POSITIVE END TO F3 EUROSERIES SEASON FOR BRITISH STAR SIMS
Formula 3 Euroseries race winner Alexander Sims enjoyed a positive conclusion to the 2010 season at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend, 16th/17th October, ending the campaign fourth overall in the championship standings.
The MSA Team UK driver, who is eyeing graduation to the FIA Formula One World Championship support package next year in either GP2 or GP3, fought his way through well from seventh on the grid into the top four during Saturday's rain-affected race. He then went on to take fifth place in round 18 on Sunday to end the year just 11 points shy of the coveted championship top three.
Overcoming a problem with the mapping of his Mercedes engine during testing on Friday, the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner was disappointed to qualify seventh for the opening race, albeit just 0.6 seconds shy of pole position, but in round 17 he underlined his pace and racecraft.
Heavy rain hit Hockenheim prior to the start of the encounter but the atrocious conditions proved no barrier to Alexander as he raced superbly into the top four and produced excellent pace -- lapping with the second fastest time, a mere 0.1 seconds shy of the quickest lap of all.
Starting round 18 from fifth place on the 'reverse' grid, the ART Grand Prix driver aimed to conclude the season on the podium but he was boxed out through the first couple of corners and eventually had to settle for a top six finish. Post-race though, this became fifth when Laurens Vanthoor was excluded from third place due to a technical irregularity with his car.
"I'm pleased with the season as a whole, I feel we really got on top of the car during the second half of the year and I'm very happy with my driving", said the 22-year-old, "I've made good progress as a driver and grown as a person this year, working with the guys at ART has been fantastic and they've taught me so much. We've had more than our share of misfortune but we came through it strongly.
"The plan is to move on from F3 into either GP2 or GP3 next year so I'll be testing those cars in the coming weeks. There's one more F3 race left though, the Macau Grand Prix in November, and that's a race every driver wants to win. I'll be racing for the R0x00e4ikk0x00f6nen Robertson team and I think we'll be capable of a good result there. I'm certainly going to Macau believing we can win."
The 57th annual Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, 21st November, at the Guia street circuit in the former Portuguese enclave -- an event won in the past by such luminaries as Formula One legend Michael Schumacher and former Grand Prix racer David Coulthard.
Before then, Alexander will get his first taste of GP3 machinery during a three-day official test at Jerez in Spain this week (20th/21st/22nd October) with a GP2 test outing scheduled to take place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi next month.
Final 2010 Formula 3 Euroseries Championship Standings:
Champion: Edoardo Mortara, 101pts; 4th Alexander Sims, 63pts