HOCKENHEIM DISAPPOINTMENT FOR F3 EURO TITLE CONTENDER SIMS Team UK driver Alexander Sims slipped to fifth in the Formula 3 Euroseries championship standings at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend, 24th/25th April, when a disappointing ...
HOCKENHEIM DISAPPOINTMENT FOR F3 EURO TITLE CONTENDER SIMS
Team UK driver Alexander Sims slipped to fifth in the Formula 3 Euroseries championship standings at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend, 24th/25th April, when a disappointing retirement from the third round of the season became compounded by mechanical troubles in round four.
Heading into the event second in the driver standings and aiming to add to his double-podium finish and race win from the season opener, the 22-year-old McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner was just six 10ths of a second outside pole position with the sixth fastest time in qualifying.
Making a good start to round three, Alexander's race was unfortunately over by the second corner when Laurens Vanthoor braked far earlier than expected for the turn leaving the British ace nowhere to go. The result was inevitable contact and an immediate retirement for Alexander.
"In qualifying we weren't fast enough, simple as that", said Alexander, "I should have been a couple of 10ths of a second quicker and if I had been we would have been in the fight for pole position. As it was, we started sixth for the first race and retired at the second corner so it most certainly wasn't the start we had hoped for.
"(Laurens) Vanthoor braked horrendously early for the second corner which caught me out, contact was inevitable. That's not an excuse by any means but when a driver brakes 50-metres earlier than would normally be the case, it's easy to be caught out."
Lining up 17th, and last, on the grid for round four by virtue of his non-finish in the first encounter, the ART Grand Prix racer scythed his way through the order brilliantly into sixth position before a mysterious fault with the car resulted in major rear grip issues. Working miracles to finish the race, Alexander did a great job to steer his Mercedes-powered car to eighth place.
He added: "In race two, I'd climbed up to sixth from 17th on the grid so I was pleased with that but then something broke on the car, we're not sure what the problem was yet but all of my rear grip went away and, as such, my lap times dropped off by at least two seconds. In the end, I was eaten up and slipped to eighth. It's very disappointing but sometimes this is the way things work out."
There is now a four-week break in the 2010 Formula 3 Euroseries calendar with rounds five and six scheduled to take place at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, on 22nd/23rd May. Before then though, Alexander will be back in action next weekend, 1st/2nd May, driving in the invitation class of the British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone -- his first ever outing in British F3.