The GP3 Series rolled into Austria and having taken a runner-up spot in race 1, Anglo-Danish driver Emil Bernstorff became the star of the weekend with a stunning race two victory from seventh on the grid.
The Carlin driver, in only his second GP3 Series event having made his debut last month at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, was on form all weekend at the Red Bull Ring. He qualified fourth just over a tenth of a second behind the pole setting time of team-mate Alex Lynn, and then followed his team-mate home in second on Saturday in race one.
While Lynn struggled on Sunday and fell out of contention after collecting a puncture on the opening lap, Bernstorff avoided all the carnage in front of him and struck the front of the race on lap two and never looked back, winning the race by almost eight seconds.
“Barcelona wasn’t quite what we hoped for but a second and a first, you really can’t hope for much more in a weekend, especially after starting from seventh in race two,” said Bernstorff. “We knew from pre-season testing that we had the speed but the first win is always hard so I am happy to get one so early on. Hopefully we can carry this momentum forward into Silverstone.”
For Lynn, he was untouchable once again during qualifying and led from start-to-finish in race one and took the points for fastest lap, but like in Spain, he failed to score points in race two. There is no doubt that the Red Bull-backed driver has the talent, but he needs to start performing in both races.
“It’s been a really good weekend so far for me and for the team and I can’t begin to explain how it feels to get the win here at the Red Bull Ring,” said Lynn after his race one victory. “The car was just perfect and I felt as though I had so much speed even towards to end which is where the fastest lap [of the race] came from.
“It’s been a really nice transition into the GP3 car – I’m really enjoying driving it. At the moment I’m in a dream scenario and now we just have to keep working hard to make sure it stays like this for the rest of the year. But it has been a great start and I’m loving every minute.”
Carlin’s third driver Luis Sa Silva took his first points of his GP3 Series career in race one with eighth place, but could not capitalise on the pole position in race two and finished a lap down after colliding with Matheo Tuscher.
“I’m really pleased with the result – I got my first ever points finish which feels as though it has been a long time coming,” said Sa Silva on Saturday. “So it’s really nice to get those on the board.”