In only his second weekend of FIA F3 European Championship racing, Kiwi Nick Cassidy claimed two podium finishes in three starts with his Prema Powerteam.
Following his third win at the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit and his twelfth victory of the season, Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) was able to cheer really loudly: the 23-year-old is the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion. In a race dominated by four safety car interventions, he won from Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam). As Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), runner-up in the drivers’ standings, had already lost all his chances of a top position after a collision and the subsequent pit stop in the opening stages of the race and eventually didn’t score any points after finishing 13th, there is no way to prevent Rosenqvist from winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title.
“I want to congratulate Felix with his success as well, he has had a great season,” commented Cassidy. “Personally, I am happy with my second podium finish in only my second weekend of racing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Today, I never had a real chance to attack Lance, but I can live with third place very well, too.”
From pole position, Felix Rosenqvist took the lead in the dash towards the first corner from Lance Stroll. Behind the two Prema drivers, Antonio Giovinazzi collided with Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). The Dane retired on the spot, the Italian had to turn into the pits to have his car attended to. Thus, Rosenqvist’s fiercest rival in the battle for the title dropped back to the rear end of the field.
The next incident occurred on the third lap, involving Nicolas Pohler (Double R Racing), Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Zhi Cong Li (Fortec Motorsports). To allow for Pohler’s damaged car to be removed, race control sent the safety car out. Racing resumed on lap seven. Three laps later, Sam MacLeod (Motopark) spun and Matt Rao (Fortec Motorsports) was unable to avoid the collision. While the second safety car intervention neutralised the racing again, Rosenqvist was still in the lead. At that time, Giovinazzi was back up in 22nd place already.
At the second restart, Felix Rosenqvist remained in front as well, but once again, it didn’t take long for the next incident to happen. Dorian Boccolacci (Signature) collided with Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and had to park his car. The result: safety car intervention, the third. Shortly after the next restart, Alessio Lorandi and Tatiana Calderón (Carlin) collided and slid into the gravel trap at the last corner, which was the reason for the fourth safety car intervention.
Eventually, the drivers were able to complete one lap at racing speed before the chequered flag was out. Felix Rosenqvist was first across the finish line from Lance Stroll, Nick Cassidy and Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam). Thus, Prema drivers locked out the first four positions. Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing), who had already secured himself the title of the best rookie yesterday, finished fifth in the 30th race of the season from Markus Pommer (Motopark), the best-placed German in the field. Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Callum Ilott (Carlin), Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) and George Russell (Carlin) rounded out the top ten. Russell, who had secured third place on the grid in qualifying, was dropped ten places due to an engine change. As a result, the Brit only started from 13th position.
Race 1 – Cassidy second
At the Nürburgring sprint circuit, Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) scored an undisputed lights-to-flag victory and thus extended his lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings to 58.5 points. Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) finished second from Callum Ilott (Carlin). For both drivers, it was their first podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. With the two podium results for Rosenqvist and Cassidy, Prema Powerteam also secured an early title in the teams’ standings. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) remains second in the drivers’ standings; he finished tenth in the 28th race of the season.
“I am happy to be on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium for the first time,” commented Cassidy. “At Portimão already, I was close to Felix in terms of speed, but I wasn’t able to make it onto the podium yet there.
“Here, at the Nürburgring, it was my goal to get that done. I am feeling really well at Prema Powerteam, it is very well organised and working together very well and effectively. I am still in the learning process, but since finishing third at Macau last year, I am generally quite happy with my performance.”
Felix Rosenqvist won the dash to the first corner and immediately took the lead. His main rival was team-mate Nick Cassidy while Callum Ilott slotted into third place. The trio was able to pull clear from Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) in the opening stages already as the rookie from the Van Amersfoort Racing team was driving with a damaged front wing. Behind him, there was a long range of drivers, but none of them was able to overtake Leclerc.
Thus, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) finished in fifth place from Markus Pommer (Motopark), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Arjun Maini (Van Amersfoort Racing), Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Giovinazzi. Thus, the Italian secured one point for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings and, with five races remaining, now has Charles Leclerc closing up to him in the battle for runner-up spot. The Monegasque is only eight points down on the stalwart. Fourth in the drivers’ standings, Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) also still has chances of winning the title. The Brit retired and thus wasn’t able to score any points. He is now 94 points down on leader Felix Rosenqvist.
For George Russell (Carlin), hopes of another podium finish were reduced to a minimum prior to the start of the race already. The Brit, who had secured second place on the grid in qualifying, was dropped ten positions on the grid due to an engine change. He finished the race in 13th place. On the FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut of his team, Harald Schlegelmilch (ArtLine Engineering) brought the ARTTech P315 to the finish in 32nd place.
Race 2 – Cassidy 6th
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) also won the second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at the Nürburgring sprint circuit. The Swede won from Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam). With his eleventh win of the season, Rosenqvist extended his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings on second-placed Antonio Giovinazzi to 65.5 points. Behind Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) took the chequered flag in fifth place and thus wrapped up the rookie title with four races remaining.
Behind the trio on the podium, Jake Dennis, Charles Leclerc, Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and George Russell (Carlin) followed in fourth to eighth place. Due to an engine change, the Brit had to change his second place on the grid for twelfth position in accordance with the regulations, which already minimised his chances of a podium finish prior to the race. Callum Ilott (Carlin) and Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) rounded out the top ten.