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May 12, 2014 - 06:13 AM
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Ask Alex: Alex Lynn Barcelona Round-Up
Posted by: newsla on May 12, 2014 - 06:12 AM
GP2 News
Ask Alex: Alex Lynn Barcelona Round-Up


My first GP3 race weekend, my first event with Carlin, my first as a Red Bull Junior and I’m leading the championship after winning at Barcelona, so I’ve got to be happy with that.

 

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We had a lot of confidence going into the weekend. After pre-season testing, we knew I’d be quick and the car would be quick, and because of that we knew we could play it aggressively on tyre strategy.

In free practice we were P7, but there were a lot of yellow flags and stuff and it was all a bit messy. When we put the sectors together the pace was really good, so we were confident going into qualifying.

Come qualifying, I was second on my first set of tyres. I wasn’t very happy with the car so we made a couple of changes. Marvin Kirchhofer was really quick straight out of the box and so was Jimmy Eriksson, but I thought as long as we could change the car and get it more to my liking, pole was definitely on. It was a bit difficult to drive and I was only two tenths off, so I knew I could gain more than that, and sure enough the changes definitely helped.

On my second set of tyres I nailed it, found six tenths of a second and stuck it on pole.

It was interesting, because this was my first experience of racing on a Grand Prix weekend and the track does change a lot with all the rubber that goes down. Even the GP2 and Formula 1 guys were saying the track was a bit weird this weekend, and it was the same for us – a lot different from testing.

Coming into the race, we’d done so much practice at race runs I was confident that if I got the lead into the first corner then no one could catch me. We’d done so much work analysing people’s race pace and I knew we were strongest.

But the first corner actually got a bit dicey. It was three-abreast with me, Kirchhofer and Richie Stanaway, and Kirchhofer massively outbraked himself and ran wide, across the sleeping policemen, and then shot back onto the track – I just missed him! Then those two and Eriksson battled on the first lap, and that gave me the break I needed.

That was great – it was a win on my GP3 debut, and obviously makes it three in a row for me because my last time out was the Macau Grand Prix, where I won the qualifying race and the final.

But that run came to an end in the second race! It was wet, and we were on slicks, and because I’d won the first race I was eighth on the reversed grid. My goal was just to score more points, and I made a good start, but my first lap was a bit too cautious and I dropped out of the points.

I was trying to play the points game a bit too much, and at least I know now that I have to be more aggressive the next time I find myself in that situation.

We took a gamble and I came in for wet tyres when there was a safety car. Our lap times were still 10 seconds off a good wet time, and I was out of the points anyway, so it didn’t make sense NOT to try it. And then, of course, the track dried out so quickly – typical!

There’s quite a few weeks before the next round at the Red Bull Ring. Obviously that’s a big one as a Red Bull Junior but I’m really looking forward to it. After all, every man and his dog have tested at Barcelona and know the circuit really well, and I took pole and won there. But at the Red Bull Ring I’ve got a lot of experience from my Formula 3 days and hardly anyone else has. In the meantime, I’ll just be working away with the guys at Carlin so we can try to do the same thing that we did at Barcelona.

Alex Lynn is a Red Bull Junior Team driver, driving for Carlin on the GP3 Series this year.


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