2013 FIA F3 European Championship
Round 27, Vallelunga, Italy, October 12th/13th 2013
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas
Weather: Warm, sunny.
Qualifying Report – Round 27 (Race 3):
The second of two 20 minute qualifying sessions at Vallelunga today was again all about Raffaele Marciello, Prema Powerteam’s local hero, as he again qualified on pole for a 2013 FIA F3 European Championship race. Meanwhile, the only man standing between him and the title, Felix Rosenqvist (kfz-teile24 Mücke Motorsport) was left to rue the suspension failure that struck in the first session. At least he was able to get a flying lap this time, but between the damage to the car, and a late session red flag, the best he could manage was 13th. 2nd this time went to Luis “Pipo” Derani (Fortec Motorsport), ahead of team-mate Felix Serralles.
At the start of the session it seemed everyone was keeping their powder dry, hence the fact that at five minutes in there was hardly anyone out there and the top three consisted of Serralles, from Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Andre Rudersdorf (ma-con). It was a somewhat unlikely mix, most people would agree. Tatiana Calderon (Double R Racing) and Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) were 4th and 5th. They were soon joined by Sean Gelael (Double R Racing), the 16-year old edging into 4th.
A lap later and Calderon was 2nd from Goddard and Rudersdorf, while Serralles stayed fastest. After the Puerto Rican pitted, Lucas Wolf (URD Rennsport) got in on the act, going 4th. Next Michael Lewis (kfz-teile24 Mücke Motorsport) went 2nd and Roy Nissany (in another of the Mücke cars) went fastest. It couldn’t last. It didn’t.
Derani shot up to 3rd while Carlin’s Jordan King claimed 5th, and Sven Mueller (Van Amersfoort Racing) was on temporary pole. A further improvement from Wolf put him 3rd, while Jann Mardenborough (Carlin) was soon 7th. A further effort from Serralles was good enough for 2nd, while Derani went one better for pole. Inspired perhaps by his new team-mate Van Amersfoort’s Dennis van de Laar was an unprecedented 4th now, ahead of Harry Tincknell (Carlin), but then Marciello came from nowhere to snatch pole from under everyone’s noses.
As the session wore on Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) improved to 3rd, while Lynn was 5th and Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam) moved into 7th. Derani upset the order by claiming 2nd, with Sims, Müller, Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam), King, Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam), Tincknell, Serralles and Cheever rounding out the top ten. It still wasn’t over though.
Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) was ready to make his move, and it was enough to give the Russian 8th. Serralles dug a little deeper for 3rd meanwhile, and just as Rosenqvist barrelled round in 13th, Nissany went off and the red flags were hauled out. At this point the order was Marciello, from Derani, Serralles, Sims, King, Müller, Lynn, Kvyat, Auer and Cheever. Tincknell was 11th ahead of Nicholas Latifi (Carlin), Rosenqvist, Van de Laar, Mitchell Gilbert (kfz-teile24 Mücke Motorsport), Mardenborough, Lewis, Goddard, John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsport) and Nissany. 21st was occupied by Giovinazzi, from Tom Blomqvist (EuroInternational), Wolf, Rudersdorf, Gelael, Calderon and Zeller.
It looked likely that that would be how it ended too. There were only 3 minutes and 49 seconds left, which would mean a single flying lap at best. There were not likely to be many changes now, if any. In defiance of the fact, there was one improvement, from Lynn, who gained two places to finish 5th on the grid for Race 3.
So Marciello again starts from pole, ahead of Derani, Serralles, Sims, Lynn, King, Müller, Kvyat and Auer. Cheever will line up 11th ahead of Tincknell, Latifi, Rosenqvist, van de Laar, Gilbert, Mardenborough, Lewis, Goddard, Bryant-Meisner and Nissany. The last few places were taken by Giovinazzi, Blomqvist, Wolf, Rudersdorf, Gelael, Calderon and Zeller.