Briton Nick Yelloly will be entering his third full season of GP3 in 2014 and has moved to the Status Grand Prix team having competed previously for Atech CRS GP in 2011 and Carlin in 2013. In between, he raced in Formula Renault 3.5 for Comtec Racing.
He is looking forward to racing with Status Grand Prix, with it being the first deal that came through Yelloly’s new management team led by former F1 driver Mark Blundell. He is looking forward to bringing the team back towards the front of the field, with Status having finished ninth out of nine in the Teams’ championship in 2013.
“This year for myself and the team is a big year, and together our clear aim is to win races and fight for the championship,” Yelloly told Checkered Flag.
“The deal came about through my manager Mark Blundell. We knew we wouldn’t have the funding to go back to WSR 3.5 or GP2 and therefore GP3 was a great option. For me it’s a really good championship. Status came up with a great deal for me to race with them, and as proved by Alexander Sims [who raced for Status at the Nurburgring while substituting for Adderly Fong] last year in their car. It is quick, so it was a no brainer.
”The car was proved last year to be quick straight away when in the right hands. I’m really looking forward to putting the Status team right back at the front where they belong!”
Yelloly made a big impression in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2012, winning twice (at Aragon and the Nurburgring), but could not get funding for a shot at the championship in 2013, so returned to GP3 with Trevor Carlin’s team, and finished on the podium four times in finishing sixth in the championship.
“As with most drivers funding really stopped me from returning to WSR in 2013 to go for the championship. As I had finished 5th and had a strong season, I would have liked to be able to go for the championship with a top team.
“We couldn’t budget to do so, and Trevor Carlin had been in touch offering us a space in there GP3 team, as soon as I had the opportunity the race for a team with the pedigree of Carlin I jumped at the chance!
“Last year was ok, the team and I worked very hard in what was the first year of the car and had some really strong results. It definitely helped having a strong team-mate [Sims] towards the end of the year in our performance.”
23-year-old Yelloly feels that he has developed really well as a driver in the past few years, but also knows he can still improve, something he aims to do with Status in 2014, and he cannot wait to get back into the car.
“What people forget or don’t know is that I started racing at the late age of 15 and had been playing catch up (especially experience wise) for a long while. Since I have driven against some stronger drivers as team-mates I have definitely improved and learnt from them.
“I would say qualifying was a good point of mine during last season, but I would like to improve on all aspects this year as you can always improve in every area!
“I would say as I have done a season in the new GP3 car it will take a few laps maximum to get rid of the cobwebs and adjust to the Status set-up. Really can’t wait to get going!
“If we can get a good starting base with the Status GP boys and we have a bit more luck we will be up there 100%.”
For the first time in his career Yelloly has a management programme in place, and he spoke about how he joined up with Mark Blundell over the winter.
“Mark had been in contact through a mutual friend about management at the start of 2012; during that season I contacted him personally and went to see him to see if he could help me. We didn’t quite get to an agreement to begin with as we were focused on trying to secure a drive for 2013.
“I was very pleased to get the deal done at the start of the year for Mark and MB Partners to take management of my career. Short term we have been able to keep in the seat for another year. Long term, Mark has connections in every area of the sport imaginable from the United States to Le Mans, sports cars and of course Formula 1.
“We are working very hard together to look at all of these avenues during the course of this season and see where we can be in the near future!”
The fifth season of the GP3 Series begins at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain between May the 10th-11th.