Felix Rosenqvist unbeatable at Monza

Season race: 12 of 33
Track: Monza
Winner: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast and warm

For Felix Rosenqvist, the journey to the Monza Formula 1 circuit paid off, because the Swede also won the third race of the weekend. In the twelfth race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, the Prema driver led from lights to flag to score his third victory of the season. Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) and Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) were classified in second and third place respectively. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points leader, Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam) and Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) finished in fourth to sixth place.

Starting from pole position, Felix Rosenqvist took the lead as the lights went out, but had to turn down an attack by Charles Leclerc on his way towards the first corner. Further down the field, Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) ran into the back of the car driven by Fabian Schiller (Team West-Tec F3) and got airborne. Because the American’s car stranded as a result, the race director sent the safety car out. Tveter was taken to hospital for a check-up. For Schiller, the race was over due to a damaged rear wing soon after that.

At the restart on lap five, Rosenqvist held on to his lead. Leclerc lost second place to Jake Dennis after a successful attack by the Brit and dropped back to third. Only three laps after the restart, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) collided with Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and retired. That prompted the second safety car intervention, followed by the race being red-flagged. With two cars having barrel-rolled in the second race already, without any injuries for the drivers involved, and medical care being required for Ryan Tveter after his accident in the opening stages of this race, race control intervened for safety reasons.

This early end didn’t affect Rosenqvist’s victory in any way. Dennis, Leclerc, Giovinazzi, Maïsano, Menezes, George Russell (Carlin), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) rounded out the top ten.

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “My car was perfect throughout the weekend, which I was able to prove by three pole positions and three race wins. Unfortunately, we also got half the points in this race, too, because we didn’t get to complete 75 percent of the scheduled race distance.”

Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good and later on, I also managed to overtake Charles. With that, I was second, which is a good result.”

Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I am happy to be back on the podium, even though third place is not what I had been dreaming of. In this race, I particularly was having problems on the straight. When Jake overtook me, I wanted to follow in his slipstream. Unfortunately, the race then was stopped early.”


Two further pole positions for Swede Rosenqvist

Season race: 11 and 12 of 33
Track: Monza
Pole position race 2: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position race 3: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny and warm

For Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam), the Monza weekend continues in a successful way: having already claimed pole position in first qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, he was also unbeatable in second qualifying. The 23-year-old Swede, who also came out on top in the ranking of the second-fastest laps, thus claimed his sixth and seventh best qualifying times of the current season. At the 5.793 kilometres long Grand Prix circuit, second place went to Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing). Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) followed in third and fourth place. In the ranking of the second-fastest lap times, used to determine the starting grid positions for the third race of the weekend, pace-setter Rosenqvist was followed by Leclerc, Giovinazzi and Dennis.

Starting grid race 2

There were plenty of changes out in front in the opening stages of qualifying, but towards the halfway point, Felix Rosenqvist (1:43.417 minutes) claimed the top spot. Later on, the Prema driver extended his lead more and more, only Charles Leclerc (1:43.577 minutes) came close to the Swede in the final stages. However, the 17-year-old Monegasque was unable to take first place away from the Swede, by six years his senior. There also was a battle for third place with Antionio Giovinazzi (1:43.707 minutes) and Jake Dennis (1:43.722 minutes). Eventually, the Italian just came out on top against the Brit. Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:43.812 minutes), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:43.968 minutes), Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam, 1:44.003 minutes) and Matt Solomon (Double R Racing, 1:44.016 minutes) followed behind Dennis. 20-year-old Danish driver Jensen and 19-year-old Solomon from Hong Kong both scored their best qualifying results to date in their maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam, 1:44.029 minutes) and Markus Pommer (Motopark, 1:44.057 minutes) completed the top ten.

Starting grid race 3

Felix Rosenqvist (1:43.447 minutes) was also unbeatable in the ranking of the second-fastest lap times. Leclerc (1:43.587 minutes), Giovinazzi (1:43.900 minutes) and Dennis (1:43.936 minutes) secured second to fourth place, just like they had done in the ranking of the fastest lap times. This time, Ferrucci (1:43.997 minutes) beat his team-mate Jensen (1:44.027 minutes) in the duel for fifth place. Maïsano (1:44.132 minutes) and Pommer (1:44.138 minutes) followed in seventh and eigth place from Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:44.178 minutes) and Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:44.227 minutes).

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “It was slightly more difficult than in the first qualifying, because I had plenty of championship contenders behind me and I didn’t want to ruin their laps. I was able to do one clear lap without slipstream and then one with slipstream. Both laps were nearly identical and I had to admit that I couldn’t go any faster. Nice that it was enough to claim both pole positions.”

F1Weekly podcast # 679

Clark and Nasir admit Lewis Hamilton got the Shaft at the Grand Prix de Monaco…We have another great Motorsports Mondial from the Guru and here are some words from LCH…

Lewis Hamilton: I can’t really express how I feel, so I won’t really attempt to. You rely on the team and I saw a screen and it looked like the team was out.

I thought the guys behind were pitting so when the team said stay out, I said these tires would drop in temps. I was concerned they were on options, so with that thinking, I came in with the full confidence that the others had done the same.

That, unfortunately, is how you lose a race in one pit stop. He came in just a bit too early, allowing Rosberg and Vettel to stay ahead of him until the end of the race.




134_GILBERT_PORTUGAL_2015Winner of the opening round in Monaco, Frenchman Quentin Gilbert added a second FIA Junior WRC win at Ra lly de Portugal. In only the second competitive rally of his fledgling career, Pierre-Louis Loubet claimed a brilliant runner-up spot, ahead of the Finn Henri Haapamaki.

Fifteen crews lined up at the start of the second round of the 2015 FIA Junior WRC. This year’s new-look Rally de Portugal provided the under-28 year-old drivers with an opportunity to rack up the miles on its very demanding stages.

After Thursday evening’s super-special stage was won by Osian Pryce, Friday’s itinerary took the crews from Porto towards the Spanish border to the north. Initially, Simone Tempestini coped best with the extremely rough roads to grab the lead.

He went quickest on the morning loop of stages and headed for the midday service with a lead of around twenty seconds over Osian Pryce. Daniel McKenna, Terry Folb, Ole Christian Veiby, Quentin Gilbert, Henri Haapamaki, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jean-René Perry were already over a minute off the pace.

Conditions worsened for the second loop. Making the most of his experience to look after his DS 3 R3-MAX whilst remaining fast, Quentin Gilbert claimed two consecutive stage wins to go from sixth to first, ahead of Terry Folb and Ole Christian Veiby. Simone Tempestini (ripped off wheel), Osian Pryce (alternator) and Daniel McKenna (off) were all caught out by the incredible difficulties of the road surface.

When Terry Folb went off at the start of the long second day on SS8, Quentin Gilbert had a little breathing space at the front. The FIA Junior WRC leader added another two stage wins during the morning loop before letting Simone Tempestini, who had rejoined under Rally 2 rules, come to the fore. Having moved up into second place, Ole Christian Veiby then rolled on the final stage of the day and had to retire from the leg.

On Sunday morning, Quentin Gilbert held a lead of over two minutes on Pierre-Louis Loubet. Henri Haapamaki was almost five minutes back, ahead of Jean-René Perry. Having all rejoined under Rally 2 rules, Ole Christian Veiby, Simone Tempestini and Daniel McKenna completed the top half of the standings.

Osian Pryce was the quickest on the final two stages of the rally. In the top 10, the only driver to make a move was Federico Della Casa, who managed to get ahead of Daniel McKenna to grab seventh place in the category standings. Osian Pryce and Kornel Lukacs also finished in the points. Charlotte Dalmasso and Terry Folb made it to the end, but finished outside the top 10.

After this second event of the season, Quentin Gilbert has 50 points. He leads Ole Christian Veiby by 25 points and Simone Tempestini by 30 points. In the Nations Trophy, France leads the standings, ahead of Norway and Italy.

Next up for the FIA Junior WRC drivers and teams is Rally Poland on 2-5 July.


Quentin Gilbert: “It was a long and difficult rally. We took it fairly steadily at the start of the race to get our bearings. After the first loop, we had a better set-up and many other crews had problems. Once we were in front, we managed to hold position despite the difficulties of the road surface. With two wins from two outings, it’s been a perfect start to the season.”




Pastor Maldonado :“I had a problem with the brakes and I could feel the pedal pressure wasn’t right from very early on and that compromised our race from the off. It got worse and worse so we had to retire the car. It’s a shame for the team, we had a good car here, very good pace for the race and I think a strong strategy. There’s potential in the car, we just need to carry on, work hard, and look forward in the championship.”

Romain Grosjean: “I didn’t see much of the accident with Verstappen, just his car flying past me in the air! Overtaking in Monaco is difficult and I think he gained that bit of experience today. It’s good to know he’s okay, as it was a bit dangerous for both of us, and it cost us what would have been a hard-earned point. Until then my race had been going pretty well when you consider where we started. The car felt good and the strategy was working well. After the accident, I turned around which established all four wheels were there, then looked in the mirrors to see if the rear wing was still there too, then got on with my race.”

DANIIL KVYAT: “I am happy with today’s race, it was my best finish in Formula One and it was a great result for the team to finish fourth and fifth. I had a good start and was able to control my race from then on. We took a gamble with strategy allowing Daniel past after the last safety car to try and fight for a podium position, as he was on the faster Supersoft  tyres. But as he was unable to pass anyone, as agreed, he gave the place back on the last lap. We hope we can carry this momentum onto the next races.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO: “It was a good race today and a good result for the team. I had some fun in the last few laps trying to get close to Hamilton and Vettel to fight for a podium position. I knew we were in a position to attack in the end which made it exciting I think. The team worked well, Dany let me past to have a crack at the podium and I gave back the place on the last lap when I couldn’t get past Hamilton. I had a little incident with Kimi and it’s hard to get a clean move without a little contact in Monaco, I appreciate the stewards not taking any further action and I think the crowd and the fans enjoyed it. We’ll try and keep up the pace in the next few races to hopefully stay in the top five.”
Valtteri Bottas: This has been a tough weekend that ended in an even tougher race. We tried everything to try and get some points but with the pace we had it wasn’t possible today. We tried the two-stop strategy which never really came to us, with the safety car coming at just the wrong time. There are not too many positives from the weekend but plenty we can learn from as to why we struggled. We know we still have a good car and go to races in the next few weeks where we should be able to demonstrate our true performance.
Felipe Massa: Today was a very frustrating day and a race to forget for us. My race was effectively over in Turn 1, with another car pushing me over and I was left with a lot of damage to my tyre and front wing. The pitstop I had to make on Lap 1 put me right at the back of the pack and I spent the rest of the race looking out for blue flags. The car has not had its usual performance all weekend but we know that we are heading to tracks in Canada and Austria that suit our car and we should be back fighting towards the front.
Sergio Perez: “I’m very happy right now. As a team we’ve done a fantastic job all weekend and seventh place is the result of all this hard work. For me it was a normal race – very straightforward and quiet, which is strange for Monaco. I was racing on my own for most of the race because the cars ahead were able to pull a gap on me and I had space to the cars behind. It was difficult to keep concentration for 78 laps, but after the safety car I was on fresh supersoft tyres and it was really good fun. I was able to attack Kimi [Raikkonen], but there wasn’t an opportunity to get the position. It’s a very important result for the whole team and gives us six points for the championship. It means I’ve scored points in half the races this season, which shows we’ve done a good job of maximising our opportunities.”
Nico Hulkenberg:My race was obviously very difficult right from the start: Fernando [Alonso] more or less pushed me into the wall on the first lap and from that moment I basically had to play catch up. I knew he was there so I left him a bit more space and turned in later, but he must have locked up as he crashed into me and sent me straight into the wall. The only damage was to the front wing, but getting back to the pits and changing the wing cost me a lot of time. My race was already compromised then – it is not easy to race from so far back because you have to let the leaders through and you’re on the back foot the whole time. In terms of pace I was doing quite well, especially when in clean air, but obviously getting lapped costs you a lot of time. It is a shame as I feel that without the incident I would have been well into the points today. I still take encouragement from our pace and hopefully we can maximise the next weekend in Canada and get some more points.”



A terrible error of judgement by his Mercedes team cost Lewis Hamilton victory at the Monaco Grand Prix and handed it gift-wrapped to his team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg.

A win was all but assured for the reigning Formula One world champion as the race came to a close only for Hamilton’s race engineers to choose to pit under the safety car allowing Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to pass.

It saw Hamilton blow what would have been a second success on the streets of Monte Carlo and allowed Rosberg to secure a bonus third successive win at the Circuit de Monaco as Vettel’s Ferrari followed home second.

This astonishing turnaround gave Rosberg his third victory in a row in Monte Carlo. He could hardly believe it, screaming over the team radio.

Rosberg said: “I’m very, very happy. I know also that it was a lot of luck today. Lewis drove brilliantly and he would’ve deserved the win for sure. But that’s the way it is. I’m extremely happy and going to make the most of it.

Dejected: Hamilton holds his head low on the podium

“I have no idea [about pit stops], sorry. We’re in the car and it’s very difficult to judge what decisions are being made.”

Vettel added: “It was a bit of a turnaround at the end, but we were there when it mattered. We were just ahead of Lewis when he came out of the pits. It was close but I was confident I was ahead.”