GP3 Series

Evans Hopes First Race Won’t Be “A Gamble”

3 Mins read
Mitch Evans - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

GP3 Series polesitter Mitch Evans hopes that this afternoon's race at Silverstone will take place in stable conditions, else it will be “a bit of gamble”.

The Kiwi was three tenths of a second clear in a qualifying session that took place on a dry track on Saturday morning, but rain is set to fall later in the day.

In the press conference that followed the session, Evans said he hoped that it was either wet or dry, and not both.

“For sure I hope it's one or the other,” said the MW Arden driver. “It's a bit of a gamble if not. I'm hoping it's dry but if it's wet I did an ok job yesterday in those conditions so I'm looking forward to the race. I have to maximise whatever the conditions are”

Talking about the qualifying session, he said: “It was tough, the track conditions were very tricky out there. They were damp parts of the track on the racing line. With my first set of tyres, I was concentrating on track position and I made a little mistake. That left me under a bit of pressure on my second set of tyres to improve but I managed to put a good enough lap together at the end to get pole.”

Second-placed Aaro Vainio was disappointed to miss out to his title rival.

“Well the first set of tyres were ok, we were P3,” said the flying Finn. “The second set I had one good lap and then on my second attempt, they were yellow flags so I had to abort that one. Basically the lap I had was a good one but not the perfect one.

“I'll have to be happy with P2 but Mitch was faster again and has gained another 4 points on me so that's a bit disappointing. But for sure it's a good place to start, the race is long so let's see what happens.

Aaro Vainio - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

Vainio lost four more points to Evans in the title race – Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

“It's all about picking up points. If the person who is P27 in the championship picks up pole you don't care so much. With Mitch he's my biggest rival, so yes that's my biggest obstacle.

“Basically in dry conditions P2 might be slightly better as it's on the racing line. With changeable weather I don't think there will be much difference between either side of the starting grid. If it's raining braking for the first turn is going to be tricky if you are in the middle of the pack so I need to stay at the front. But let's see what happens.”

Antonio Felix Da Costa was on top spot before being forced to settle for third by the top two.

“I am quite happy,” said the Portuguese driver. “When we first pitted for new tyres I was only P5, when I went to my second set I was quite relaxed I knew what I could do. We managed to come here and get P1 in Free Practice. Myself and the team talked about what we could do to improve things after Valencia so it was good to get everything settled.

“I'm happy with my laptime, it's alright, but I think it's the same for everybody, you never get the perfect lap. I was suffering with a little understeer so struggling with front grip. I think I have to be happy with P3 in the race and I'm sure we can move forward.  

“I think wet or dry we'll be alright and we need to look after the tyres so they should be ok too. As Aaro said, the worst thing is not Mitch getting pole, it's getting the four points. It's still quite early in the championship, we are not even halfway, so I believe I can fight for it. Honestly, I have a bit more to lose than these guys but I will definitely go for it.

“We were quick here in pre-season testing but not as quick as MW Arden to be honest. Carlin have been great, pretty dominant here in the past, they have had good results here too. We like this track but I don't think this is our strongest circuit, we'll be stronger from Germany onwards. I just want to grab some good points here for the end of the championship.”

Antonio Felix Da Costa - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

Felix Da Costa thinks he can still contend for the championship – Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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