GP3

Silverstone: MWArden race 1 report

Today's GP3 Series race at Silverstone was MW Arden's first at its home track... but it ended in low-key fashion. All three drivers hoped to stage a strong recovery in the wake of a disappointing qualifying session, but only Miki Monras -- 15th --...

Today's GP3 Series race at Silverstone was MW Arden's first at its home track... but it ended in low-key fashion. All three drivers hoped to stage a strong recovery in the wake of a disappointing qualifying session, but only Miki Monras -- 15th -- completed the 14 laps.

Miki Monras: "I was confident I could finish on the podium this weekend, because I had some very encouraging results when I drove around Silverstone on a simulator. I didn't feel comfortable in free practice, however, and things didn't really improve in qualifying, hence 25th place on the grid -- my worst performance of the season.

"That stifled my confidence a little, but things picked up during the race. I began to get a much better feel for the chassis, even though it wasn't perfect, but it is hard to overtake other cars when so many drivers are lapping at a similar pace. Tonight, we will go through all the data in an effort to perfect the set-up for tomorrow. It will be very hard to score any points, but I'll be happy if we can make the car competitive."

Michael Christensen: "Yesterday's free practice was difficult. The car felt quite good initially, but I struggled to put a really good lap together -- although that's fairly normal at an unfamiliar track. There was only enough time to complete 15 laps, too, so I still had plenty to learn in qualifying. I was running as high as fifth at one stage, but I was probably a bit too determined to secure a good grid position and I made one or two mistakes, which is why I slipped to 13th.

"I made a reasonable start, but took a bit of a chance at Becketts on the opening lap and shouldn't have been quite so forceful. I ran onto the grass and lost a few places, then started pushing really hard to claim them back. I ran wide at the exit of the hairpin, though, which was another costly error. After that I tried to consolidate, to minimise the damage to my grid position for race two. James Jakes challenged me and tried pass around the outside, which I think was optimistic on his part. I didn't want to let him through and, at the same time, I couldn't just disappear. We ended up colliding, which damaged my gearbox cooler and left me with a puncture, so that was that. I could clearly have done much better and will try to make amends tomorrow morning."

Leo: "I didn't know Silverstone at all before this weekend and felt completely lost at the start of free practice. Even though I'd spent time on the simulator, it didn't prepare me for the extremely high cornering speeds. It was my toughest session of the year so far and the first part of the track, from Copse through to Becketts, proved to be much harder than I'd imagined.

"I was a little closer to the pace in qualifying -- my best lap was the same as race winner Esteban Gutierrez managed in free practice -- but that still left me 29th...

"I think I was unlucky in the race, because I made my best start of the season. James Jakes had stalled, though, and there wasn't space to get around him. I had the choice of hitting him or the pit wall -- and I chose to brush the wall. That damaged the car and made it difficult to drive, as a result of which I eventually spun into the gravel at Copse. I'm just hoping for a better day tomorrow."

-source: arden

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers James Jakes , Esteban Gutierrez , Michael Christensen , Miki Monras