DAMAGE LIMITATION FOR MW ARDEN The MW Arden GP3 Series team faced an uphill struggle in today's penultimate race of the year at Monza, Italy -- but a fine drive by Miki Monras brought him within reach of the top 10. In the wake of ...
DAMAGE LIMITATION FOR MW ARDEN
The MW Arden GP3 Series team faced an uphill struggle in today's penultimate race of the year at Monza, Italy -- but a fine drive by Miki Monras brought him within reach of the top 10. In the wake of a disappointing qualifying session for all three MW Arden drivers, the Spaniard's performance gave the team fresh heart ahead of tomorrow's seasonal finale.
Monras finished 11th -- a spectacular recovery after starting 24th -- and Michael Christensen proved similarly effective. He rose from 25th to 13th in a race that had all the hallmarks of a classic Monza slipstreamer from bygone times, with an entertaining array of passing manoeuvres. The team was unable to achieve a 100 per cent finishing record, however, because Leonardo Cordeiro (22nd on the grid) retired after colliding with another car.
"This is a new track for me, so I had lots to learn. I was 16th in free practice and felt I could build on that, because the car seemed very well balanced, but I failed to pick up a tow in qualifying and without that it was impossible to set a fast time. Starting 24th I knew it would not be an easy race, but in the circumstances everything ran perfectly. I managed to pull off lots of passing moves and my lap times were pretty good, but it's a pity that I had to start from so far back. Tomorrow, the target will be to get through the first two corners cleanly and then make as much progress as possible."
"The car was good in free practice and it was nice to reacquaint myself with this distinctive, historic circuit. Qualifying was a bit of a disaster, though, due to a combination of factors. The first half of the session was OK, when Miki and I practised slipstreaming, because we knew we would need to do that. There was then a misunderstanding between me and two other drivers, as a result of which I never managed to get a tow at all -- and there's npt much you can do when you start 25th.
"I made a good start, but it's difficult to pick up many places on the run to Turn One because the circuit is so narrow. I gained a few places as the race went on, but I lost a few, too, after making one or two wrong calls. It was tough recovering all that lost ground, yet in summary I think I had a good race. I set some competitive times and gained 12 positions without taking any risks. Things will be difficult again tomorrow, as I'm starting from the middle of the pack. That is usually a magnet for trouble, but I'll try to keep my nose clean and end this first GP3 season on a positive note."
"Monza is a wonderful circuit... but I didn't have particularly wonderful luck. It has, though, been another valuable learning experience. The car felt pretty good during free practice, but we knew qualifying would be close and, like the others, I didn't benefit from a decent slipstream when it most mattered. I hoped I'd be able to make progress and picked up a couple of positions early on, but then I tried to pass Pedro Nunes at the second chicane and he braked earlier than I expected. There was no way I could avoid him, sadly, so that was that."