HAMILTON KEEPS WIN AFTER INVESTIGATION ROSBERG DNF’ WITH 2 LAPS TO GO KIMI BLAMES FAULTY CLUTCH
THIRD PORTIMÃO PODIUM A CLEAN SWEEP FOR PREMA POWERTEAM
Season race: 27 of 33
Track: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Winner: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny and warm
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) concluded the FIA Formula 3 European Championship weekend at the 4.684 kilometres long Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with his ninth victory of the season. Behind the 23-year-old Swede, who extended his lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship standings, Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) and Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) finished second and third. The Canadian also picked up the trophy for the best-placed rookie. George Russell (Carlin), Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) and Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports) rounded out the top six in the 27th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championshp season. Rosenqvist is now 34.5 points ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), who is second in the drivers’ standings with six races remaining.
In bright sunshine, Felix Rosenqvist made perfect use of his pole position and took the lead at the start. On the first few metres, Jake Dennis and Lance Stroll slotted in behind him. Markus Pommer (Motopark) and Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) collided while still on the opening lap and retired. The safety car was deployed to allow for the cars of the two Germans to be recovered.
At the restart on lap five, Prema driver Rosenqvist was wide awake and remained in the lead. Further down the order, Antonio Giovinazzi overtook rookie drivers Callum Ilott (Carlin) and Dorian Boccolacci (Signature) and claimed eighth place. In the race, that particularly provided action in the midfield with numerous overtaking manoeuvres, the Italian went on to finish eighth behind Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing). Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) and Dorian Boccolacci rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth place respectively. For New Zealander Cassidy, who made his FIA Formula 3 European Championship comeback in Portugal, this result brought him the first two championship points.
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “I was particularly cautious at the start, because I wanted to avoid a collision with my team-mates. After that, I mainly focussed on my tyres as they weren’t the freshest anymore. Therefore, I tried to maintain the gap to Jake at one second. I reckon that we have done a great job as a team here and we have shown that we are the fastest. As far as the championship is concerned, I am working from one race to another. Here at Portimão, things were going really well for me, but that can change quickly. Therefore, we have to keep working and stay focussed until the end of the season.”
Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam): “My tyres were newer than Felix’s, but I wasn’t able to benefit from this advantage. At no point in the race I was able to get closer than one second. All of a sudden, I saw that there were only three laps to go – I thought that the race would still be longer at that point. From then on, I did my utmost, but second place was all I could manage. In the final two meetings at the Nürburgring and Hockenheim, I will keep on pushing, because in fourth place of the drivers’ standings, I have nothing to lose.”
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “For me, it was a pretty straightforward race without a lot of action. My start wasn’t good, probably the worst of the season. As a result, I lost one place to Jake. For large parts of the race, I was able to keep up with Felix and Jake, but towards the end, I was no longer able to do so and I had to let them go. I still have to work on keeping up my performance until the end of the race.
ROSSI FLIES TO VICTORY IN MONZA
HAMILTON DENIES FERRARI AT MONZA
F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton did what just about everyone expected, namely claim pole for the Italian Grand Prix but few would have imagined that Ferrari would be firmly in the hunt as Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel chased hard to qualify second and third on ‘home’ soil.
Hamilton’s demure demeanour as he alighted from his Mercedes after qualifying suggested that he was aware that he will have a mighty job on his hands come Sunday. His best lap time of 1:23.397 was set on his first run in Q3, and in the end was almost a quarter second up on Raikkonen who claimed a front row start slot for the first time since 2013.
It was also the Finn’s first top six qualifying at Monza since 2009, the year in which he was last on the podium in Italy.
Mercedes have taken their 23rd pole position in succession, leaving them one short of Williams’ all-time mark of 24, set during the combined 1992 and 1993 seasons.
Vettel will head up row two, the Ferrari pair the meat in the Silver Arrows sandwich as Nico Rosberg ended fourth fastest, unable to match his pole winning teammate and title rival all weekend thus far.
Both Williams’ came good in their final runs with Felipe Massa and Valtterri Bottas, ending fifth and sixth respectively and set to share the third row of the grid.
POLE POSITIONS FOR ALEXANDER ALBON AND FELIX ROSENQVIST
Season race: 26 and 27 of 33
Track: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Pole position race 2: Alexander Albon (Signature)
Pole position race 3: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny and windy
In an exciting second qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.684 kilometres long Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Alexander Albon (Signature) came out on top. The 19-year-old London-based Thai was 0.027 seconds faster than Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam), who is second on the grid. Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) and Lance Stoll (Prema Powerteam) are on the second row of the starting grid for the 26th season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) are on the third row. In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race, Rosenqvist was fastest from Stroll, Dennis, George Russell (Carlin), Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport).
Starting grid race 2
The outcome of qualifying was open until the very end: drivers alternated in front all the time until the chequered flag was out. Eventually, Alexander Albon (1:41.976 minutes) was fastest and celebrated his third pole position in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Prema quartet Felix Stroll (1:42.003 minutes), Nick Cassidy (1:42.066 minutes), Lance Stroll (1:42.070 minutes) and Jake Dennis (1:42.135 minutes) had to make do with second to fifth place behind the rookie driver after Rosenqvist, Stroll and Cassidy all had temporarily been on top of the timing screens. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:42.171 minutes), the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader, ended up sixth in the session from his team-mate Gustavo Menezes (1:42.230 minutes), George Russell (1:42.291 minutes), Dorian Boccolacci (Signature, 1:42.400 minutes) and Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports, 1:42.420 minutes). The Brazilian, grandson of two times’ Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, was in first place with five minutes remaining, but wasn’t able to hold onto this position until the end.
Starting grid race 3
In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, Felix Rosenqvist (1:42.014 minutes) was fastest from Lance Stroll (1:42.074 minutes), Jake Dennis (1:42.256 minutes), George Russell (1:42.327 minutes), Gustavo Menezes (1:42.370 minutes), Mikkel Jensen (1:42.540 minutes), Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark, 1:42.564 minutes), Markus Pommer (Motopark, 1:42.592 minutes), Pietro Fittipaldi (1:42.597 minutes) and Callum Ilott (Carlin, 1:42.647 minutes).
Alexander Albon (Signature): “It is really amazing! The lap was pretty good, but I didn’t think it would be enough to end up fastest. On Tuesday and Wednesday in testing, I was well down the order, but we changed almost everything we could. We went top to bottom, we eliminated what worked and what didn’t, and the efforts have paid off. I really can’t thank the team enough for the job they have been doing. At Norisring, I was on pole as well, and since then, I also have been working very hard on my starts, so let’s wait and see what that will bring…”
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “That was a really intense qualifying! I think there were five guys doing the same lap times, and most of them also happened to be team-mates of mine. To be honest, I didn’t even know I was on pole for race three. Here, you always need a little bit of luck with the wind. On one lap, you can easily be 5 km/h faster down the straight than the lap before, or the next lap, so there was a little bit of luck involved as well, but all of us drove quite well. I felt like being on the limit, there wasn’t much more left. In first qualifying, it didn’t quite work out for me, but now, I am happy with my pole position for race three.”