The Trident Racing trio of Mitch Gilbert, John Bryant-Meisner and Luca Ghiotto all had point-less weekends at the GP3 Series round at Monza, with Ghiotto’s thirteenth in race two the best result of all three drivers.
Australian Gilbert fifteenth in race one and twentieth in race two, but feels he should be performing better. He feels the race pace is there, but he feels he is losing time earlier in the weekend in practice and qualifying that puts him on the back foot and makes the races more difficult than they should be.
“I’m frustrated because I think we should be doing better than we are,” said Gilbert. “We are under-performing. The pace was there in the races, but when you are so far behind and starting the weekend so slowly, you aren’t achieving the maximum you know you can. It’s still promising, we just need results and I feel we should be getting them.
“Monza’s all about braking and straight-lap speed, but the brakes were an obvious problem this weekend. It’s difficult as you don’t get a lot of time with the car on the track and you need to have a good start in practice. But when things aren’t going well early on you are always playing catch up.”
Gilbert was disappointed to get a drive-through penalty after colliding with a rival in a braking zone, especially when the drivers he was racing against when the penalty was given finished inside the top ten. He feels he was unlucky in Italy, and admits to still learning how GP3 works.
“The cars in front and behind me at the time of the drive through finished 7th and 10th, so I could have been looking at an 8th or 9th place finish, especially as my pace was right up there,” reflects Gilbert. “I have to hold my hand up and say it was my mistake in Race Two, but other things restricted me in practice and qualifying.
“I don’t like saying I was unlucky, but I really feel I was unlucky this weekend. The team are still learning things about me and I’m still learning things about them and the car, so despite this, it doesn’t feel as though we are that far away. But we need to have a weekend where everything comes together at the same time – and hopefully that can be sooner rather than later.”
Team-mate Bryant-Meisner finished seventeenth in both races, but feels the results in Monza does not show the full story. He lost time in the sole free practice session after stalling while doing a practice start, and the Swedish driver admitted the learning process he is facing in GP3 is very big.
“The results don’t show the whole picture, I learnt a lot this weekend and the pace was there,” said Bryant-Meisner. “It was a difficult weekend all in all and it was made a lot harder by only getting 15 minutes of practice time in.
“I was going to do a practice start and stalled and there’s a rule if you stall outside the pits on the track you’re not allowed to restart. But it was the marshals who pushed me out of the way of the path of the ambulance and onto the track, which meant I wasn’t allowed to restart. It was a mistake, but there wasn’t anything I could do, but it meant I hardly got any practice time. So I think I did OK overall.
“It’s still a big learning process for me at the moment, so I’m not unhappy with how it went. GP3 is a lot harder and the tyres take a lot of getting used to. You also don’t get much time in the car, so you have to be perfect pretty much straight away. Obviously I had even less time than normal because of the problems during practice.
“But it’s a really good place to be and I want to keep improving and be in a good place and ready for next season. That’s hopefully what the rest of this season is all about.”
Third driver Ghiotto finished down in twenty-first in race one and thirteenth in race two.