Alex Lynn headed into the Russian races of the GP3 Series with an outside chance of clinching the title, but left Sochi still with the championship to be won. The Red Bull-backed Carlin driver only needs one point in Abu Dhabi next month to win the title.
Lynn was on course to secure another pole position but a mistake in the final sector cost him valuable time and left him with only the eighth best time in the session, although he moved up to seventh when Richie Stanaway’s times were deleted.
“It just shows what a fine line it is,” said Lynn about qualifying. “It could have been pole but wasn’t, I was pushing, perhaps trying to get more out of the car than was there. It was one of the few mistakes I have made this season but it was quite costly.”
For the opening race, Lynn admitted it was a pretty boring affair, and was not able to move up from his starting position, but it at least put him on the front row for the second race on Sunday.
“It was pretty much follow the leader from there,” reflected Lynn. “Nothing much to say about the race really. Finishing seventh was OK for the championship, a few points plus of course it put us on the front row for Race 2.”
The opening few laps of race two were more exciting for Lynn were far more exciting, although separated by the red flag period to clear up the four-car crash at turn one. He was jumped by the Arden International machine of Jann Mardenborough at the start, and then passed by both Dean Stoneman and Marvin Kirchhofer and eventually finished fifth.
“[It was] a bit more eventful than I planned,” said Lynn. “I think I made a really good start but the Arden guys still seem to have the edge so I probably made the third best start. We just didn’t have the pace today, that’s the bottom line.”
Stoneman’s final lap rise up to second place meant he took the championship battle into Abu Dhabi in six weeks time, although Lynn has the clear advantage and either needs to score one point or hope that his fellow Briton fails to have a perfect weekend.
“I’m a bit fed up that I didn’t seal it this weekend,” admitted Lynn. “Almost but not quite. I’m not stressed about it but it is disappointing that it didn’t happen here.”