Minutes after Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari triumphed in Shanghai, Raffaele Marciello took victory in the latest race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Silverstone. At the end of the weekend of racing at the British circuit, where the home teams and drivers were the big favourites, Marciello consolidated his championship lead – thanks also to the sixth and second places he secured in Saturday’s two races.
The qualifying sessions for the second round of the 2013 calendar took place in typically variable British weather – and Marciello managed to finish the day with a good haul of grid positions. He secured fourth place on the grid for Race 1 and third place for Race 2 but he saved his best performance for Race 3, where he set the second fastest lap time.
In the first race of the weekend, Marciello had a long battle with William Buller, a duel that wasn’t without contact, meaning Raffaele was unable to make the most of his potential speed. Marciello won the fight with the British driver but he had to settle for sixth place overall. Then Marciello was a major player in the story of the weekend’s second race.
“I made a very good start,” explained ‘Lello’ after the race, “and I made it up to second place straightaway. Then at Turn 6 I tried to attack the leader Felix Rosenqvist, but I got it wrong and dropped back to ninth place. At that point I tried not to lose my concentration and lap by lap I managed to work my way back to end up in second place at the flag. It was a good performance but it’s a bitter-sweet feeling because without the error on the first lap I think I could have won.”
For Marciello revenge came in the third race of the weekend, which took place on Sunday morning. “The track was still wet,” said Marciello, “and it was much wetter on the right-hand side of the grid, where I was starting. That meant I lost a place at the start but I managed to get it back again and after a few laps I was behind Rosenqvist, who had led the race until that point. I tried to put him under pressure and with two laps remaining I managed to get past to take a victory that I really wanted. I think this success was well deserved, both for me and for the Prema team for all their work this weekend.”
With two rounds of the calendar completed, Marciello now has a total of 106.5 points, ahead of Rosenqvist (70) and Tincknell (63). “There is still a long season ahead,” concluded Raffaele, “but I think the results from the first two rounds at Monza and Silverstone have been really good because the English teams and drivers know both circuits very well. Given the races that are coming next I can only be optimistic – but we must make sure we keep up our concentration.”
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship will return to the track on May 3-5 at the Hockenheim circuit for the third round of the 2013 calendar.