Morad scores another strong finish in Istanbul Lebanon's Daniel Morad completed a strong weekend in Turkey with a second points- scoring finish as he took fifth place in Sunday's GP3 Series race at Istanbul Park. Starting from ...
Morad scores another strong finish in Istanbul
Lebanon's Daniel Morad completed a strong weekend in Turkey with a second points- scoring finish as he took fifth place in Sunday's GP3 Series race at Istanbul Park.
Starting from fourth place on the grid, Morad got away well to hold his position and immediately joined the battle at the front over the opening laps. He lost out to ART Grand Prix's Alexander Rossi on lap two, but from there the GMH Motorsport driver was consistent with a strong race pace. In the closing moments of the 15-lap race he drew close enough to challenge fourth-placed Nico Muller, but in the end elected to play it safe and secure another fifth-placed finish. "I knew I could attack Muller," said Morad, "but I also know the importance of getting a solid platform of points. The risk wasn't worth the reward."
Robert Wickens endured a frustrating day which showed what might have been. After suffering from a misfire to date all weekend, he was issued a fresh engine for the race. Starting from 11th, he made rapid progress and on lap two had just passed James Jakes for eight when the Manor Racing driver's car hit Wickens' rear. "I'd passed Jakes going into Turn 12 but on the exit he just hit my right rear tyre and caused a puncture," said Wickens. "It was needless, and the way the car was going it cost me a points finish."
After pitting for a new tyre, Wickens then reeled off a string of scintillating laps. The Canadian was consistently the fastest driver on track, setting fastest lap of the race that was 0.5sec quicker than the best lap of the race winner and 1.6sec quicker than had been possible with the misfire in Saturday's race. A distant 21st-place finish was no reward.
Ivan Lukashevich also suffered misfortune. The Marussia Motors development driver stalled on the grid and had to be pushed into the pitlane to get re-started. After that, he settled into a good rhythm, lapping in times comparable to those of the top 10 runners right until the flag, notching up his fourth finish from four races.
The Drivers' View
Daniel Morad (LIB): (Race position: 5th. Best Lap 1m48.30s).
"Two point-scores represent a good job this weekend, and are positive for our sponsors and GMH Motorsport. Consistent top five finishes gives a good base to build from, and really our season starts here."
Robert Wickens (CAN): (Race position: 21st, Best Lap 1m47.34s).
"The car today was phenomenal. It's good to show our true pace with the new engine, but the frustration is now I have a lot of catching up to do in the championship after a weekend when I truly believe we could have taken maximum points. But we'll attack hard next time out in Valencia, and we have every right to be optimistic about our chances."
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Race position: 27th, Best Lap 1m48.47s).
"I was just too quick on the clutch as the lights went out and stalled, which is really disappointing for me and the team. But once I was running it was good to have a consistent pace that was matching many of those in the top 10. We just need it to all come together."
-source: status gp