Home Featured PaddockScout Awards 2013: Title Fight of the Year

PaddockScout Awards 2013: Title Fight of the Year

by Formula Scout

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 10, race 2, Hockenheim (D)

FIA F3 Championship

Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist

The inaugural FIA Formula 3 European Championship produced a thrilling title fight in 2013, as Italian ace Raffaele Marciello and Swedish F3 veteran Felix Rosenqvist battled it out for the championship glory. The pair were omnipresent throughout the season, accounting for a combined 23 victories out of the 30 races.

Marciello went into the season guns blazing, as he took two victories and a podium at Monza to take the championship lead. For the first few rounds, Marciello was untroubled at the front, while Rosenqvist took some time to find his feet, eventually emerging as the likeliest driver to challenge the Italian.

Rounding out the first half of the year, the Swede suddenly wound up within breathing distance of the standings lead with a dominant triple victory at Spielberg. However, Marciello didn’t take long to respond, putting together a solid performance at the Norisring, followed by a dominant triple victory at the Nurburgring that largely restored his sizable lead.

Yet, it took just a bad round at Zandvoort for Marciello’s lead to evaporate, and Rosenqvist was able to capitalise with three victories. The fight was rather closely matched heading to penultimate round at Vallelunga, where both drivers encountered major issues. Following a mistake in qualifying by the Swede, he had to start two of three races from the back of the grid – something which Marciello was able to take advantage with two wins. Still, a mechanical failure denied the Italian the full points haul and three points finishes from the Swede kept him in contention.

The showdown, therefore, came down to Hockenheim. The pair locked out the front row for all three races, with the Italian taking the edge with two poles to Rosenqvist’s one. The Swede managed a dominant race one victory to keep the title hopes alive and then put in an impressive display to win race two but Marciello?s solid finishes were enough for him to be crowned champion with one race to spare – a race which wound up being his 13th win of the season.

Stephen Goddard