There is no doubt that Emil Bernstorff has been one of the stand out drivers so far in the 2014 GP3 Series season. The Anglo-Danish driver, who finished third in the 2013 German Formula Three championship before advancing into GP3 with Carlin, has finished on the podium on four occasions in the first ten races. This has included his maiden GP3 victory at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Bernstorff’s season began impressively, with a charge through the field from twenty-fourth to eighth in Spain, but his second event in Austria saw him take his first GP3 Series win from seventh on the grid.
“As a rookie I am happy with being where I am but there is more to improve on especially in qualifying as it is really difficult to overtake in this category,” said Bernstorff to The Checkered Flag. “Taking my first win at Austria especially having started from P 7 behind a lot of highly rated drivers was great”
His home event at Silverstone saw the Anglo-Danish driver take another podium, and he was happy to finally get back to racing there after racing in other series’ around Europe, such as the ADAC Formel Masters and German Formula Three in recent years, that did not come to race in Britain at all.
“Silverstone is such a nice track to drive, although I have very little experience there due to my 3 years of racing in Europe,” said Bernstorff. “The fans are amazing and to see so many faces and flags both on the Saturday evening and Sunday morning races is just fantastic.”
A third visit to the podium followed in Germany, following home his main rival from German Formula 3 Marvin Kirchhofer of ART Grand Prix and his Carlin team-mate Alex Lynn, but race two saw his impressive run of results ended by Kirchhofer, after the German misjudged an overtaking manoeuvre on the Marussia Manor Racing machine of Dean Stoneman.
“Race 2 [in Germany] was obviously a disappointment and it came as a big surprise as I was minding my own business through the corner when I suddenly got hit on the back,” said Bernstorff. “But it was good to get a podium and solid points in race 1.”
Despite showing the speed, Bernstorff was unlucky last time out in Hungary, with a red flag during qualifying preventing him from getting a good shot at pole position, and then, on a track notorious for being hard to overtake, he struggled to a fifth and a seventh place finish.
“Hungaroring was a somewhat disappointing weekend for me really as I had good speed but got caught out by the red flag in qualifying,” said Bernstorff. “I could not really utilize the speed in the races as it is really hard to overtake there. The places I made up where really only because I was out of position in the race.”
He feels at home at Carlin, and is looking forward to getting back out on track at Spa-Francorchamps, and feels he is still in with a shout of the championship. He currently sits in fourth place, forty-nine points behind team-mate Lynn but with four events and eight races still to run.
“Carlin are really helping me progress as a driver and we have a great atmosphere in the whole team,” insists Bernstorff. “There are a few things we are working on and when that all comes good we can have a really good shot at the championship.”