SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR Chris Alajajian went within a lap and a half of winning the opening Dodo F3 race at the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, before the harsher side of motorsport once again reared its ugly head. The Sydneysider ...
SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR
Chris Alajajian went within a lap and a half of winning the opening Dodo F3 race at the Fosters Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, before the harsher side of motorsport once again reared its ugly head.
The Sydneysider qualified on the front row of the grid, and took the lead in the first of four Formula 3 support races this weekend.
He led the race and looked set for victory, however at the second last corner on the penultimate lap, the 19 year-old was caught out by locked rear brakes and spun. It dropped Alajajian from the lead down to third place.
Despite this, he could still have won the race. The drivers who moved past Alajajian for the lead made contact, and spun off the track half a lap later. Alajajian looked set to reclaim the lead, but was tagged by one of the drivers as they rejoined the track from a spin, ending Alajajian's race.
"It's disappointing," lamented Alajajian. "In practice and qualifying, we weren't the quickest car out there, but we were biding our time and making improvements.
"Then in the race, things were going well out in the lead. I was battling with Bruno [Senna] and [Michael] Trimble for most of it and holding them off.
"During the race, I was having some problems finding the bes t brake bias for that corner [turn 15], and I was normally having either the front or the rear brakes locking up there.
"So I was changing the bias but I couldn't quite find the right balance. On the lap that I spun, the rear brakes locked up and I spun off."
"I got back onto the track in third place and when I got down into turn three, which is a blind corner, on the last lap I saw that Bruno and Trimble had spun, so I slowed down. Then as I was going past Trimble, he started moving again and his car made contact with mine."
The contact damaged the Jack Hillermans Smash Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304 and ended Alajajian's race. Parts are currently being sourced by the insight F3 crew to repair the car in time for tomorrow's second race, at 5:00pm, which Alajajian will start from 18th on the grid.
It is one position above where Alajajian started in the corresponding race last year, a race in which he charged through the field to finish third.
"I know what it's like to come through the field at this track," he said. "Last year I had to come from the back of the field as well and got a good result, so we'll wait and see what happens.
"There is nothing we can do about today now. There are still three races left this weekend so we will just have to move on and make the most of the races that are left."
Race 2 will take place tomorrow at 5:00pm local time, before Race 3 on Saturday afternoon, and the final dash around Albert Park on Sunday morning.
Chris Alajajian thanks t he ongoing support of Jack Hillermans Smash, Subaru Australia, Elf Oil, insight F3, Scuderia Veloce Motors, Nudie, Workflow Systems, Bilstein, Moody Kiddell & Partners, Travel Cafe, Heasman Steering and Disc Brakes Australia.