14 Apr Serralles takes fourth in race 3 at Silverstone
14th April 2013, Silverstone – The third and final race of the FIA Formula Three European Championship at Silverstone saw Josh Hill and Pipo Derani suffer from race incidents and retire from the race. However for team-mate Felix Serralles a stunning drive saw the young Puerto Rican finish fourth, a massive fifteen places ahead of his starting grid position.
A heavy downpour over night saw a wet start to race three, but as the sun threatened to make an appearance the team opted for slicks. As the green flag was waved it looked to be a clean getaway for all three drivers, however Hill had been chasing down Harry Tincknell (Carlin) off the start-line, catching him at the first corner. As both entered Copse the two made contact and Hill hit the wall sending him off track and out of the race.
A brief safety car period allowed for the track to be cleared after a number of cars went spinning off track, enabling Serralles and Derani to bunch up with the rest of the pack. At the restart it was clear Serralles was on the charge as he slotted into eighth position, already a fantastic achievement going eleven places up from starting nineteenth on the grid. Derani was also climbing up the order and was powering on from twelfth position looking to get into the top ten.
With the track beginning to dry out and give more grip, lap times were tumbling. Serralles was soon gaining pace and picking off the pack one by one, sitting in fourth place by lap seven. Behind, Derani was having trouble as a warning flag was waved instructing him to go into the pits. After investigation it was clear he had damage to his wing and with just nine-minutes left of the race the decision was taken to retire.
Serralles was now the only Fortec man left on track but was showing the pace of the team’s Mercedes Dallara as he set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:55.269. The 21-year-old continued his great form, however with little time left of the 35-minute race he sat comfortably in fourth maintaining his position up until the chequered flag.
After the three races this weekend Serralles now sits eighth overall in the championship standings, Derani is twelfth and Hill thirteenth.
Commenting after the race Serralles said: “I had a really good start and just concentrated on keeping my head down, working my way through the pack. We started on slick tyres, which could have been a risk due to the wet track – however it proved to be the right decision and as the track dried I could gain a lot of speed. I’ve proved we have the pace and now can’t wait for the next round in Hockenheim.”