Nick Yelloly currently sits sixth in the GP3 Series standings having taken two podium finishes at Silverstone and the Hungaroring. The Briton joined Status Grand Prix at the beginning of the season, having raced for Carlin in the series in 2013, but is still searching for his first series win.
Yelloly admits frustration about how the beginning of the season turned out, especially after a strong set of pre-season tests. He was dissatisfied with his early races, especially in Spain and Austria where he had a best finish of fifth. He admitted he was hoping for a better beginning of 2014, but has not given up and is hoping for a better last four rounds of the season.
“This season so far for me has been pretty frustrating, we scored minimum points in the first two rounds and have had to play a bit of catch up ever since,” said Yelloly to The Checkered Flag. “Considering we topped most of pre season it wasn’t what we were expecting at all. Simply getting held up in qualifying ruined our weekends there in the end.
“As always the championship is tough, and also with a few changes from last years car we have struggled with overtaking a little bit but apart from that the start have the season has been pretty strong, we have had a few podiums already, and we are knocking on the door of a win. We still have 4 rounds and 8 races left so a long way to go left in the championship too.”
The Briton has scored points in all but one race in 2014, but despite this feels disappointed with his points tally. He admits his Saturday races has been his shortfall so far, with only Hungary last time out giving him a podium finish, but he hopes this result will be the catalyst for more productive race one drives in the races to come.
“Its a nice thing to see, but doesn’t really mean anything in my view,” said Yelloly. “You need the big points on the Saturday to make a charge for the championship, and that is what we have started to do ever since Silverstone. We have made big strides with the car and things have started to go our way too. I am looking forward to getting back into the car at Spa in a few weeks.”
When asked about taking his first GP3 Series win, Yelloly believes that it is not far away from materialising, and that it would not taken much more effort that he is already undertaking. He has aims for his first win to be on Saturday’s race one where more points are on offer. He also believes that a championship charge, much like the one that Daniil Kvyat had in 2013 is still possible, with the Briton sitting 60 points adrift of championship leader Alex Lynn of Carlin.
“Not much is the answer to that question [about taking my first win],” insists Yelloly. “The Saturday race is the one to win at that’s what we will be aiming for, for the rest of the season that is for sure. The last two qualifying [sessions] we have been in the top 3 so we are knocking of the door of the pole. It will come soon I’m sure.
“[My aim is to] win as many races as possible and the championship is far from over that’s for sure. As Daniil Kvyat proved last year if you get a good run in the second half of the season then a championship charge is absolutely on the cards. We have 3 tracks in Spa, Monza, and Abu Dhabi that I have been very successful in the past and I am really looking forward to getting on with it in the second half of the season!”
Looking back at the positive aspects of his season, Yelloly points out two occasions that he feels were highlights of the year. The podium in front of his home fans at Silverstone was one, with the qualifying session in Hungary another particular highlight.
“I would say two highlights for me [in 2014 are] the home ground podium at Silverstone, and the Hungaroring qualifying session,” recalls Yelloly. “Silverstone has been good to me and every time I have raced in GP3 [there] I have scored a podium. The Hungaroring qualifying was really a highlight. There was a red flag with two and a half minutes to go and I was sitting in 8th position. [After the session restarted] we managed to only get one lap in and put it p3 on the grid. A massive boost, and I think we were 100% on for pole if we had had the correct warm up laps.”
In the pre-season interview with The Checkered Flag, Yelloly was convinced that joining Status Grand Prix was the right move, despite the team having finished bottom of the championship standings in 2013, and he continues to believe that the move was a positive one, with the team now second in the championship. He acknowledges how good a driver team-mate Richie Stanaway is, and is happy to work alongside both the New Zealander and the teams third driver, Mexican Alfonso Celis Jr.
“As I said we always had confidence in the team that they could give us the car to do the job, and they have not disappointed,” said Yelloly. “We have been really quite competitive everywhere we have been so far so that has to be a good sign! Richie is a good driver too and it’s great to have good competition with the team to drive both ourselves and the team to new levels.
“The working relationship and personal relationships are both really good with my two team mates, they are both great guys and work well and hard to do as well as possible. We have a great laugh, mostly because of the crazy Mexican Alfonso and all have the common goal of wanting to win so that’s great too.”