ATECH CRS GP ENDS SEASON ON A HIGH Atech CRS Grand Prix ended the 2010 GP3 series on a high with two strong performances by Roberto Merhi to clinch sixth in the drivers' table. The Spaniard was denied a podium finish in both races after running...
ATECH CRS GP ENDS SEASON ON A HIGH
Atech CRS Grand Prix ended the 2010 GP3 series on a high with two strong performances by Roberto Merhi to clinch sixth in the drivers' table. The Spaniard was denied a podium finish in both races after running third in race one and taking the lead at the start of race two.
He went on to finish sixth and fourth while Oli Oakes took another top ten finish in race two and Vittorio Ghirelli was the unlucky victim of an oil spillage in race one and collision in race two.
The final two rounds of the series at Monza, supporting the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, once again proved thrilling from start to finish with Merhi making a superb start in Saturday's opening race. Starting sixth he jumped into fifth at turn two and was soon in a five-car battle for the lead, passing both Renger van der Zander and new champion Esteban Gutierrez in a stunning move to take third.
Behind Oakes too made a good start to climb to 14th ahead of Ghirelli. On the second lap a rare error from Merhi saw him run wide into the gravel, dropping back to fifth as Gutierrez and Rio Haryanto swept ahead. A lap later Ghirelli spun on some oil dropped by another car, dropping him down the order although he recovered and improved his lap times throughout the remaining laps.
Merhi found a way back past Nico Muller for fourth and was pushing eventual race winner Gutierrez but was retaken by Muller. Then on the penultimate lap he lost fifth to Mirko Bertolotti, going on to claim sixth at the flag.
Another solid drive from Oakes netted the Briton 12th to give him a row six start for Sunday's race two, with Merhi lining up third and Ghirelli forced to start from the back.
Race two proved as exciting as the previous day's encounter with drama at the start. Pole-sitter Nigel Melker was pushed to the back for a false start. This left Merhi with a clear sight into the first corner but at the lights found himself boxed in behind Josef Newgarden allowing Robert Wickens to get a run alongside him.
Merhi held his ground though to lead into the first corner but was squeezed out by Wickens at turn two. Another good start by Oakes allowed him to move up the order into eighth by lap three. A solid drive through the field for Ghirelli allowed him to improve from his starting position.
Up ahead Merhi was struggling to stay ahead of Bortolotti, losing second place on lap three, and then third place to Muller a lap later, holding fourth to the line. Meanwhile Oakes was on a charge, embroiled in a six car-battle for seventh place, eventually crossing the line ninth with Ghirelli finishing 21st after a coming together with Dorien Sechelariu.
-source: atech crs