Lynn makes best of a bad weekend at the Red Bull ring with a stellar overtaking display
- Credit: Thomas Suer / ts-photo.de
ALEX Lynn put on an overtaking masterclass at Austria’s Red Bull Ring after a mysterious grip problem in qualifying left him well down the field.
Against the picturesque backdrop of the mountainous Steirmark region, the 19-year-old qualified 17th, 15th and 21st for the latest rounds of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship – in stark contrast to the three pole positions he produced at Brands Hatch last time out.
“It all unravelled in qualifying,” Lynn said. “You always put yourself in a difficult situation when you start P17, P15 and P21 – and it was especially disappointing after the previous round at Brands Hatch, where I was on pole for all three races.
“I was on a lap that would have put me sixth on the grid for race one, and although I caught traffic towards the end of the lap I couldn’t blame it on that – I just couldn’t put a whole lap together because of the grip, and the whole team was struggling.”
Despite the setback, Lynn made up a total of 36 places over the three races to pick up a decent points haul and consolidate fourth place in the championship table.
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That included a seventh place finish in race one, a sensational recovery which saw Lynn scythe his way through the field after stalling his car on the grid and getting away in 28th, and last, position.
“The car was really good and I was driving it well,” the Dunmow racer added. “I overtook a lot of people and it was good to get in the points, especially so high up them. But just as with the other races, it was case of imagining what could have happened if I’d started higher up.”
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With the rest of the field getting up to speed on the dry track, passing was more difficult in race two. Lynn got tagged by his ex-Formula Renault team-mate Mitchell Gilbert just past the halfway point, before finally passing the Australian, and then came up on his ex-British F3 team-mate Pipo Derani with a few laps to go.
The Prema Powerteam driver passed the Brazilian into turn two but Derani got a run on him down the next straight and the two cars tangled, sending the Briton into a rear-end impact with the tyre wall.
“The accident with Pipo was deemed a racing incident and it was one of those things really. We were only fighting for one point, so I hardly lost anything in the accident,” Lynn explained.
The third race allowed the 19-year-old to once again showcase his overtaking skills as he finished eighth from 21st on the grid.
Lynn remains fourth in the championship on 133.5 points. He is 3.5 points ahead of fellow Brit Harry Tinknell in fifth and 31.5 points shy of his team-mate Lucas Auer in third.
Raffaele Marciello’s lead in the championship was cut from 77.5 to 27.5 points after second-placed Swede Felix Rosenqvist became the first man this season to claim all three victories in one weekend.
Many of the teams are staying in Austria for testing as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship enters a six week mid-season break. The next round will take place at Germany’s Norisring on the weekend of July 12-14.