CHRISTENSEN SPEARHEADS MW ARDEN CHALLENGE Michael Christensen put in a strong performance for MW Arden in today's opening GP3 Series race at the Hungaroring, near Budapest. The Dane lined up 16th in the closely matched field of 30, gained ...
CHRISTENSEN SPEARHEADS MW ARDEN CHALLENGE
Michael Christensen put in a strong performance for MW Arden in today's opening GP3 Series race at the Hungaroring, near Budapest. The Dane lined up 16th in the closely matched field of 30, gained several places on the opening lap and moved up into the top 10 during the race's final moments. Team-mates Leonardo Cordeiro and Miki Monras had a more difficult time after being penalised three grid positions for failing to heed yellow warning flags during qualifying: the Brazilian was classified 22nd, while the Spaniard made solid progress before retiring in the wake of a collision with Pablo Sanchez Lopez (Addax).
"It is difficult to get everything together for a quick lap at this circuit. Free practice didn't go too well, as my lap times indicated, but I made a few mistakes during the session and learned from all of them. That, after all, is the purpose of practice. I felt I did a decent job in qualifying. I didn't push too hard at the beginning, when the circuit was damp from overnight rain, but I gradually settled into a rhythm. Although I was challenging for a place in the top six at one point, I didn't get a clear lap when the conditions improved -- largely because there were too many yellow flags.
"My task in the race was simple -- it was vital to finish and I needed a steady, trouble-free afternoon. I was obviously keen to score points, but I had a lot of work to do and 10th is actually my best result yet in a Saturday race, so it's progress of sorts. Track conditions were tricky and I tried to find the limit, but we'll make a few small changes overnight to see whether we can move forward again tomorrow."
"This is a circuit I know well and I have always been quick here in the past. I was confident I'd be able to challenge at the front and the car felt fine in free practice. My first qualifying run was OK, but I struggled to find a good car balance on my second set of tyres and encountered a lot of traffic, too, so I ended up 21st. As soon as the race started, I knew I had a good car and tried to make as much progress as possible. Pablo Sanchez Lopez closed the door on me when I tried to pass, however, and that was that. I'm faced with another lowly start tomorrow, but I will try to make up as many places as possible."
"This was my first race at the Hungaroring, but I spent lots of time on the simulator to prepare. I felt quite comfortable straight away and soon began to improve my lap times, but we had a mechanical problem that stifled my progress in free practice. As a result, I didn't have a particularly good chassis balance in qualifying -- and the damp track made life difficult, too. I made real progress as the session wore on, but then I was caught out by the yellow flags. I backed off, as the rules require, but obviously not enough. In the end I only managed one clear lap without yellow flags... and by then my tyres had gone off. I started the race cautiously, but soon grew in confidence and began to catch the cars ahead. It's very hard to overtake here, though, and I wasn't particularly quick through the last corner, so it was hard to pick up a tow down the pit straight. Overall, though, I think I have made quite a bit of progress this weekend -- and I aim to maintain that tomorrow."