The second race weekend in the British F3 Season 2006 was held at Donington Park. Our pre season test results gave me a good feeling for rounds three and four. Free practice at Donington was held on Thursday, where track conditions were dry ...
The second race weekend in the British F3 Season 2006 was held at Donington Park. Our pre season test results gave me a good feeling for rounds three and four.
Free practice at Donington was held on Thursday, where track conditions were dry throughout the day. From the moment I went on track I felt very comfortable with the handling of my car, and this allowed me to set very fast times straight from the start. Obviously my team had done a fantastic job with the setup before going to Donington. We ended both, the morning session and afternoon session in 2nd place only 0.053 s behind the fastest time.
Qualifying 1 was set to be a challenge as the track was dry, with rain threatening to fall any minute. I managed to set the 4th time and therefore a good starting position for race one. In second qualifying I was able to set 5th time, and thus once again a top five starting position. The rain that was due to come had come down onto the track for race , making it the first wet race of the season. I had a good start and managed to pass James Walker for 3rd place, on lap five the leader out braked himself and I therefore gained another place, lying in second place I was now following Bruno Senna. I was pushing hard to put pressure on him, unfortunately on lap seven I made a mistake and this allowed James Walker to pass me again. Following Walker, I went wide at the fast "Old Hairpin" corner and lost control of my car in the grass and spun into the wall. This was very disappointing for me as I lost a podium position, but I knew I had to fight back in race two.
My Carlin Motorsport team did a great job to get my car repaired in time for the second race which was once again set to be a wet race. My start was good and I held my position into turn one. It was a very close race as the top six were separated by only three seconds in the first five laps, on lap seven the three cars in front of me were battling hard and touched, which gave me the opportunity to pass all three of them. As it turned out two of the cars retired in the gravel, this brought out the safety car for four laps. I was now in second place, when the race was restarted I focused on securing 2nd place and staying close to the leader. In the following six laps I exchanged fastest lap several times with Mike Conway in the lead and Bruno Senna in 4th. However there were no more changes in position and I finished the race in 2nd place.
It was a great feeling to get my first podium after only four races in British F3. I am now 3rd in the championship and best Mugen Honda driver, I am looking forward to the next races in Pau as this will surely be a great event, we are very confident of a strong weekend there, maybe we can even get the first win!