MORTARA MAINTAINS LEAD DESPITE TROUBLED WEEKEND Signature team driver Edoardo Mortara has emerged from the sixth round of this year's Formula 3 Euroseries still leading the championship, despite a troubled weekend. The reigning F3 Euroseries...
MORTARA MAINTAINS LEAD DESPITE TROUBLED WEEKEND
Signature team driver Edoardo Mortara has emerged from the sixth round of this year's Formula 3 Euroseries still leading the championship, despite a troubled weekend.
The reigning F3 Euroseries rookie champion struggled to find an effective set-up during qualifying, and was hit by another competitor during both races.
The sixth meeting of the season was held at the Nurburgring, a well-known venue for the German Grand Prix. The short circuit - which the F3 drivers were using - is fast, demanding and also highly technical, containing a wide variety of speeds and corners. This makes set-up absolutely critical, as the cars are all very close. During qualifying, just one-tenth of a second covered 10 positions.
Conditions were dry and warm throughout the weekend, and in free practice Edoardo concentrated on trying to understand the car, ending up with a 15th fastest time.
He felt confident that he could improve on this benchmark during qualifying, but he was not able to find the correct set-up that would allow him to string several quick sectors together. Consequently he emerged from the session a disappointed 21st.
The French-Italian was determined to make up places and got off to an excellent start in race one, having climbed up to 13th by only the second corner. The scene was set for one of the storming drives through the field that Edoardo is famous for, but then contact with another competitor led to a premature retirement with a broken pull rod.
Under the F3 Euroseries rules, the result of race one decides the grid for race two. This meant that the 21 year-old started from the back on Sunday morning, and had it all to do again. During the fray he was hit from behind, losing his rear wing, and eventually he trailed home in 23rd.
"There's no point pretending otherwise: it's been another disappointing weekend for us," said Edoardo, who started the season with six podium finishes from the first eight races. "We never got to grips with the car during qualifying, and that compromised our entire weekend, I have been struggling too I have to say. During the race we got involved in some racing incidents, and that was because we put ourselves in a situation where we had to push hard in the middle of the pack. Now we need to analyse very carefully what happened as we head into the second half of the season, so that we can regain our previous form. I've got every confidence we'll do it, and looking on the positive side, we're still leading the championship by one point - which is the best place to be."
The next round of the hotly contested Formula 3 Euroseries takes place at Brands Hatch in England from August 29-31. Before then, Edoardo will contest the F3 Masters at Zolder from August 9-10.