Last week in Monza the all-new GP3 car for the 2016 season was revealed. The new GP3/16 features a brand new V6 3.4 litre Mecachrome race engine, which is a bespoke design for the series. The car also has new aerodynamics to help with overtaking and a newly designed monocoque to help those taller drivers. The key visual change is the revised nose.
With the GP3 Series closely aligned to Formula 1, the front and rear impact structures have been designed to meet F1 safety standards.
Alex Lynn won the GP3 Series in 2014 and is now competing in the GP2 Series with French team DAMS. He is also development driver for Williams Martini Racing.
The current GP3 champion, Alex Lynn, commented: “I think it looks very aggressive. It’s up to current Formula 1 aesthetics which is very positive. It looks like a very pretty car and it should be good to watch on track. I have to say I thought the last GP3 chassis I was in was the best one so far for being a taller driver. It’s certainly a good thing if we can get the taller drivers lower into the car and accommodate them even better. GP3 is a great Series to progress to GP2 and beyond. It has produced drivers who have reached Formula 1 so it’s clearly working. My first GP2 season is going pretty well so far and I’m aiming to finish in second place. I would love to drive the GP3/16 car if there was ever an opportunity.”
Alex Lynn – GP2 Monza review
I love Monza, but I must admit my fondness for the old place has taken a little bit of a dive over the past couple of days… We’d had a bad time last time out at Spa, but nevertheless hopes were high for our Italian Grand Prix support races in the GP2 Series. As it turned out I definitely had the speed to win, but a mistake on my part in the first race cost me very dear and we came away with nothing.
It all looked positive on Friday. The DAMS team gave me a good car and although I was only eighth in free practice we were really confident. I’d got baulked on my best lap but the car gave me a great feeling. Sure enough, qualifying was strong and I ended up fourth fastest, which turned into third when Mitch Evans was excluded. It was a solid session, no dramas, and put us in a good position. I was just behind my team-mate Pierre Gasly when we did our hot laps. He got a lovely little tow off Jordan King and took pole, but I was a little too far behind him to exploit it – in GP2 you have to be within two seconds of the car in front, to give you a small tow on every straight.
The race got off to a great start, with a fantastic battle on the opening lap with Stoffel Vandoorne, the championship leader, from which I emerged in second place. It was really hard racing but good and fair, and I managed to get past him exiting the first Lesmo bend. From then on I got my head down and tried to stay close to Pierre, who was leading.
Those of us at the front made an early stop to get off the option tyres and onto the prime for a long run to the finish – or so we hoped. Unfortunately I had a slow stop when the right-rear wheelgun got stuck, so I came out behind Sergey Sirotkin, while Stoffel – who’d pitted a couple of laps earlier so had his tyres up to temperature – was able to get past too on my out-lap.
With Pierre now out of the race it was looking really good for me. OK, Stoffel had got the undercut on me, but up until the pit-stop he’d been a bit slow, and I knew that Sergey was a slam-dunk cert to get a penalty for an unsafe release from his pit-stop.
Coming onto the straight I got the run on Stoffel and used the DRS, but everything got a bit confused because just in front of me Sirotkin was passing a backmarker. I think I was a bit unsighted and made an uncharacteristic error – I outbraked Stoffel, the backmarker, and myself, and took out Sirotkin. It was quite a spectacular up-on-two-wheels moment for me; not what I wanted to see…
It was such a shame because we’d been looking good for the win. If I’d made that moved on Stoffel stick, then I wouldn’t even have needed to pass Sirotkin because he’d have got a penalty. The car was very fast, I was very fast, and I came away with nothing.
The officials gave me a penalty for that mistake so I had to start Sunday’s sprint race from the pit-lane. Even from there I felt we could achieve a top-eight finish in the points, and I made good progress to be halfway up the field in 13th place within a few laps. Unfortunately there was a safety car – although that looks like it benefits those who need to make up places, it actually often doesn’t help, because it puts everyone back in a long line, all getting DRS off each other and hitting the rev limiter in sixth gear. As a result I took a long time to pass Johnny Cecotto Jr, which I finally did into the second Lesmo. Straight away I got fastest lap and passed Rio Haryanto too for 11th, but the laps just ran out to progress further.
It was a weekend that could have been really good – I honestly believe my third GP2 win was there for the taking, but that error on Saturday really cost us.
September 2, 2015
We’re in a real golden period for the GP2 Series at the moment. Silverstone was just a few weeks ago, we were at Spa last time out, and now, this weekend, it’s time for Monza. All are classic tracks and I’ve always loved driving at Monza – you know you’re going to get some good hard racing.
Normally when I put this blog together I’m travelling to the event from Le Mans, where the DAMS team is based, because I’ve been there with my team-mate Pierre Gasly doing a couple of days of preparation. Well, this time we did that last week, so my last real day of getting everything into shape has been at the rather less-glamorous-sounding location of Bruntingthorpe. There’s a test track there and that’s where I’ve been spending time with my ever-young driver coach, Rob Wilson!
Rob is without doubt the best coach in the business. He was an up-and-coming driver in the 1970s and through the ’80s, but now he helps people like me, and even some right at the top in Formula 1. I’ve been going to him ever since I was 15 – I was still karting then, and the first time he coached me I’d never even driven a road car!
The MSA – British motorsport’s governing body – funds my days with Rob now, as it does for my fellow drivers on the Team UK scheme. I do six or seven days a year with him and James Wozencroft, who’s the Team UK performance coach, so he looks after our development and helps us stay on the right path.
What Rob does very well is allow us to focus on the basics and home in on them. There’s so much technical stuff in modern motor racing that it’s very easy to forget the basics of driving – they can kind of get lost in translation.
So, how were the preparation days with DAMS? Well, we had a bit of a disappointing weekend at Spa, but we’ve actually been very positive. You just have to take it on the chin sometimes. We’ve regrouped and understood what went wrong, and I feel that at Monza we can be competitive.
Because of the nature of Monza I’m really looking forward to it. In Formula 3 I felt a bit cheated because both my trips there were marred by rain, and last year in GP3 I had a title to try and win, so my points for a second place were really valuable. This time, if it’s dry, it’s going to be great, because you get racing like you don’t see anywhere else. I enjoy driving the circuit so much, and my favourite part is the Ascari chicane. It’s very very technical and you’ve always got low downforce for the long straights. It’s extremely difficult to get right, but when you do you’re floating from the left apex to the right to the final left, and it’s such a sweet feeling when you see the gearshift lights coming on nice and early – because you’ve got such a good exit – on the run down to Parabolica.
As well as racing, I’ve got something quite nice to tell you about. My partners Eye Respect are running a competition on my Facebook page and theirs to win a pair of their sunglasses and the chance to spend a little bit of time with me. I can’t quite squeeze us both into the cockpit of my GP2 car for a passenger lap(!), but it’s always good to meet people who are as much into racing as I am.
So, what’s the aim for Monza? Well, I’m still very much in the hunt for second in the championship, so now we just need to go and produce some good results. That would mean a podium in the feature race and a good reversed-grid race, and we can get that without needing to do anything spectacularly different to what we’ve been doing so far. I’ve no doubt I can be competitive.
2017-03 Sebring Review
2017-03 Season Preview
2016-11 GP2 Yas Marina Review
2016-11 GP2 Yas Marina Preview
2016-10 GP2 Sepang Review
2016-09 GP2 Sepang Preview
2016-09 GP2 Monza Review
2016-09 GP2 Monza Preview
2016-08 GP2 Spa Review
2016-08 GP2 Spa Preview
2016-07 GP2 Hockenheim Review
2016-07 GP2 Hockenheim Preview
2016-07 GP2 Hungaroring Review
2016-07 GP2 Hungaroring Preview
2016-07 Silverstone F1 Test
2016-07 Silverstone Review
2016-07 Silverstone Preview
2016-07 Red Bull Ring Review
2016-06 GP2 Baku Review
2016-06 GP2 Baku Preview
2016-05 Monte Carlo Review
2016-05 Monte Carlo Preview
2016-05 F1 Testing
2016-05 Barcelona GP2 Review
2016-05 Barcelona Preview
2016-05 Williams Testing
2016-03 Jerez Testing Report
2016-03 Pre-season Report
2016-02 Williams Announcement
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