Second place for Alex Lynn in the prestigious RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort not only brought the Englishman a podium finish, a trophy and more recognitionit also provided a boost at a crucial time of the season.
After a five-week absence of action, F3 was back on track for the non-championship showcase race of the European season. And Lynn and the Prema Powerteam squad were hoping to bounce back after a disappointing weekend last time out at the Red Bull Ring.
The 19-year-old Lynn did just that. Competitive all weekend, he put his Prema-run, Mercedes-powered Dallara third on the grid. We had to work quite hard on the set-up after the first free-practice session, he said, and the team did a really good job.
Qualifying wasnt too bad. I felt there was a little bit left and I could possibly have beaten Harry Tincknell to the front row, but there wasnt enough to catch Felix Rosenqvist on pole, although we could have been a touch closer.
We changed the car for the second qualifying session to try and get pole, but we ended up making it considerably worse. It didnt matter too much though because that session was much slower anyway.
Lynn immediately beat Tincknell off the line to slot into Rosenqvists wheeltracks, but wasnt able to prevent the Swede from notching up his second Masters of F3 victory.
My start was quite good, said Alex. It was as good as Rosenqvists, and it was nice to pass Harry to get up to second. Unfortunately, we went slightly too far to the front with our aero balanceI think my engineer Jeff [Jean-Francois Levere] anticipated that wed be close behind Tincknell and needing to pass him, so Id be needing a car good enough to stay behind him in the high-speed corners.
It ended up with me suffering a lot with oversteer, and I didnt have the confidence in high-speed corners, so that was killing the rear tyres.
As a result, Lynn had great speed in the first sector comprising the slow, banked turns, but could not match Rosenqvist in the faster corners around the back of the circuit. Alex also had team-mate Emil Bernstorff shadowing him, but never came under serious threat of losing his position.
When I still had my rear tyres working, I pulled out a couple of seconds on Emil, he said. I was trying not to work them too hard but with 10 laps to go they were shot. Emil pulled in a few tenths and I tried pushing again but I had a big moment. Then I decided that Id keep it cool, and that Emil was going to be unlikely to be able to pass me anyway.
Teamed with Tincknell, Lynn also brought home the Nations Cup for Great Britain to complete a very strong weekend, just as teams prepare for the next round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship next weekend on the challenging street circuit of the Norisring.
It was nice to be on the podium, because last time out at the Red Bull Ring we had a bad weekend, said Alex, who is a member of the MSAs Team UK and the British Racing Drivers Clubs SuperStars programme. Hopefully, when we get back onto our familiar tyres for the Norisring next weekend, we can have another strong performance.