After the fifth round of the F3 FIA European Championship, held this weekend at the ‘Red Bull Ring,’ Raffaele Marciello continues to lead the classification. The Ferrari Driver Academy student came away from the Austrian event with a smaller points haul than expected, because of an unfortunate qualifying session that had affected the overall result of this round.
In the event’s three races, Marciello finished fourth, thirteenth and sixth, bringing his points total to 239.5, 27.5 in hand over second placed Felix Rosenqvist. In the first race, Raffaele started from thirteenth on the grid, soon running at a strong pace which saw him climb as high as fourth at the flag.
In the second race at the Austrian track, he was caught up in a scrap outside the top ten and had to settle for thirteenth place. The outcome of this race was also affected by its premature end, after an accident prompted the race director to red flag it.
In the third and final race of the weekend, “Lello” managed to get into the lead after a good start. However, he only held it for a few corners, when a mistake under braking saw him drop two places. The race was then neutralised for two laps with the arrival of the Safety Car and once it restarted, Marciello dropped down to eighth, because of a small but crucial mistake, again at Turn 2. Before the chequered flag came out, Raffaele managed to move up to sixth.
The F3 FIA European Championship will be back on track from 12 to 14 July at the Norisring street circuit, for one of the most eagerly anticipated rounds of the season.
Raffaele Marciello: “I had to play catch up all weekend after the poor qualifying session held on Friday in the wet. Usually, I feel comfortable in the rain, but this time, I struggled to stay on track and so the gaps were not really a surprise. In the final qualifying session, I was fortunate to be last past the chequered flag and set a second fastest time which was a bit lucky, compared to our true potential. In race 1, we were back on track with dry tyres and in these conditions I managed to make up a lot of places and finish fourth. In the second race, unfortunately, I was caught up in the midfield and almost had a collision at the first corner. The fight meant I couldn’t close up on the points positions, which was the goal I’d set myself at the start. In race 3 however, I got a very good start, but I overshot the second corner. I made another mistake at the same place after a Safety Car period, as I hadn’t realised that my tyres were still a bit cold. I found myself eighth, before managing to get up to sixth by the end. The weekend went in favour of Rosenqvist, who has always gone well on this track. But now I’m planning to come back strongly at the next rounds at the Norisring and the Nurburgring, two tracks where I have always felt very much at ease, getting great results.”