Red Bull Racing-backed Alex Lynn extended his GP3 Series championship lead at Monza after claiming two points finishes around the Italian track. The Carlin driver finished sixth in the opening race on Saturday before finishing runner-up on Sunday.
Lynn was quickest early in the qualifying session at Monza, but fell to sixth after running out of time to improve, and the 2013 Macau Grand Prix winner was irritated he could not have qualified higher up the grid.
“It was obviously frustrating not to get the pole because we had great pace, we certainly could do the lap times,” said Lynn. “Looking back you could say that we didn’t play it perfectly with the tyre strategy in Quali and came out a bit late but it’s always easy to say after the event. We had an excellent car all weekend, a great car to drive.”
Despite having to run across the chicane on the opening lap of race 1 that put him down to ninth, Lynn was able to increase his lead in the championship over Richie Stanaway after climbing his way up to sixth, whereas his rival could only finish in ninth.
“From back in P6 on the grid in Race 1 I got off the line OK but going into the chicane there were just too many cars going for the same piece of road and the last thing I needed was damage and no points at this stage in the championship,” insisted Lynn. “I went across the corner to avoid it and I think I was back in about ninth at the end of the first lap.
“The car was great and it was good fun to make a few passes to get up to sixth and score some solid points to push out the championship lead a bit further.”
Starting third on the grid for race two on Sunday, Lynn made a good start to slip into second place behind Dean Stoneman, and finished on the tail of his fellow Briton to increase his lead in the championship still further after Stanaway was forced to retire. Lynn briefly managed to take the lead from the Marussia Manor Racing driver but ultimately lost out for the win.
“It was a great race today, a lot of fun but I had to keep in mind the championship and the fact that I was racing guys who were only thinking about winning today’s race and are not thinking about the big picture,” said Lynn. “It’s easy in those situations to let the racer in you take over. I was looking for the win but I wasn’t going to do anything stupid when he is not threatening me for the championship. I kept pushing but when I saw Richie go out I just thought about the points and brought it home second.”
Lynn admitted that although he would like to take pole and victory in race one, he is thinking about the championship, and goes into Sochi in October with an outside chance of clinching the title with a round to spare.
“Of course you want to have pole and the Race 1 win like we did earlier in the year but just now it is about the championship and it was another good weekend for the points,” reflected Lynn. “The guys are doing a great job with the car and the work they did over the summer break seems to have sorted out the starting so we are looking forward to the next race in Sochi.”