23 Mar Serralles takes points in season opener
The opening round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship saw drama from start to finish, with drivers off on the first lap and position changes throughout. Felix Serralles came out on top for Fortec crossing the line in sixth and gaining vital points towards his championship campaign.
As the 30 strong field stormed off the start-line traffic proved to be a significant factor and on the first corner Pipo Derani and Josh Hill made contact sending Derani into a spin. Hill was sent into the pits for a new front wing and nose, as Derani continued on track with rear end damage. Team-mate Dmitry Suranovic had a strong start, despite a slow formation lap, and maintained his position off the start. Felix Serralles made his way through the traffic into eighth position, behind Kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist and Euro International’s Tom Blomqqvist.
After various position changes it was on lap eight that a battle really began with Serralles sat in ninth, just three tenths of a second in front of Carlin’s Jordan King who was pushing on. As the battle for eighth ensued, Serralles was overtaken by King and the pair, who were almost nose-to-tail, were also hunting down Rosenquist and Blomquist who were out in front. On lap eleven contact between the two in front saw Serralles dive through, also overtaking King, to take sixth place.
However it wasn’t long before King was hot on Serralles tail and after numerous changes in positions between the two, resulting in King taking the lead, lap fifteen saw Serralles able to gain a good slip-stream and retake sixth place from the Carlin racer. Serralles pulled away and defended his position, crossing the line in sixth, 0.383s ahead of King.
Commenting after the race, Serralles said: “It was a really good battle with King, we both kept it clean and fought hard. We gave each other space and were both quite quick. Monza is all about the draft so it was hard at times to pull away, however in the end it was a really fun race and I was able to finish P6 and gain points which is the main thing.”
Further down the field Derani recovered well from his initial damage and powered his way through to finish just outside the top ten in eleventh. Suranovic crossed the line in 17th, twelve places ahead of his qualifying position. After damage caused in the collision on the first lap, Hill rejoined the race a lap down finishing 23rd.
Race 2 and 3 will take place tomorrow (Sunday 24th March) and is live on Motors TV.
Felix Serralles takes sixth in race 1 at Monza