The Carlin GP3 Series team had a very mixed weekend during the opening event of the 2014 season. Alex Lynn took pole position and the race win on Saturday, but the team only took one other point through Emil Bernstorff with eighth on Sunday. Third driver Luis Sa Silva continued to improve by finishing for the first time in the top ten on Sunday.
Red Bull backed Lynn took pole position in his debut qualifying session, and converted that into a well-measured race win that he controlled perfectly. His closest challenger was Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson, but the Swede did not ever get close to the Briton to challenge for the win.
“My start was ok, it probably wasn’t the best of my career but it was enough to keep the lead,” said Lynn on Saturday. “There was a lot of dicing behind me which probably helped me to pull out a gap. From then on I was just managing my tyres.
“The car feels amazing and although it’s a cliché to say it, I want to say thanks to my team. The work that has been done in preparation for this and the hours that have been put in before the car even hit the track is the reason for our success today.”
The second race for Lynn was the complete opposite for the Brit, as a gamble to switch from dry tyres to wets under an early safety car period backfired, which resulted in him finishing down in 18th place.
A rookie mistake on Saturday saw Bernstorff end the race on the opening lap in the gravel trap. He had done well to avoid the first corner incidents, but found himself running out of track around turn five and ended in the sand. On Sunday, he made an amazing recovery drive to take the final point in eighth after starting down in 24th.
“It was a brilliant race today; to take a point in eighth from 24th on the grid is a great feeling,” said Bernstorff. “It almost makes up for yesterday’s misjudgement. We knew we had good pace this weekend, so it’s good to have taken my first point although we know we were capable of more. It makes me even more determined to have a good race next time out in Austria.”
The third Carlin driver Luis Sa Silva failed to score a point in either race, finishing down in 16th in race one, but put in a far better performance on Sunday to finish 10th for his best result in GP3 to date, and the Angolan driver is steadily improving.