Matt Parry was denied a strong end to his rookie GP3 Series season in Abu Dhabi as a puncture in the Sprint Race took him out of contention for the top three.
The Welshman had found himself in a position to challenge for a podium finish but unfortunately found himself literally in the middle of the title fight between Esteban Ocon and Luca Ghiotto; which resulted in contact and a puncture bringing a premature end to what had been another solid weekend.
“My start was okay, but it was obvious that the two title contenders were keen to make up as much ground as possible in the shortest amount of time,” Parry commented,
“The main straight suddenly got very crowded and there was contact as Ocon tried to force his way between myself and Ghiotto. I seemed to get away with that but, as we came out of turn one, Ocon again made contact with my car, this time causing a puncture. I tried to struggle on, but had no option but to pit for a replacement.”
With the pack still relatively bunched up and a muchly unwanted pit-stop Parry dropped to 24th, over a minute behind his initial quarry.
“There was good reason to go back out with so much of the race still to run,” Parry continued, “We wanted to learn how to maximise the tyre during the race and what we learned was really informative, but it was also another chance to show our pace, especially with a clear track ahead of me. I was really pleased to be nearly a second a lap quicker over the race distance than the others, and can go into winter testing with confidence.”
Parry ended his rookie season in eighth place in the Drivers’ Championship and helped Koiranen GP to fourth overall in the Teams’ Championship.