GP3

Istanbul: Status GP race 1 report

Morad scores points in Istanbul feature race Lebanon's Daniel Morad opened his championship points account with a fighting fifth-place finish in the GP3 Series feature race at Istanbul on Saturday afternoon. From sixth place on the grid, the...

Morad scores points in Istanbul feature race

Lebanon's Daniel Morad opened his championship points account with a fighting fifth-place finish in the GP3 Series feature race at Istanbul on Saturday afternoon.

From sixth place on the grid, the GMH Motorsport driver got a good start and leapt up to fourth. Initially the 20-year-old then pushed for third place, but on lap five lost his position to Alexander Rossi after the ART Grand Prix driver got a good tow, which began a race-long battle with Carlin's Dean Smith. This was finally resolved when Smith's car stopped on the penultimate lap, allowing Morad clean air to cruise home fifth and register points in the championship which put him into the Top 10 of the standings.

Robert Wickens also starred with a strong drive through the field to finish 11th. An electrical problem with his engine that had limited him to 22nd in qualifying was still hampering his car by 1.0sec per lap from the start of the race. But the Canadian, who went into the race as the series leader, showed tenacity and skill to fight his way up to the edge of the Top 10.

Ivan Lukashevich registered his third finish in as many starts after an eventful race scrapping for positions in the midfield pack. The Marussia Motors development driver made up six places in the early laps after starting 25th on the grid, and after jostling for position in several battles again took the chequered flag in 19th place.

Team manager Simon Cayzer said: "Daniel deserved his points and drove a really good race, and these were again valuable racing miles for Ivan. It's disappointing for Robert to still have the engine misfire after the team eliminated all the variables it could overnight, but he'll have fresh engine tomorrow and hopefully the chance to show what he can do."

The Drivers' View

Daniel Morad (LIB): (Race position: 5th. Best Lap 1m48.28s).
"Getting points today was important. The start was pretty hectic, but I got away well and felt I had the pace to fight with the top three. But the battle with Rossi and Smith defined my race, and to come away with fifth is OK. I'm confident for tomorrow's race starting fourth."

Robert Wickens (CAN): (Race position: 11th, Best Lap 1m48.92s).
"It's such a shame the engine was still misfiring because the team has given me one of the best balanced cars I've ever had this weekend, and if I wasn't losing so much time on the straights I know we'd have been right there contending for victory."

Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Race position: 19th, Best Lap 1m49.52s).
"There was pretty frantic racing in the midfield, and it's good to hone my wheel-to-wheel skills against the more experienced drivers around me. It's good to get more racing miles under my belt and I'm looking to build from here in tomorrow's race."

-source: status gp

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers Robert Wickens , Dean Smith , Daniel Morad , Alexander Rossi , Ivan Lukashevich
Teams Status Grand Prix , Carlin , ART Grand Prix