OLLIE MILLROY BRINGS DEBUT SEASON TO A CLOSE Ollie Millroy brought his Formula BMW Europe Championship campaign to a close in the final rounds at the historic Monza track this weekend. The Claygate teenager, in his first season out of karts, has...
OLLIE MILLROY BRINGS DEBUT SEASON TO A CLOSE
Ollie Millroy brought his Formula BMW Europe Championship campaign to a close in the final rounds at the historic Monza track this weekend. The Claygate teenager, in his first season out of karts, has shown a rapid race pace throughout the season but his final races in Europe did not go according to plan.
Once again the 17 year-old showed impressive form in Friday's free practice session, running comfortably in the top five for much of the wet session. A rare error from the single-seater rookie three laps from the flag cost him dearly as he dropped to 12th while stranded out on the circuit.
Despite that, the BMW Junior Development Driver headed into qualifying on Saturday aiming for a repeat of his earlier pace. However, in the dry the car was again down on power and he was unable to get on terms with the leaders and was forced to settle for a tenth row start.
As has now become the norm for the Fisichella Motorsport International driver, a storming start in race one allowed him to make up places off the line and he was soon up into 14th place chasing a points-scoring finish. However as he entered the double right-hander on the last lap, he came across the slower car of Adrian Tambay who unbeknown to Ollie had spun and lost his front wing. Tambay therefore was entering the corner some 80mph slower causing Ollie to lock up his rear wheels as he came up behind him, and forcing the hapless scholarship driver into the back of Tambay's FB02.
The incident put Ollie out of the race on the spot and damaged his car so severely it prevented him from making the start for Sunday's race.
"I'd made another great start and was beginning to work my way through the pack." said Ollie. "As I went into the double right-hander, I saw Tambay but obviously didn't know what had happened. I couldn't see that he'd lost his front wing and that he'd almost stopped.
"As we went into to the corner, he locked up mid corner, which caused me to hit the brakes and as I did so, I went onto the wet part of the track and locked up my rear wheels. I just couldn't avoid hitting the back of his car and it damaged my car so badly, the suspension broke and cracked the tub."
"It was another one of those things that I couldn't do anything about and until I'm in a car that can put me up the front in qualifying it will always be difficult. I've really enjoyed my first season in single-seaters and particularly racing on the F1 package which is an amazing experience.
"With FMSI I've not been able to convert the pace we've had in the wet into good qualifying starts when its dry. I think my pace and race craft in the wet has been good but without doubt we need to be with a front running team next season and I know that I will produce the results of which I know I am capable.
"This has been a very tough learning year for me and it's taught me a lot. Not just racing on new tracks and working with an engineer but also how to bounce back from a poor result and keep motivated which is a key factor in driver development.
"I'm just going to draw a line under this championship and move forward to the rest of the year. I start testing with one of the top teams, in Italy this week, which I'm really looking forward to. Then I go to Singapore the week after to start my campaign in Asia and the America's. I'm doing three of these races with a UK team, who I did quite a lot of testing with last year, so we know each other well and we are confident that we can get some results."