Good Race Pace but no Luck for Strakka in Hungary

by Paul Hensby

The Strakka Racing team had high hopes going into the Formula Renault 3.5 Series event at the Hungaroring, but due to a mixture of the weather and bad luck, neither driver left the Hungarian circuit happy with their results despite both drivers showing good race pace. Will Stevens took the best finish of the weekend of the team with sixth in race one, while Matias Lainé retired in race one and could only finish thirteenth in race two.

Stevens qualified fifth for the opener on Saturday, but dropped to sixth in the wet race. The Briton was disappointed to miss out on an extra lap in qualifying due to the timing of the red flag, qualifying in twelfth, but despite good race pace could only move into tenth.

“It’s been a very difficult weekend, not helped by the brake problems caused by the new parts,” said Stevens. “Fifth in qualifying on Saturday was actually not too bad, the race was very wet though and the grip was really down.

“Wet qualifying on Sunday all came down to the last five minutes, some drivers got an extra lap but we missed out. That meant the race was always going to be difficult but the pace was good. It’s not been the best weekend, so we look forward to Ricard now.”

Team-mate Lainé was hindered by brake issues during practice, and then qualified for race one in tenth, but a clash with AV Formula’s Swiss driver Zoel Amberg caused a puncture and cost him the chance of a good result. On Sunday, the Finn qualified down in eighteenth after missing out on a good lap in the closing stages, but found good speed in the race to finish thirteenth.

“The brake issues on Friday meant we had no laps,” said Lainé. “My start to race one was good but I got hit by Amberg and had a puncture.

“The wet qualifying on Sunday was difficult; tough conditions, and we missed the best lap near the end when the track was best. The race was much better though and the pace was good. It’s been a frustrating weekend so I’m looking forward to Ricard.”

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