DISCREET DEBUT FOR BARWA ADDAX TEAM DRIVERS AT THE START OF NEW GP3 CHAMPIONSHIP. The new GP3 Series championship got under way this weekend at the Montmelo circuit, within the programme of events for the Spanish Formula 1 GP. Felipe ...
DISCREET DEBUT FOR BARWA ADDAX TEAM DRIVERS AT THE START OF NEW GP3 CHAMPIONSHIP.
The new GP3 Series championship got under way this weekend at the Montmelo circuit, within the programme of events for the Spanish Formula 1 GP. Felipe Guimarães, Mirko Bortolotti and Pablo Sanchez are the official drivers for the only Spanish team in the field but unfortunately their results have been somewhat discreet.
Felipe Guimarães, the young Brazilian driver, surprised everybody, being the best of the Addax drivers in qualifying in what were particularly difficult conditions. The track was very wet after the strong storms from the night before. Felipe, made a very good start and was nicely placed in the group ahead when he was hit by another rival forcing him off the circuit. As a result, he was forced to retire after only a few laps. Having to start from 27th position in the second race he had very little chance to shine. Nevertheless, it was important that he got in as many laps as possible to gain confidence and get used to the new car. Despite his lack of experience, in comparison with his team-mates, he still managed to climb seven positions over the course of the race.
The young Italian of the Ferrari Drive Academy, Mirko Bortolotti, set a fantastic lap time at the start of the first free practice but his session came to a sudden halt after an accident. A beaurocratic mix-up between doctors and stewards, concerning his clearance to drive, meant he could not take part in the qualifiers and had to start the first race from the very back of the grid. Mirko, climbed fourteen places in a field where there are very little differences in rhythm between all the drivers and very few opportunities to overtake. After having overtaken nearly half the field, he finished in a very respectable sixteenth place. He was determined to consolidate his progress in the second race, but on the main straight just after the start a car, which had hit a wall in front, rebounded back on track causing him to collide with Mirko's car and leaving the Italian driver out of the race.
Pablo Sanchez, the young Mexican driver from the Telmex group, qualified just behind his team-mate Guimarães in twelfth, in what were treacherous conditions on a very wet track. In the first race he was fighting for a position within the second group of drivers when he came off track after pushing hard and was forced to retire. After starting the second race last but one on the grid, he made a splendid fightback, just like Mirko had done the day before, climbing from 29th at the start to finish in a very creditable fifteenth. A good race that will surely give him a lot of confidence with the car.
In conclusion the weekend has seen three drivers making important fightbacks, even if there was no reward for their efforts. With the experience gained and the work ahead within the structure of the Addax Team, they will without doubt have more chances to demonstrate their true potential in future events