, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.471
31st – No. 31, Hongwei Cao, CHN, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.477
32nd – No. 32, Zhi Cong Li, CHN, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.520
33rd – No. 33, Mahaveer Raghunathan*, IND, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:53.542
34th – No. 36, Sam Macleod, GBR, Motopark, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:53.562
35th – No. 18, Nicolas Pohler, GER, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:53.943

*Rookie

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