TWO IN THE TOP EIGHT FASTEST FOR STATUS GP AT SILVERSTONE
Status Grand Prix drivers Daniel Morad and Robert Wickens both set times inside the top eight during Saturday morning's GP3 Series qualifying session at Silverstone.
GMH Motorsport-backed driver Morad was strong throughout, holding first position for a period during the first half of the session and setting fastest sector times on several laps. The Canadian-Lebanese was in confident mood as his second set of new tyres was fitted in the latter stages, as lower fuel levels and rising grip levels on the 3.66-mile circuit produced ever faster times. Morad drove a string of consistent, quick laps but was delayed by a slower car on his final tour which limited him to seventh on the grid for this afternoon's feature race.
Wickens ended the 30-minute session at the British Grand Prix meeting just 0.006sec behind Morad to post the eight quickest time. Having lost the opportunity for meaningful track time in yesterday's practice due to an engine problem, the Canadian found himself playing catch-up on fine tuning the set-up during qualifying, but was a fixture on the Top 10 throughout. Having been delayed by the same slower car as Morad in the dying moments, he was left frustrated to be classified eighth, and with a 10-place grid penalty from the previous round in Valencia being applied for this afternoon's race he will start from 18th on the grid.
Marussia Motors development driver Ivan Lukashevich endured a frustrating session. An excursion off the road on his penultimate lap ruined the grip of his tyres, and the 19-year-old was unable to show his full speed on his all-important final qualifying lap and was left in 30th position for the race.
The Drivers' View
Daniel Morad (LIB): (Best time: 1m52.30s, +0.85s; Start Position: 7th).
"It was good to be battling for the top spots, and I feel we've really found a sweet spot with the set-up of the car. It was a shame about the traffic at the end because I'd set my fastest sector time on the lap up until that point, but seventh position is a decent platform from which to score some good points this afternoon."
Robert Wickens (CAN): (Best time: 1m52.31s, +0.86s; Start Position: 18th).
"The loss of track time yesterday made this a difficult session. The basic speed is there, but I was fine tuning as we went along and that lost a few tenths. Despite my penalty for the first race I'm still targeting a points finish."
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Best time: 1m54.04s, +2.59s; Start Position: 30th).
"The margins in this series are so small, you pay a heavy penalty for any small mistake. That's what happened to me, but my race experience is growing and I'll be fighting hard to progress forwards in the race."
-source: status gp