GP3

Catalunya: Status GP qualifying report

Status GP kicks off GP3 season with solid Barcelona practice The new GP3 Series season sprung into life this afternoon with the opening practice at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, with Status Grand Prix's driver taking ...

Status GP kicks off GP3 season with solid Barcelona practice

The new GP3 Series season sprung into life this afternoon with the opening practice at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, with Status Grand Prix's driver taking on challenging track conditions as they prepared for tomorrow morning's qualifying session.

In front of the Formula One teams here for the Spanish Grand Prix, it was Robert Wickens who led the way among Status GP's three drivers with the fourth fastest lap time in the 30-minute session. The Canadian was consistently in the top group, and ended with a time 0.3sec off the fastest time set by Mucke Motorsport's Renger van der Zande.

Having tested at the Barcelona track last month, the drivers encountered very different conditions this weekend as their Pirelli tyres ran on a circuit smothered in rubber from the F1 cars which made the surface slippery.

Lebanon's Daniel Morad, the GMH Motorsport driver, who had set a Top Six time in testing, started the session strongly to be in the top five. He came in to make adjustments, but found these did not produce the balance he wanted, and coupled with a lot of traffic among the 30 Renault-powered Dallaras, he had to resort to a relatively conservative lap that left him in 15th place by the end.

It was also a learning curve for Marussia Motors development driver Ivan Lukashevich in his first time at Barcelona. He felt the car was improved since the test, and he closed on the ultimate pace by 0.2sec as he stuck to his task well, and ended the session 27th fastest.

The Drivers' View

Daniel Morad (LIB): (Best practice time: 1m39.48s; Pos: 15th).
"We had a strong start to the session and were just adapting to the track conditions, but I encountered quite a bit of traffic. In the end I put in a relatively conservative lap just ensure we had a decent time, but the margins are so close in this field we didn't end up a high as we wanted. But there's improvement to come tomorrow."

Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Best practice time: 1m40.75s; Pos: 27th).
"A 30-minute session is intense! This was a different experience for me with the F1 rubber on the circuit too, I've never known this slippery surface before. We'd made modifications to the braking that I liked since the test, though, and I feel we moved forward."

Robert Wickens (CAN): (Best practice time: 1m38.97s; Pos: 4th).
"The session went pretty well - the track conditions were very different, but we were quickest in the final sector and to be fourth is a good start to the weekend. We know there are areas to improve and we'll be right there in qualifying tomorrow."

-source: status gp

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers Robert Wickens , Daniel Morad , Renger van der Zande , Ivan Lukashevich
Teams Mücke Motorsport , Status Grand Prix