HOME PODIUM SNATCHED FROM SIMS' GRASP AT BRANDS HATCH Team UK driver Alexander Sims missed out on the opportunity to enjoy a 'home' podium finish at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on Sunday, 5th September, after being forced out of a likely...
HOME PODIUM SNATCHED FROM SIMS' GRASP AT BRANDS HATCH
Team UK driver Alexander Sims missed out on the opportunity to enjoy a 'home' podium finish at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on Sunday, 5th September, after being forced out of a likely top three finish during the 14th round of the Formula 3 Euroseries.
Returning to compete on UK soil for the first time since his race-winning guest appearance in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series event at Silverstone in May, the 22-year-old had hoped to close further on the top two in the standings this weekend. But contact from ART Grand Prix team-mate Valtteri Bottas at Druids Hairpin on the opening lap of race two ruined that chance.
Disappointed to qualify no higher than sixth fastest for the opening encounter, round 13, Alexander raced to an improved fifth place result but still aimed for more from the weekend and headed into the second encounter fully committed to fighting for his fifth podium of the campaign.
Lining-up fourth on the 'reverse' grid, the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner made a great start and took third place through Paddock Hill Bend before looking to go into second as the cars headed towards the tight, right-hand hairpin at Druids.
Holding the inside line into, and through, the turn, Alexander was comfortable in third but Bottas made a huge mistake by turning in to his team-mate's car and the resulting contact dropped the Briton down to eighth place.
His race was compounded when a pass for seventh had to be rescinded due to the fact it may have occurred when yellow flags were being shown. Alexander was advised over the pit-to-car radio that the move was good but race officials declared the pass was under investigation so he rightly handed the place back in order to avoid the risk of a potential drive-through penalty.
Reflecting on the event, the Wansford-based driver said: "I'm pretty disappointed on the whole, we definitely had the pace in race two to keep hold of a podium place but the incident with (Valtteri) Bottas ruined that. I made a very good start, got into third straight away, and then looked for second at Paddock but on the run through Druids he turned in on me when I was obviously on the inside.
"My front-left wheel got lodged between his rear wheel and bodywork after the contact and there was nothing I could do. He then went wide and my car was released but I lost all of my momentum for the run down to Graham Hill Bend so I got gobbled up pretty quickly. It was a pretty disastrous thing to happen as we had looked very well placed up until then."
The Formula 3 Euroseries returns to action just a fortnight from now, 18th/19th September, with the 15th and 16th rounds of the campaign taking place at Oschersleben in Germany -- the penultimate event of the 2010 season.
2010 Formula 3 Euroseries Championship Standings (after Rds13&14): 1st Edoardo Mortara, 87pts; 4th Alexander Sims, 48pts