Motorsport: Lynn hopes his Macau supershow will put him in the F1 spotlight
PUBLISHED: 11:20 22 November 2012 | UPDATED: 13:03 22 November 2012
TEEN racer Alex Lynn thrust Dunmow into the international spotlight after he added his name to an illustrious list of drivers who have stood on the podium at the legendary Macau Grand Prix.
The 19-year-old joined world champions Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, and fellow drivers who have gone on to race in F1, Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld, as the only men to finish in the top three of the famous end-of-season event as rookies.
It is a race which has been won by some of the greatest names ever to grace the pinnacle of motorsport – including the great Ayrton Senna and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher – and features the best up and coming motor racing drivers from across the globe.
Lynn stormed to pole position following a sensational qualifying lap and, after going wheel-to-wheel with his more experienced opponents on his way to third place in the main event, the youngster hopes his performance will turn a few heads in the Formula 1 paddock.
“I hope I’ve impressed the right people and made a good name for myself because it’s my dream to drive in Formula 1”, the Fortec Motorsport driver told the Broadcast after flying home from the famous Chinese street circuit.
“It is fantastic to be amongst such big names as Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button and it would be incredible if it helped lead to me getting behind the wheel of an F1 car – that is the plan over the next year or two.
“This game is all about proving yourself and you only get one shot at doing so in Formula 1, so if I get a chance I want to make sure I’m completely ready for when the opportunity hopefully arrives.”
But despite the excitement of travelling across the world and following in the footsteps of his idols, Lynn said he enjoys nothing more than coming back to Dunmow to spend time with his friends and family.
“Everybody says ‘you must love the travelling side of it’ but that’s not the case. I genuinely love my home town and it feels really nice to be representing the area when I’m competing.
“It was funny because I had a lot of people from motor racing circles congratulating me on Twitter when I qualified on pole but then my friends were still talking about football, which is nice, and humbling in a way. It’s good to come back and just be a teenager again.”
Looking ahead to next season, Lynn will be competing in the newly-created European Formula 3 Championship, billed as “the most most competitive young talent series on the planet”.
The Dunmow racer made what he said was a “tough decision” to leave Fortec – the only team he has raced for since stepping into a single seater car – but is excited by the prospect of driving for a team with championship pedigree.
“Joining Prema Motorsport was a decision I needed to make for my career because it will enable me to grow into a more complete driver,” he added.
“If we can win some races next year it would be really good and I’m quietly optimistic that we should be pretty competitive because the team won the F3 Euro Series championship [which has been replaced by the European F3 series] two years running.”
The Macau Grand Prix sees the best national Formula 3 champions and drivers from around the world go head to head in a bid to be crowned top dog.
Eventual winner António Félix da Costa – signed up to the young driver programme of current F1 world champions Red Bull – crossed the line just 2.4 seconds ahead of Lynn after some fascinating wheel-to-wheel action.
But after coming so close to glory, the 19-year-old said his taste of success had only served to intensify a hunger to go one step further next time round.
“It was a special feeling to stand on the podium and there was also a lot of relief because I put pressure on myself to succeed. But having come so close and just finishing behind António I think ‘If only I’d beaten him, thank would have been a lot better’. I’m always searching for more.”