Status GP fills second row with strong qualifying
Status Grand Prix's drivers Robert Wickens and Daniel Morad will start this afternoon's historic first-ever GP3 Series race from the second row after setting the third and fourth fastest times in this morning's qualifying session.
Overnight rain made Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya damp and greasy, but as a drier line emerged it caused times to tumble in the final laps of the session. Wickens set the fastest time on his penultimate and final laps, but as the Canadian crossed the line a minute before some other rivals he was eventually bumped down to third place.
Lebanon's Daniel Morad will line-up alongside his team-mate on the second row for the inaugural GP3 race. After pitting mid-session for set-up changes, the GMH Motorsport driver found the sweet spot and timed his run perfectly at the end to take fourth place.
Ivan Lukashevich also showed strongly in the session as the Russian proved his car control in the wet conditions. The Marussia Motors development driver was placed in the top half of the field against more experienced drivers throughout the session, but with the track proving over a second a lap quicker on the final lap a small mistake left him down in 26th, not a true reflection of his pace.
Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer commented: "It was a very difficult session in these changeable damp conditions and all three drivers did a good job to keep it on the road and get good times. It's a shame that Ivan didn't get the position he deserved at the end, but to be where we are - locking out the second row - is a credit to all involved in the team in such a competitive series. Now it's down to the racing and we're focused on that."
The Drivers' View
Daniel Morad (LIB): (Qualifying time: 1m53.31s; Pos: 4th).
"This was a big improvement on yesterday. I came in mid-session and we made some set- up changes that made a night-and-day difference - the car was really good. We made sure we were running strongly at the right time, and although I think we could have got more out of the lap I am reasonably happy to be starting the race from row two."
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Qualifying time: 1m55.92s; Pos: 26th).
"It was a good session for my confidence, seeing it's possible to be fighting for a Top 10 position. The track was changing every lap but I enjoyed the wet conditions. To be in the front half of the field all session was good, but I made a small mistake on the final lap and that cost me. Still, it's encouraging and I'm looking forward to my first GP3 race."
Robert Wickens (CAN): (Best practice time: 1m52.97s; Pos: 3rd).
"It was a good session - we stuck to our gameplan and I was in the top three every time I crossed the line, and quickest on my last two laps. Unfortunately I crossed the line for the final time with a minute still left and got bumped, but the second row's a very workable position for the race. All we need is a good start and we'll challenge for the win."
-source: status gp