ABAY UP FRONT IN THRILLING MONZA BATTLE In just his third Formula 3 event, Australian rookie, Sam Abay consolidated his reputation for being fast in the wet, leading the Carlin squad in a rain affected qualifying session, to secure 3rd place on...
ABAY UP FRONT IN THRILLING MONZA BATTLE
In just his third Formula 3 event, Australian rookie, Sam Abay consolidated his reputation for being fast in the wet, leading the Carlin squad in a rain affected qualifying session, to secure 3rd place on the grid for the first of two races at the historic Monza circuit in Italy in this weekend.
Racing at Monza for the first time, Abay made a scintillating start on a damp but drying track, pushing his way through middle of front row starters Matteo Chinosi and Max Chilton, to take the lead into the first chicane.
The young Australian led the first 5 laps with team mate Jaime Alguersuari and championship leader Sergio Perez close behind. On lap 6 Alguersuari slipstreamed past Abay down the front straight, only to have Perez pass both the Carlin drivers and take the lead. In the battle that followed, Abay regained 2nd position from Alguersuari, but then both Carlin drivers were relegated to 3rd and 4th as Esteban Guerrieri found a way past both.
By lap 10, with Abay now 4th, the classic Monza slipstreaming battle continued, Oliver Turvey finding a way past his Australian team mate, only for Abay to counter attack. With his passing attempt unsuccessful, Abay found himself under pressure from Brendon Hartley and Marcus Ericsson, before making a mistake in lap 12 and missing the first chicane. The Australian was forced to take to the escape road and rejoin the race in 9th.
A determined Abay would charge back up to 6th place where he would greet the chequered flag in a thrilling race that saw the top 8 cars separated by 7.4 seconds at the line.
"It was good to have led a race so early in the season. I've learned a great deal about using the slip streams to my advantage from the race and I will take that forward to Sunday's race 2." said the youngster.