TRIPLE FINISH FOR MW ARDEN AFTER LIVELY RACE IN ISTANBUL... While patron Mark Webber basked in the glory of a third consecutive Formula One pole position, the three young hopefuls in his MW Arden team gave a good account of themselves in...
TRIPLE FINISH FOR MW ARDEN AFTER LIVELY RACE IN ISTANBUL...
While patron Mark Webber basked in the glory of a third consecutive Formula One pole position, the three young hopefuls in his MW Arden team gave a good account of themselves in today's GP3 Series race at Istanbul Park, the third race of the season for motorsport's newest development category. As in Barcelona three weeks ago, Miki Monras blended speed and composure to fight his way through the field. The Spanish teenager started 12th and capitalised on rivals' errors to join a lively, multi-car battle for sixth place. He eventually finished seventh, just 0.1s behind Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport).
Michael Christensen delivered one of the race's finest cameos. Condemned to the back of the grid this morning, in the wake of tyre trouble and a three-position grid penalty for his failure to pull off the track when it struck, the Dane stormed through the pack and set some encouragingly competitive lap times en route to 13th.
Leonardo Cordeiro rose from 15th to 11th during the early stages of the race, but then dropped back after twice running wide and sliding off the circuit. He was eventually classified 18th.
"The weekend has been positive so far -- it's difficult to imagine that you might finish seventh when you are 1.4 seconds off the pace in free practice. We made a good step forward in qualifying today, though -- it would have been better without all the yellow flags, but all those who ignored them were punished.
"I might have finished sixth after Dean Smith ran out of fuel in the closing stages, but ultimately I'm happy with this result -- not least because I'll be starting from the front row tomorrow. If I get off the line well, I genuinely believe I can win."
"Practice went smoothly yesterday and I was close to the pace, but things weren't so good during qualifying. On my first set of tyres I made a few mistakes and didn't manage to put in a good time. After I pitted for fresh rubber, one of my new tyres came off and that signalled the end of my session, so I ended up at the back again. The race was OK, though. I made a good start and took a positive, aggressive approach, overtaking when I could but making sure I didn't take unnecessary risks. The car felt good and the set-up changes we've made since Barcelona have paid off. My target tomorrow will to be to make sure we maintain our current progress. I'll just take things lap by lap, and adapt to whatever is going on around me, but one thing is certain: I will do my best."
"The car felt good in practice, and I was pleased about that because this is my first time here in Turkey. I spent time on the simulator beforehand, which definitely helped. In reality, though, a 30-minute practice session does not give you much time to learn, but I got quicker and quicker and felt confident that I would be able to push to the limit in qualifying.
"That went really well at first -- I was lying ninth halfway through the session -- but my rhythm was broken by all the yellow flags and I had to back off for a couple of laps. Only two laps remained when the track was clear again, but I was unable to get back up to speed and slipped to 17th, although I recovered a couple of places when others were penalised.
"I was happy with my start, which took me up to 11th, and I felt very confident. I made a mistake when trying to gain another place, however, and after sliding wide my tyres began to go off, which made the car difficult to drive. I remain positive, though, and believe I can obtain a good result tomorrow -- especially if I can repeat today's good start."