Three races, three pole positions, three wins. Raffele Marciello had a perfect score in the seventh round of the European FIA Formula 3 championship, to reach a total of ten wins to date, thus significantly extending his lead in the overall classification.
The Nurburgring is a circuit that oozes history, but it’s not normally considered the dream destination for spending the traditional August 15th break. And yet, this weekend just ended will be an unforgettable mid-summer moment for Marciello. The Ferrari Driver Academy student began the weekend with two impeccable qualifying sessions, which gave him pole position for all three races on the programme.
It was a very promising start that hinted at what was to come over the rest of the weekend. In the first race, Marciello took the lead when the lights went out and kept it without any problems all the way to the chequered flag. “Lello” comfortably maintained a gap to his rivals, sticking to a leader’s script. Raffaele then repeated the feat twice more in the other races, displaying a superiority that was never in doubt, never once relinquishing the lead. After seven of the ten rounds on the calendar, Raffaele is on 372.5 points, which gives him a lead of 72.5 over the second placed man in the battle for the 2013 title, Felix Rosenqvist. The next round takes place on 28 and 29 September at the Dutch Zandvoort circuit.
“Both myself and the team prepared for this weekend in impeccable fashion. Right from free practice, I had a really good feeling with the car and now I can say that it actually felt like I was on the brink of a great weekend. However, it was vital to make the most of it in qualifying. I managed the traffic well, keeping the right gaps before attempting the flying laps and that was a crucial step. Having taken the three poles, it was time to concentrate on the starts and, also on this front, there were no problems. The only unexpected moments over the three races were two appearances from the Safety Car, but I managed the restarts well, without taking any risks. I am happy with the points haul from this weekend, because it has reinstated the advantage in the overall classification that I had before Brands Hatch. But now, we must maintain the same levels of concentration for the remaining rounds, as there are still a lot of point up for grabs and we must avoid the slightest distraction.”
“This was a particularly important weekend for Raffaele. In the last rounds, we had seen his advantage in the championship eroded and a reaction was needed. We thus decided not to allow ourselves any holiday, using the summer break to prepare as well as possible for the trip to the Nurburgring. Looking at the results, we can claim it was the right decision. Raffaele reacted very well, staying focussed at all times at the track and that produced this excellent result. It was an important round, from the point of view of being able to tackle the remaining nine races without any anxiety. There are still a lot of points up for grabs and it’s always best to be able to count on a good lead in order to get on with the job in as calm astate of mind as possible.”