Atte Mustonen third in the opening round of British F3 Raikkonen Robertson Racing 's (Double R) F3 driver Atte Mustonen finished third in the first leg of the 2008 British F3 opening round at Oulton Park this Easter Monday. In the second leg,...
Atte Mustonen third in the opening round of British F3
Raikkonen Robertson Racing 's (Double R) F3 driver Atte Mustonen finished third in the first leg of the 2008 British F3 opening round at Oulton Park this Easter Monday. In the second leg, Atte came home seventh. This year no fewer than 18 drivers are contesting this international championship, which consists of 22 races held over 11 race meetings.
The race weekend got off to a chilly start with occasional flurries of snow, uncommon in England at this time of the year. This caused some problems during qualifying. The quickest of Saturday's qualifiers for Monday's first race were, from pole to third on the grid, Carlin Motorsport's Jaime Alguersuari, his team-mate Oliver Turvey and Hitech Racing's Walter Grubmuller.
Things didn't go smoothly for Atte in qualifying, as the team struggled with the car's set-up. Getting the car to run well in the cold weather and setting up the electronics caused headaches for Atte and his team. This meant that Atte had to be content with a start from tenth on the grid for the weekend's first race. He went one better for the second race, claiming ninth on the grid. Pole position was again taken by Jaime Alguersuari, with Fortec Motorsport's Marcus Ericsson starting from second and Hitech Racing's Walter Grubmuller once again starting from third.
The first race of the season was held on Easter Monday morning, with snow showers slowing the pace somewhat. The damp track dried out as the race progressed, which caused difficulties for all the drivers. Atte was playing catch up from tenth on the grid, and was determined to move up the order. First home was Oliver Turvey, who had started from second on the grid, second over the line was fourth fastest qualifier Max Chilton and tenth fastest qualifier Atte Mustonen battled his way to finish a fine third.
The second race of the day was held in the afternoon, in dry conditions. Atte's set-up problems persisted, but in familiar fashion he battled on to finish a credible seventh. The race was won by pole position man Jaime Alguersuari/Carlin Motorsport; Marcus Ericsson/Fortec Motorsport was second, and Sebastian Hohenthal/Fortec Motorsport finished third.
"Set-up difficulties with the car made this a tough race weekend. Luckily we've got five weeks until the next meeting, and we'll be able to thoroughly test the car in all conditions," commented Atte, after the season's opening F3 round.