Formula 3 veteran Felix Rosenqvist has slammed the driving tactics of his F3 European Championship rivals after being taken out of potentially winning positions in all three races at Spa.
Rosenqvist was hit by pre-weekend series leader Antonio Giovinazzi as they battled for the lead of race one, pushing him down the escape road. He rejoined in second place and finished there behind eventual winner Charles Leclerc, while Giovinazzi was given a grid penalty for race two.
The Swede was a victim of Prema teammate Lance Stroll’s driving in race two, spearing into the Les Combes barriers as they fought for the lead with Mikkel Jensen. Stroll was banned from participating in race three.
Finally, Rosenqvist was pushed wide by Markus Pommer as they battled for third in race three. Pommer was given a drive-through penalty, but then tapped Rosenqvist into a spin before he had served it, an offense that led to him being black-flagged. Rosenqvist recovered to finish fifth.
“To be perfectly honest, I think these are the worst driving standards I have ever experienced,” said the 23-year-old, who is in his sixth season of F3. “It is just impossible to race among some of the guys out there, and it doesn’t matter how cautious you are; I was extremely careful in the final race and still got spun around by a driver who had just been handed a drive-through penalty.
“It’s such a shame this is happening, because the championship is fantastic and the organizers are trying their best to address the issues.”
Rosenqvist added that he is particularly concerned with this coming weekend’s round being at the Norisring street circuit, a venue that is notorious for accidents.
“Some of the new kids seem to think we’re in a video game,” he said. “It’s a wall-lined circuit with lots of slipstreaming and heavy braking zones, and I have to admit I’m feeling concerned going there.
“It is possible to race at a higher level and do it in a respectful manner; Charles [Leclerc, the new championship leader] is a good example of that.”
Meanwhile, Giovinazzi, who exited the first race with a puncture after his collision with Rosenqvist, accepted his punishment in light of the officials’ tougher policy.
“It was a racing accident,” he told AUTOSPORT. “Felix was behind, Charles was behind, and I decided to take the racing line and came back to the left, but we were so close and his front wing hit my tire.
“The stewards say it was not a really big accident, but they want to make sure the young drivers don’t say, ‘Why did Giovinazzi not take a penalty?'”