Jake Dennis drove a strong race on Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps, finishing second to Charles Leclerc despite starting the race down in thirteenth, with the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver being one of the drivers who best kept the life in his tyres throughout the race.
The Arden International driver benefited from a number of first lap incidents to climb to fourth by the end of the opening lap, and then moved passed Nyck de Vries and Antonio Fuoco into second, but despite appearing to have the better tyres, he was just too far down the road from Leclerc to be able to challenge for the victory.
Dennis admitted that he would have done everything he could to take the win, safe in the knowledge that Leclerc would have one eye on the championship whereas the Briton is not in the hunt for the title this season.
“I started quite far down the field which wasn’t ideal,” admitted Dennis on gp3series.com on Saturday. “It ended up being quite a good thing after the incident in Turn 1 as we came out in P5.
“I was into fourth by the end of lap one. Then we had the safety car so it was a case of managing the tyres. I felt the pace was generally quite slow. Obviously it was just the pace that Charles set. I think the new tyres helped initially. But then I don’t think it made much pressure in the end.
“I put some pressure on Antonio in the middle of the race but it wasn’t possible to pass. In the last four laps, I pushed really hard and I could see the other guys struggling. It was just like we were on a completely different tyre compound at the end.
“We were like 5-6s quicker at the end. Obviously, Charles was a bit too far ahead. It would have been nice to have done one or two more laps to try and go for the win. Currently I’m P-nowhere in the standings so I would have done anything to win.
“He’s obviously got a title to think about. It was an incredible race for me though; to start from P13 and finish second is great.”
Dennis took fifth in the second race on Sunday, passing Leclerc on the final lap, and now sits seventh in the championship standings on 63 points.