FIA Formula 3 European Champion Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) concluded his most successful Formula 3 season to date with another victory. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, he won the turbulent 33rd FIA Formula 3 European Championship season race from Alexander Albon (Signature) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), who already secured runner-up spot in the final drivers’ standings after yesterday’s race.
The final race of the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship got underway at a track that was still damp, but dried out quickly. Some of the drivers, including pole sitter Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), opted for rain tyres. With slicks, Felix Rosenqvist charged into the lead from third on the grid, followed by Alexander Albon, who moved up from fifth on the grid to second, also with slick tyres. On the first few laps, Albon put the Swede under pressure for the lead, but didn’t find a way past. When Nicolas Pohler (Double R Racing) and Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports) collided on lap five and the Brazilian’s car got stuck on track, race control sent the safety car out. During the safety car intervention, the first drivers headed into the pit lane to have their rain tyres replaced by slicks. Among them was Jake Dennis, who was in fifth place before coming in for his pit stop.
Racing resumed on lap eight, but after only half a lap, the next incident happened: Matthew Rao (Fortec Motorsports) and George Russell (Carlin) collided and Russell’s car got stuck in the gravel trap. After the next restart, there were two laps of racing, before Nabil Jeffri (Motopark) ended up in the gravel after a collision. That was the reason for the third safety car intervention, lasting until lap 15. Right after the restart, Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) lost the front wing of his car. As this was on the track, the safety car was deployed for the fourth time. The race finished behind the safety car.
Felix Rosenqvist scored his 13th FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win from Alexander Albon and Antoinio Giovinazzi. Alexander Sims (HitechGP), who battled for second with Albon, Giovinazzi and Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) during the race and was in second place for a while, finished fourth from Callim Ilott (Carlin), Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam), Jake Dennis, Mikkel Jensen, Michele Beretta (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Raoul Hyman (Team West-Tec F3). For Italian Michele Beretta, this was his first top ten result of the season.
In the battle for second place in the rookie standings, that remained open until the final race, George Russell came out on top. As both he and his rival Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) failed to make it to the finish, the order behind already-crowned rookie champion Charles Leclerc remained unchanged.
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “I really wanted to win this race, because it is probably my last race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At the start, I was lucky that Jake had opted for rain tyres and that Antonio was starting on the wet side of the track. Thus, I had the chance to take the lead on the first few metres already. Concluding the season with a victory is great, especially as there were many friends and family members here to support me.”
Alexander Albon (Signature): “My start was good and because I was starting on the better side of the track, I was able to move up into second place. Initially, I was able to keep up with Felix, but then, it got more and more difficult because of tyre degradation. I reckon that our tyre pressure probably was a little bit too high. Generally, I am really happy with my first season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “My starting grid position was on the damp side of the track, so I dropped back to fifth at the start. Then, however, I managed to overtake Jake Dennis and Alexander Sims and claim third place. Concluding the season with a win and another podium finish in the season finale is very nice.”