FIA FORMULA 3 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Half-time review part 1: Mücke and Prema battling for the title…
It’s season half-time in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, with teams and drivers looking forward to their well-deserved summer-break. The perfect point in time for an interim review. With Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist, Prema Powerteam and kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport have got the hottest title contenders racing for them. Both drivers have got a lot of Formula 3 experience under their belts and 14 of the 15 races contested to date were won by one of these two teams. In the team championship, the Italian squad and the team around Team Principal Peter Mücke hold first and second positions.
Raffaele Marciello made a virtually perfect start into the season by winning the first race of the season in his home event at Monza. And the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé also won the third round of the Italian race weekend held at the tradition-rich Formula 1 circuit to consequently travel to Silverstone for the second race meeting of the season as championship leader. In the following events – at Silverstone and Hockenheim – the 18-year-old extended his lead with three consecutive wins but in the second British event, his streak of success came to a temporary end. After round three of the Brands Hatch meeting his points were disallowed due to technical irregularities and two weeks later, at the Red Bull Ring, he had to cope with his first winless race weekend of the season.
Other than Marciello, Felix Rosenqvist needed his time to get going. At Monza, the 21-year-old scored just 12 points to only afterwards establish as regular race-win contender. He secured a race win both at Silverstone and Hockenheim and at the Red Bull Ring, he became the first driver in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship history to have celebrated a treble. With these successes, Rosenqvist significantly closed in on championship leader Marcello and lies just 27.5 points behind the Italian, now.
Austrian Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) and Briton Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) currently hold third and fourth positions in the championship. Other then their team-mate Marciello, they both are new Prema Powerteam signings but nonetheless, they succeeded in demonstrating their skills several times – and both already secured a race win. The only Prema driver still waiting for his first major success is Eddie Cheever. The best results so far of the 20-year-old son of former Formula 1 ace and Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever were two eighth places. At season half time, he holds 16th position in the drivers’ championship.
kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport originally planned to contest the season with Pascal Wehrlein (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) but then, the 18-year-old 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series Vice-Champion was offered the opportunity to switch to DTM and did so after the successful Monza weekend. He was replaced by Michael Lewis (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). But after having entered the season belatedly, the US-American has got his problems to get going. The 22 year-old hopeful from California currently is 19th in the championship, right behind his team-mate Roy Nissany in 18th position. The 18 year-old advanced from the ADAC Formula Masters to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. A major step but he coped well with the new challenge, impressed with a solid leaning curve and at Brands Hatch, he succeeded in scoring his first points. Meanwhile, team-mate Mitchell Gilbert still is waiting for his first successes. Nonetheless, the 19-year-old Australian who was born in Malaysia is confident regarding the second half of the season and hopes to soon also have got some points on his tally.
The second chapter of the comprehensive half-time review focuses on the achievements of the teams Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Eurointernational in the first half of the season.