In the first part of an interview with The Checkered Flag from the recent Autosport International Show, Josh Webster looks back at his 2013 campaign in the F1-supporting GP3 series.
It’s fair to say 2013 was a tough season for Josh Webster.
The 19 year old headed into his maiden campaign in GP3 with hopes for a strong run with Status Grand Prix, however struggles with the team and the car led to a frustrating year.
With Webster joined by two other GP3 rookies in the Status line-up, the team found it tough to get to grips with the new-for-2013 Dallara GP3/13 chassis, which made an already tricky GP3 induction for Webster even harder.
The Briton ended the campaign with a best finish of sixteenth, with a number of reliability issues and on-track incidents leading to him only being a classified finisher in nine of the sixteen races.
“It was an up and down year really,” said Webster. “Going into the season, I probably had higher expectations than what actually emerged, but that’s just the product of the first year in GP3 which is very tough. The team struggled with the car quite a lot, and so did myself and my team-mates.
“One of the main struggles we had was not having a lead driver. We had Alex Sims come in for one round and he did very well, so if we had that sort of driver all year, we’d have had some good data to rely on. There was a mixture of things, but ultimately I’m very grateful I got the opportunity.”
The move into GP3 was a big step up for the 2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist from the Protyre Formula Renault Championship, in which he’d finished runner-up in 2011 and 2012.
While the switch didn’t produce the results Webster had initially hoped for, the Norfolk-based racer has no regrets about making the leap forward.
“You’ve got to take the opportunity when it comes,” he enthused. “The money was there, the sponsors wanted to do it, and I wasn’t going to turn it down. If I hadn’t have done it, I might not have got the chance again and I’d always be kicking myself.
“I’ve learnt a lot from being in that calibre of series. There’s no regrets in racing, you take it as it comes.”
Back in October, Webster was successful in the latest running of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship contest, meaning he will be entering the GT series for the next two seasons, bringing an end to his run in single-seater racing.
Whilst not completely shutting the door on a return to open-wheel formula in the future, Webster admits his focus at the moment is solely on maximising his opportunity with Porsche in GT racing.
“I’m not looking at single-seaters at the moment,” he concluded. “The partnership with Porsche is a big one. Not many drivers get the security of knowing they’ll be racing for the next two years, so I’m here to make the most of that and I’m not looking further forward than Porsche and GT’s at the moment. It’d be silly for me to look anywhere else at the moment when I have such a fantastic opportunity.”