Hockenheim, 5 May – Raffaele Marciello put in a truly splendid performance over the weekend at Hockenheim, securing two wins and a fourth place in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. After the three races at this German event, the 18 year old Ferrari Driver Academy student extends his lead in the championship standings with a total of 171.5 points. Currently lying second is Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist, now on 100.
Marciello was already on fine form in the qualifying sessions, when on both a wet and a dry track, “Lello” proved to be very quick, taking two pole positions. The session to determine the grid for Race 3 went less smoothly, with Marciello left stranded with seven minutes remaining to the chequered flag because of a broken starter motor. He was thus unable to have his say in the final part of the session and slid down the order to tenth.
“I have to smile when I think that Hockenheim was not one of my favourite tracks,” commented Marciello at the end of the meeting. “But I think that, after a weekend like this, my feelings are bound to change! We went well in all conditions, both dry and wet. Race 1 got off to a good start and I got off the line really well, so that after the first lap, I already had a five second lead, which then grew to seven on lap 2. Maybe because of the comfortable gap, I relaxed a bit too much and at half-distance, I made a mistake and spun. Luckily, I didn’t hit anything and ended the race without losing the lead.
“I also got a very good start in Race 2 and built up a good lead in the opening laps, which I then managed for the second part of the race. The car was very easy to drive and honestly, I found it more straightforward than I expected. However, the third race was the toughest, because I was starting from tenth and I definitely didn’t want to ruin such a satisfying weekend with a mistake or a disappointing race. I got off the line well, dodged round a car that was stuck on the grid and at the hairpin I made up another two places. At the end of the opening lap I was sixth, then after the Safety Car period, I moved up to fourth. In the closing laps, I didn’t take any risks because Kyvat, who was ahead of me, was not eligible for championship points, so there was no point in risking an overtaking move that would have brought me nothing anyway.”
“After the first three races of the season, I am naturally happy with the way things are going, although I have to watch out for losing concentration. I have a reasonable lead in the championship classification, but there are a lot of points up for grabs every weekend, so you cannot have any slip ups. I am the only driver to score points in all the races so far and I intend to continue this trend.”
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship will be back in action from 17 to 19 May, at Brands Hatch for the fourth round of the 2013 season.