2013 FIA F3 European Championship
Round 9, Hockenheim, Germany, May 3rd/5th 2013
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas
Cold, damp, cloudy.
Qualifying Report – Round 9 (Race 3):
Qualifying for the third race of the weekend at Hockenheim saw F3 rookie Daniil Kyvat (Carlin) claim his first pole position in his first ever outing in the category. Although he can’t score points (he’s a guest driver) the RedBull backed Russian pulled quite a surprise as he headed the tables despite the damp, slippery track, and also despite the best efforts of his team-mate Jordan King, who claimed 2nd after Kvyat pipped him to pole at the chequered flag. Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport) starts 3rd.
Things started oddly, with Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) for once not leading the charge. Instead the first flying lap went to Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam), from Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing), but then Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsport) nipped into 2nd, with Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) in an unlikely 3rd. It was all looking a bit odd until Serralles found his grove and went fastest. He didn’t hold it for long, as Kvyat was suddenly there, suggesting that it’s not just Fortec who are now getting the hang of the unfamiliar Hankook tyres. With Nicholas Latifi (Carlin) in 5th, the point was reinforced quite strongly.
Equally, the Eurointernational team, with Tom Blomqvist at the wheel, seem also to be starting to get to grips with a championship that they are new to, as Tom was soon challenging for pole position himself. However, while Cheever came round for 2nd, Marciello started to wind himself up for a challenge. He was abruptly there, 3rd behind Serralles and Josh Hill (Carlin). A lap later and he was fastest of all and we were all starting to feel a sense of déjà vu.
But it wasn’t over yet, as Harry Tincknell (Carlin) threw the gauntlet down and went faster. King was 2nd, but he was displaced by Cheever, and then Hill snatched provisional pole, at least for as long as it took Marciello to cross the timing line again. He was joined by Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam), who went 3rd, but the Carlin boys fought back.
Kyvat went even faster, dragging King with him for 2nd, while Marciello was shown the black and white warning flag for exceeding the track limits. While he steadied a little, Auer moved up to 2nd. However, elsewhere on the Kvyat was absolutely flying. King wasn’t exactly hanging about either though and again moved back into 2nd for Sunday morning’s race.
Auer wound the pace up even further, but he couldn’t stop King from going fastest of all, while Kvyat was now 3rd, from Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport), Alex Lyn (Prema Powerteam) and Cheever. And for a while that was how it stayed after Rosenqvist caused the first outbreak of red flags of the weekend, by binning it in the gravel just after Turn 1. And, as is so often the way, he’d just set a personal best time in the last sector before it all went pear-shaped.
Once he was rescued, there were around 6 minutes of the session left, which meant by the time anyone started a flying lap we were down around 4 minutes, so anyone hoping to improve would have one or at best two laps in which to manage it. Good luck with that then, lads! Auer did one lap and promptly abandoned the effort in the pits, saving his tyres for the race.
That might have been a mistake because Kvyat promptly dug deep and displaced both Auer and King on his very last lap. So the front row will be all Carlin on Sunday, with Kvyat and King ahead of Auer, Rosenqvist, Serralles, Lynn, Cheever, Hill, Blomqvist and an unexpectedly distant Marciello, the latter suspecting a problem with his car. 11th will be Sven Müller (ma-con), from Tincknell, William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Måns Grenhagen (Van Amersfoort Racing), Latifi, Jann Mardenborough (Carlin), Roy Nissan (kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport), Pipo Derani (Fortec Motorsport), Giovinazzi and Michael Lewis (kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport). 21st was claimed by Lucas Wolf (URD Rennsport), from Andre Rudersdorf (ma-con), Dennis van der Laar (Van Amersfoort Racing), Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Motorsport), Goddard, Sean Gelael (Double R Racing) and Tatiana Calderon (Double R Racing). Edward Jones (Fortec Motorsport) and Mitchell Gilbert (kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport) failed to set times.