WICKENS SCORCHES TO GP3 SERIES VICTORY IN GERMANY
Robert Wickens proved untouchable as he dominated the GP3 Series feature race to score his first victory of the season in the Formula 1-support series at Hockenheim on Saturday. The Canadian capitalised on his strong qualifying to make a great start from third place on the grid and slice past James Jakes into the first corner, and then dive down the inside of Josef Newgarden at the hairpin to take a lead he would never lose.
Two multi-car accidents on laps one and four brought out the safety car, giving Wickens two re-starts to contend with, but on both he timed his getaway perfectly and re-established his lead. By the end of lap eight Wickens had a 1.5sec lead over Jakes, and then produced a string of four fastest laps that secured the bonus point and allowed him to cruise to a victory that returns him to second in the drivers' championship.
Coming off the back of Canadian-Lebanese driver Daniel Morad's GP3 victory at Silverstone, Status GP's Canadian team principal Teddy Yip said: "To achieve back-to-back victories is something for the whole team to be proud of. I'm especially pleased to be able to demonstrate success with our new partners Marussia and, for me, having the Canadian flag hoisted at the top of the podium at an F1/GP3 event gives me great personal pride. And two weeks in a row with two different drivers is something really special."
Morad fared less well, an innocent victim of a crash on the fourth lap. Starting 24th the GMH Motorsport- backed driver produced a sensational first lap to rise to 10th. But at the first re-start he was sandwiched between two cars which hit his front wheels, damaging his suspension and forcing him to eventually retire.
Also out of luck was Marussia driver Ivan Lukashevich, a victim of the first-lap pile-up at the hairpin. Although the team was able to change his damaged nose cone under the safety car, the Russian's suspension was deranged and his handling was affected for the rest of the race limiting him to an 18th-place finish.
The Drivers' View
Robert Wickens (CAN): (Result: 1st. Fastest lap: 1m33.08s. Race 2 start position: 8th).
"The guys gave me a consistent car, very easy to drive. Status GP's two race wins in a row show how strong the team is, and hopefully for me this win starts a run of consistently strong results."
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Result: 18th. Fastest lap: 1m35.56s. Race 2 start position: 18th).
"It was unfortunate to get caught up in the tangle in front of me at the hairpin. Although I pitted for a new nose the suspension damage really affected my handling and the race was a struggle."
Daniel Morad (LIB): (Result: Rtd. Fastest lap: 1m39.56s. Race 2 start position: 19th).
"I had an awesome start and felt I placed myself perfectly to make up ground at each corner - certainly the car felt good and was quicker than those around me, so to lose a points finish in this fashion is hard to take."
-source: status gp