MORTARA STRUGGLES THROUGH A FRUSTRATING FORMULA 3 MASTERS Formula 3 Euroseries leader Edoardo Mortara has endured a challenging F3 Masters race at Zolder in Belgium, held in mixed conditions throughout the weekend. The Signature Team driver...
MORTARA STRUGGLES THROUGH A FRUSTRATING FORMULA 3 MASTERS
Formula 3 Euroseries leader Edoardo Mortara has endured a challenging F3 Masters race at Zolder in Belgium, held in mixed conditions throughout the weekend.
The Signature Team driver was the quickest of the four-man squad to qualify in 15th place, which was also where he finished the race. However, Edoardo was plagued by an unusual tyre wear problem on race day -- which meant that he finished the hour-long encounter with the rear tyres destroyed, while the fronts were still in good condition.
Overnight rain in northern Belgium meant that the track was wet at the start of the race, and conditions stayed damp during all 25 laps.
Under the F3 Masters rules, all drivers have to use special control tyres that are much harder than the covers normally utilised in the F3 Euroseries. During free practice, held in the rain on Friday, Edoardo adapted himself well to the new rubber, setting some promising times. Qualifying on Saturday was dry, but the French-Italian still managed to get himself through into the all-important superpole session.
With heavy rain forecast for Sunday, Edoardo and the Volkswagen-powered Signature team decided to run a full wet weather set-up. However, the expected rain during the race did not arrive. In fact, the track progressively dried up thanks to the passage of no fewer than 37 cars taking the start.
Edoardo made an excellent getaway and soon broke into the top 10, but the drying track meant that his set-up was no longer suited to the circumstances. Despite a brave fight, he struggled to defend his position and eventually finished 15th.
"Our choice of set-up was a gamble worth taking, as we anticipated more rain during the race, but unfortunately it did not come," explained Edoardo. "The handling of the car got worse and worse and subsequently we found out that this was due to a tyre wear issue as well. As always the Masters was a great experience though, and now we very much look forward to the F3 Euroseries resuming at the end of the month, so I can defend my championship lead."
Signature Team Principal Philippe Sinault added: "As always Edoardo did an excellent job, but the tyre wear problem we encountered was a very unusual one and it would have affected him quite badly. We need to get the car back to the factory so that we can analyse all the settings and work out exactly what happened."
Edoardo's next outing will be round seven of the F3 Euroseries at Brands Hatch in England from August 30-31.