Up-and-coming British racing star Alex Lynn claimed his first podium finish in the British Formula 3 International Series in heavy rain at Monza.
Lynn, 18, kept his head in dreadful driving conditions at the fabled Italian Grand Prix circuit to take a solid third place in his Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes.
The result meant that he had three points-scoring finishes over the weekend, with Alex having taken fifth and seventh in the earlier races.
Once again he was one of the fastest drivers on the track, claiming fastest time in free practice – just as he did in the opening round at Oulton Park – before qualifying third for races one and three.
“It’s a different thing to get used to the low downforce we have to run at Monza because of the long straights,” said Lynn. “It was like having the same grip as I had when I won the Formula Renault UK title last year!
“I’m happy with qualifying. The car was really good, and I think the races are going to be mega.”
Unfortunately, rain fell just before the first race on Saturday afternoon and lasted for the rest of the weekend. Alex was delayed in the pitlane as all the drivers came in at the start to fit wet-weather tyres, and joined the race in ninth place. But he made strong progress up the order as he set fastest lap to take fifth, despite going off briefly at the Parabolica curve.
“We had a big battle and I was quickest in the group – as far as racing was concerned it was really good experience,” he said.
Lynn’s result put him sixth on the grid for the reversed-grid race two. In the worst weather of the weekend, he finished seventh, losing one position on the final lap.
“The cars were aquaplaning all over the circuit and I couldn’t even see Jazeman Jaafar ahead of me for most of the race,” he said. “It was crazy, but my car was really good.”
Conditions were only marginally better in the final race, in which Lynn drove an excellent performance to finish third.
“It’s a really nice way to round off a difficult weekend,” summed up Alex, who is a member of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, the MSA’s Team UK and the British Racing Drivers Club’s SuperStars programme.
“It was pretty lonely racing-wise, but it’s always a constant mind game maintaining the gaps to the car behind. I had to work hard to pull away and not make any mistakes.”
Lynn admitted that he was delighted to step out onto the podium at Monza. “That was great,” he said. “But it was also a bit frustrating because the car was really quick and I would have really liked to have shown it with an even better result.”
There is now a one-month gap in the British F3 calendar before the third race weekend, which also takes place at a historic venue: Pau, the tricky street track in South-West France that has hosted an annual Grand Prix since the 1930s. The event on May 12-13 will feature one race on Saturday and then another on Sunday, for which the coveted Pau Grand Prix trophy will be awarded.