Young British racing driver Alex Lynn will be racing at Silverstone next month, with his car in the livery of Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa, a Tudor gem set in the Northamptonshire countryside close to the racing circuit.
The reigning GP3 champion is being backed by Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa, part of the Hand Picked Hotels collection, and a favourite place for Silverstone fans to stay. Silverstone is Alex’s favourite circuit and he cannot wait to feel the support of his home crowd in July, for this exciting round of the GP2 Series, the recognised stepping stone to Formula One. Alex is racing with French team DAMS.
He is also development driver for the renowned Williams Martini Racing team in Formula One and has recently completed a test for the team in Barcelona, following his first race victory in GP2 at the same circuit. Alex’s ambition for this year is to win the GP2 Series. Even though he is a rookie this season, DAMS has enjoyed championship-winning success in the past and Alex has the best support possible.
Alex Lynn said: “I’m really looking forward to Silverstone and a competitive race on home turf. I’m very proud to be carrying the Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa logo on my car for this round, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Silverstone circuit. The hotel is part of the Hand Picked Hotels collection, who are one of my long-term partners and the support they provide is so important to my success. I look forward to representing the brand at one of my favourite circuits.”
Julia Hands, Chairman and Chief Executive, Hand Picked Hotels, said: “We are delighted to support such a rising young star as Alex and look forward to seeing an exciting performance at Silverstone. Fawsley Hall is a favourite place to stay for people going to Silverstone and everyone at the hotel will be rooting for Alex.”
The 4 Red Star Grade I listed hotel, with its magnificent Tudor Great Hall, recently had a £4.5 million restoration. Fawsley Hall, former family seat of the Knightley family, was mentioned in the Domesday Book and Queen Elizabeth I and Henry VIII were among many royal and celebrated guests.
Set within parkland and with formal gardens designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century, the hotel has a conservatory, 60 bedrooms and suites, wedding, conference and banqueting facilities, the self-contained Knightley Court suitable for 120 people, a private cinema, and a spa with indoor pool, steam room and sauna, outdoor hydro pool, gym and treatment rooms. The 2 AA Rosette fine dining Cedar Restaurant offers an intimate dining atmosphere with an exquisite menu by Head Chef Richard Walker. There are also a range of spectacular private dining rooms including the Salvin Longroom and Salvin Boardroom with high corniced ceilings and views of the grounds. The hotel is close to Silverstone, Althorp, and Warwick Castle, with the M1 and the M40 providing excellent road links to the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire.
About Hand Picked Hotels
Hand Picked Hotels, created by former lawyer turned hotelier Julia Hands, is the leading collection of architecturally splendid country house hotels - built for pleasure and continuing a centuries-old tradition of offering guests an indulgent yet attainable country house visit, with a contemporary twist. The award-winning hotels are renowned for exquisite food, fine wines and bespoke service by Hand Picked people in stylish, relaxing surroundings, with 18 heritage hotels set in rural locations across Britain and three island retreat and locations ranging from the New Forest and Jersey to the Cotswolds and Edinburgh. Hand Picked Hotels has won an impressive number of awards, with 17 hotels awarded two AA rosette status, Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh and Tassili restaurant at the newly acquired Grand Jersey Hotel which have achieved AA rosettes and the latter with a Michelin star. Ten hotels have achieved red star status which means they are ranked within the AA's Top 200 hotels in the UK & Ireland. There are ten hotels with spas offering the latest therapies and treatments to promote wellbeing and relaxation. Hand Picked Hotels was AA Hotel Group of the Year 2012-2013.
Alex Lynn – GP2 Red Bull Ring review
After the disappointment of Monaco, it was great to get back on the podium at the Austrian Grand Prix support round of the GP2 Series. Not only that, but to do it from ninth on the grid, and set fastest lap, showed what fantastic pace my DAMS car has got.
That first race, on Saturday, was really the only time that we managed to show that pace. Free practice on Friday had been good – OK we weren’t the quickest, but we knew from the runs we were doing that everything was looking really competitive. But then in qualifying during the afternoon it all went a bit wrong.
I didn’t have the strongest first run – it wasn’t panic stations, because we knew the car was still fast. Then I went out on my second – and last – set of tyres, and we were looking strong, but unfortunately I got baulked in the last sector of my best lap. And as you can imagine, with the super-soft tyres we were using as our ‘option’ this weekend, they don’t really last more than a lap.
I lost six tenths in that final sector, and I was only six tenths from pole… That was really a shame, because the car was very fast. Even so, we were confident that if everything went smoothly in the race we could challenge from ninth on the grid.
We chose to start on the ‘prime’ tyre, which was the medium this weekend. When we’ve qualified higher up this year we’ve had to go for the less-risky strategy of starting on the option, because when you start on the prime you leave yourself open to losing out under safety cars. But from where I was starting it was worth going for the prime. The DAMS boys had calculated that would be the fastest way to run the race, and when I saw the guys at the front on the option I thought we were looking really good.
Unfortunately I got a bad start, and I was about 13th into Turn 1, but I had a good first lap and got back up to ninth. Then I got my head down and started passing people who were on the same strategy as me. Sure enough, the guys who’d started on options made an early stop, so by the time I caught my team-mate Pierre Gasly he was leading the race.
I got stuck behind Pierre for three or four laps because he’d picked up some front-wing damage early in the race. It cost me a fair amount of time – probably not a race-winning difference, but I think I would have been second without that happening. But that’s that – he wasn’t going to move over! Eventually I got past him and then it was a case of pumping in about 20 qualifying laps, with the medium tyre working really well.
I have to say a big thanks to DAMS, because we had the fastest pit stop out of everybody. I lost out to Alexander Rossi and Nobuharu Matsushita – who’d made earlier stops – as I came out of the pits, but I was confident that once my tyres were up to temperature I’d be very fast. It didn’t take me long to dispatch Rossi, but Matsushita had really good pace on his primes and it took quite a lot to pass him – I finally made it by on the penultimate lap for third.
That was really nice to get such a good result from where I started, and earning fastest lap was also very important for us as a confidence booster.
From sixth on the grid, I was looking to go in and win the reversed-grid race on Sunday, but I stalled at the start. It was the same thing as Saturday, but that time I got lucky and didn’t stall. Maybe myself and the team were a little bit arrogant that it was just a glitch, but hindsight is a fine thing. Really, we should have changed things and we got bitten in the rear for not doing that.
I was nearly a lap down, and could only get back to 21st place by the end. The fact that I again got fastest lap just makes it even more heartbreaking. At the end of the day it’s all about going out hard and fighting – we’ve got loads of things to learn in this championship, but one thing we’ve always had, and which is getting stronger and stronger, is the speed. Once it all comes together and everything gels we’ll be winning on a regular basis.
So now it’s back to England for the next two weekends. The next GP2 round is supporting the British Grand Prix at Silverstone – a track I’ve always gone well on – but before that I’m driving a 25-year-old Williams FW13B at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I’m hugely looking forward to that!
17 June, 2015
Britain’s Alex Lynn, the 2014 GP3 Champion and WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING Development Driver, will take to the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week.
Alex will be driving a Williams Heritage FW13B on the famous hillclimb course on Sunday 28 June.
The Williams FW13B was used by the Williams team during the 1990 season when it was raced by Thierry Bousten and Riccardo Patrese, winning at the San Marino and Hungarian grands prix.
“I’m really looking forward to driving the Williams FW13B up the hill at Goodwood,” said Alex, who is competing in GP2 this year. “I’ve attended the event many times before but never driven, so I’m very excited to be driving such an iconic car on the hillclimb course.”
Jonathan Williams of Williams Heritage added: “The Festival of Speed is a highlight of the motorsport calendar and is always full of highly knowledgeable and extremely passionate fans. It’s the ideal place to give fans a window into the history of the team and this year we have selected the Williams FW13B to drive up the hill.”
Alex will next be racing at Silverstone from 3-5 July in round five of the GP2 Series, which runs alongside the British Grand Prix.
Alex Lynn – GP2 Red Bull Ring preview
It’s been four weeks since the last GP2 Series round in Monaco, so it’s been a long time without racing, but now I’m getting ready with the DAMS team for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix support round at the Red Bull Ring.
Since Monaco I’ve been doing a lot of simulator work at the Williams Formula 1 team, and quite a bit of work experience there too. Working through the departments there has been really good – they’ll be putting me on an engineering degree before you know it! Also I’ve been doing a lot of training, so really I’ve been so busy I don’t know where those four weeks have gone.
The last bit of preparation before Austria entailed going over to DAMS on Monday evening this week. They’re based in Le Mans so I went over on Eurostar and caught the TGV, before heading up to Paris on Wednesday with the team so we could fly to Austria. The traffic was terrible around Paris – let’s hope it’s the last time I complain about traffic this week!
The Red Bull Ring is a circuit I like. I won there in GP3 last season, and the track is in a beautiful location in the Austrian Alps. Monaco was disappointing for me, but before that I’d won at Barcelona, so I’m hoping that the Red Bull Ring will restart my season with a good weekend.
There have been a lot of discussions at DAMS, where we’ve been reassessing our start to the year. We’ve had so many good aspects of the season so far, but also so many reasons why we haven’t banked points. The same goes for my team-mate Pierre Gasly, so we’ve all been putting our heads together and working things out, with Pierre and I working well together and finding a path forward.
Pirelli have given us the supersoft as our option tyre this weekend, which is certainly a good thing. I’ve always tended to be easy on my tyres so that’s encouraging for me. Tyre degradation is always low at the Red Bull Ring so that’s the right choice by Pirelli, and it’s good that there’s a big difference between the supersoft and the medium, which will be our prime tyre. Having said that, the weather’s not looking the best for the weekend, so I’m hoping that unlike in Monaco – where qualifying was wet – we’ll get to use the supersoft when we’re going for pole.
The other good thing is that they’ve changed the rules for the Saturday races as far as the virtual safety car is concerned. Now you’re not allowed to take your pit stop under the virtual safety car – people pitting under the VSC has certainly cost us some good results this year, so it takes that random variable out of things.
An even better piece of news is that I’ve been lined up to drive a 1990 Williams FW13B – the car Thierry Boutsen won the Hungarian Grand Prix in – at the Goodwood Festival of Speed the weekend after the Red Bull Ring. I love my motorsport history so it’s really exciting for me – it’ll be a great experience and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
But I can’t really think about that for now. The focus is definitely on getting back on track at the Red Bull Ring in GP2. It’s the start of the big mid-season run of races now so it’s important to kickstart my season and score some solid points.
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2016-07 GP2 Hungaroring Review
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2016-05 F1 Testing
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2016-05 Williams Testing
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