PODIUM FINISH FOR WICKENS AT VALENCIA Status Grand Prix driver Robert Wickens notched up another podium finish today with a strong second place in the first of this weekend's two GP3 Series races at the Valencia street circuit. Starting from...
PODIUM FINISH FOR WICKENS AT VALENCIA
Status Grand Prix driver Robert Wickens notched up another podium finish today with a strong second place in the first of this weekend's two GP3 Series races at the Valencia street circuit.
Starting from the outside of the front row of the grid, Wickens got away well and slotted into second place behind the pole winner Esteban Gutierrez. The duo quickly left the rest of the field behind as it became a two- way battle for victory. Over the first half of the race Gutierrez pulled out a 2.4sec advantage, but then Wickens began fighting back. A sequence of four consecutive fastest laps put the pressure on, but the laps ran out for Wickens and he had to settle for a second place which moves him up to second in the title race.
Marussia Motors development driver Ivan Lukashevich enjoyed his strongest GP3 Series race to date, rising up from 26th on the grid. In tandem with his team-mate Daniel Morad, Lukashevich successfully avoided a multi-car accident at the first corner and passed several other cars to move up to 18th place. He then enjoyed a race-long scrap with Carlin's Dean Smith, eventually passing the Englishman to finish 16th on his street racing debut around the 3.36-mile circuit.
GMH Motorsport driver Morad, who had endured a difficult qualifying and also suffered a three-place grid penalty for a yellow flag infringement, got a great start from 28th to pass six cars in the first lap. The Canadian-Lebanese then made further progress before engaging in a long battle with Ferrari Academy driver Mirko Bortolotti, which was eventually settled in the Italian's favour as Morad came home in 19th place.
The Drivers' View
Robert Wickens (CAN): (Result: 2nd. Best lap: 1m58.99s).
"Second is a good result and gets decent points for the championship. I knew Gutierrez and I were pretty evenly matched and tried to preserve my tyres early on and then make a big push. It put him under some pressure but it was not quite enough, and now I just need to score more points in tomorrow's race."
Daniel Morad (LIB): (Result: 19th. Best lap: 2m00.30s).
"I got a good start but was delayed by the first-corner accident, and then it was a midfield dog fight. I got stuck behind one or two drivers, and it was hard to make progress. But if I make up another nine or 10 places again tomorrow I'll be in with a shout of points."
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Result: 16th. Best lap: 2m00.63s).
"I really enjoyed the intense midfield battle around this course, and it was satisfying to get past Dean in the end and make it stick. It's a reasonable result and I'm hopeful I can build on this platform tomorrow."
-source: status gp