Rosenqvist heads Prema 1-2-3 to extend European F3 points lead

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 2, Portimão (POR)

Felix Rosenqvist claimed his second win of the Algarve European Formula 3 Championship weekend to extend his points lead from title rival Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Swede converted pole and controlled an early safety car restart to score his ninth win of the campaign, leading home team-mates Jake Dennis and Lance Stroll for Prema’s second 1-2-3 finish of the weekend.

Rosenqvist started cleanly, leading away as Dennis jumped Stroll on the run down to Turn 1 on the opening lap, with the Ferrari Academy racer forced to defend third from Carlin’s George Russell.

Further down the field there was contact between Maximilian Gunther and Marcus Pommer, with the pair both eliminated on the spot, prompting an early safety car.

Rosenqvist nailed the restart to cruise home for the win, as Dennis and Stroll held station in second and third.

Russell, unable to keep pace with the leading trio of Prema cars, came home fourth ahead of Motopark’s Sergio Sette Camara.

Fortec’s Pietro Fittipladi continued his strong form from Saturday to cross the line in sixth, equalling his best finish of the season.

Charles Leclerc soaked up late pressure from Giovinazzi to beat the one-time points leader to seventh.

Series returnee Nick Cassidy recorded his first points finish of the weekend in ninth, while Dorian Boccolacci rounded out the top 10 for Signature.

Alexander Sims impressed, hauling the new Hitech GP entry from the back of the grid to finish 13th, narrowly outside the points.

Alexander Albon, who was excluded from qualifying on Friday, failed to repeat his heroics from race two, coming home well down the order in 24th.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

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Rosenqvist claims European F3 points lead with Algarve victory

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 2, Portimão (POR)

Felix Rosenqvist snatched the European Formula 3 Championship points lead with a commanding victory in the second race of the weekend at Portimao.

The Swede led home his Prema team-mates Jake Dennis and Lance Stroll to secure a 1-2-3 for the Italian squad.

Starting from pole after Alexander Albon’s exclusion, Rosenqvist led away cleanly off the line, eking out an early advantage before the first of two safety cars was deployed to clear debris dropped by a stranded Matt Rao.

With Dennis forced to counter the attentions of Stroll off the restart, Rosenqvist built up a comfortable five second advantage out front before his lead was wiped out by a late safety car as fourth-place runner Nick Cassidy crashed at Turn 1.

Rosenqvist controlled a second restart to take his eighth win of the campaign, from with team-mates Dennis and Stroll completing the podium.

Gustavo Menezes held off late pressure from team-mate George Russell to come home  fourth.

Pietro Fittapaldi, grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson, scored his best finish of the year in sixth.

Charles Leclerc led title rival Giovinazzi across the line, the pair seventh and eighth respectively – Giovinazzi now 13.5 adrift of new points leader Rosenqvist.

Mucke Motorsport team-mates Mikkel Jensen and Santino Ferrucci completed the top 10 to the final points on offer.

Albon, excluded from qualifying on a technicality on Friday night, stormed from the back of the grid to finish 12th, just outside the points.

Image courtesy of FIA European Formula 3 Championship 

Dennis beats Albon in European F3 Algarve opener

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 1, Portimão (POR)

Jake Dennis claimed a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the opening Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at the Algarve circuit.

Dennis converted pole into an early lead, as fellow front row starter and Prema team-mate Nick Cassidy stalled on the grid and plummeted down the order.

“I think, today I made the best start of the year,” said Dennis. “I was in front right away and I was immediately able to pull a gap.

“My car was great and I didn’t have any problems with tyre degradation either.”

Signature’s fast-starting Alexander Albon was Dennis’ closest challenger, jumping from sixth on the grid to run second behind the Carlin racer.

The Lotus junior racer, who was stripped of his race three pole on Saturday, shadowed Dennis throughout, but could not stop Dennis from scoring his sixth win of the campaign.

Title challenger Felix Rosenqvist came home third to complete the podium and cut Antonio Giovinazzi’s championship lead to 7.5 points, with the Italian only finishing ninth.

Lance Stroll recorded another fourth place finish to ensure three Prema cars finish in the top four.

Markus Pommer soaked up late pressure from Charles Leclerc, who is still in with an outside chance of the title, to come home fifth for Motopark.

Santino Ferrucci stormed past Giovinazzi, and then later Mikkel Jensen to finish a fine seventh.

Carlin’s George Russell resisted Motopark racer Sergio Sette Camara to round out the top 10.

After his poor start, F3 returnee Cassidy retired late on following contact with Red Bull-backed driver Calum Ilott.

Image courtesy of FIA European Formula 3 Championship

Dennis leads Prema 1-2-3 in European F3 qualifying at Portimao

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, Portimão (POR)

Jake Dennis beat team-mates Nick Cassidy and Lance Stroll as Prema claimed a dominant 1-2-3 in Formula 3 European Championship qualifying at Portimao.

Dennis, fastest in second practice, jumped to the top of the timesheets in the final minutes with a 1m42.217s to snatch pole from Stroll.

“I am a bit shocked, really, because my lap wasn’t that good at all,” said Dennis. “I approached the last sector two tenths down, but somehow, I managed to find three tenths in the last sector.”

Cassidy, making his European F3 return with the Italian squad, started slowly, but surged up the order late on to claim second, a mere 0.061s shy of Dennis’ pole time.

That dropped Stroll, who scored his first podium last time out in Austria, down to third, as Prema completed a top-three lockout.

Motopark racer Markus Pommer and Signature’s Alexander Albon both made late improvements to claim fifth and sixth on the grid for Saturday’s opening race.

Rookie Charles Leclerc improved late on to go sixth, with title challenger Felix Rosenqvist the slowest of the four Prema cars in seventh.

Points leader Antonio Giovinazzi was just ninth in the Jagonya Ayam-backed Carlin effort, behind early pacesetter George Russell.

Red Bull-backed racer Calumn Allot, who topped opening practice, rounded out the top 10 for Carlin.

Alexander Sims, another driver making a comeback, marked the reformed Hitech GPs first qualifying session with 16th fastest.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Red Bull junior Gasly claims maiden GP2 pole at Monza

2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Friday 4 September 2015. Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _G7C0306

Red Bull junior racer Pierre Gasly beat Mitch Evans to claim his maiden GP2 Series pole at Monza.

Gasly posted a 1m31.272s with five minutes left on the clock to edge long-time pacesetter Evans to pole by 0.152s.

Points leader Stoffel Vandoorne was third fastest for ART Grand Prix, ahead of Gasly’s DAMS team-mate Alex Lynn.

Sergey Sirotkin and Rio Haryanto were fifth and sixth, from Campos’ Arthur Pic and Status racer Richie Stanaway.

Alexander Rossi’s faint title hopes took a hit with the American just 10th on the timesheets, ahead of Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello – 11th at home for Trident.

Johnny Cecotto was 16th on his return with Trident, while Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough lapped 19th quickest on his GP2 debut.

This report first appeared on Rumble Strips News – Image courtesy of GP2 Media

Hamilton heads Rosberg to top second Monza practice

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Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace for Mercedes in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Hamilton posted a 1m24.279s on the soft tyres to end Friday fastest, 0.021s clear of his team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg, as Mercedes dominated with its newly upgraded engine.

Rosberg had looked set to trump Hamilton on the softer tyres – going purple in the opening two sectors – only to run wide at Parabolica and spoil his run.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, seven tenths adrift of Hamilton on the same tyre.

Force India continued its strong start to the weekend, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg fourth and fifth respectively in the Mercedes-powered cars.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari, ahead of Lotus team-mates Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.

The two Williams team-mates rounded out the top 10, Valtteri Bottas three tenths clear of Felipe Massa.

Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson used Ferrari’s Spa power unit upgrade to lap 11th and 12th fastest for Sauber.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was 13th, the fastest of the Renault-powered runners, despite a gearbox problem.

Max Verstappen survived a spin at Ascari to end the day 14th for Toro Rosso, ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso lapped just 16th quickest, beating the two Manor Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

Jenson Button managed just three laps before a technical problem ended his running in the McLaren-Honda, while Daniil Kvyat propped up the timesheets.

This report first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

Ilott and Dennis top opening European F3 practice sessions at Portimao

30 Callum Ilott (GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312 – Volkswagen), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, Portimão (POR) - 4. - 6. September 2015

British duo Calum Ilott and Jake Dennis topped the opening two Formula 3 European Championship practice sessions of the weekend at Potimao.

Red Bull-backed Carlin racer Ilott was quickest in the first session of the morning, beating Sergio Sette Camara and Japanese F3 points leader Nick Cassidy.

Cassidy, making his first European F3 start since the 2014 Macau GP for Prema, had been fastest for much of the session before slipping to third.

Dennis topped the second session, posting a 1m42.101s to end the morning fastest, edging out Illot’s earlier benchmark by 0.021s.

Prema team-mate Felix Rosenqvist was second, with title rival and points leader Antonio Giovinazzi bouncing back from 22nd in the opening session to end the morning third fastest for Carlin.

Motopark’s Markus Pommer was fourth in both sessions, while Alexander Sims marked Hitech GP’s return to Formula 3 with 17th fastest.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship