Gregor Ramsay in top ten on Lotus F1 Junior debut

Gregor Ramsay enjoyed a strong debut race weekend in the evocative black-and-gold colours as an Lotus F1 Team Junior by scoring a pair of top-10 finishes in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup at Monza.The 17-year-old Scottish talent did a great job to avoid numerous accidents during thrilling racing at the high-speed Italian Grand Prix circuit, finishing 10th in race one on Saturday and then eighth in the second race on Sunday.For Ramsay, who was announced as a Lotus F1 Team Junior earlier this month, this was the first race event with the Belgian KTR team, with which his main focus this season is the Formula Renault Eurocup.He qualified 12th from the international 32-car field for the opening race, and 11th for race two. “I made a couple of mistakes in first qualifying,” he said, “and in the second I lost a couple of tenths in the first sector because I didn’t get a tow from anyone else, which is crucial at Monza.”In the first race, Ramsay was forced over the speedbumps at the first chicane but was still able to rise to ninth place over the course of the opening lap. With some very quick lap times he caught the fight between Kevin Jorg and Alexander Albon, his team-mate at KTR and as a Lotus F1 Team Junior, but then lost time in the wake of an incident for Jorg. That meant Gregor lost two more places, but he recovered to finish in 10th position.“I didn’t get a very good start, and I tried to go around the outside of about four people at the first chicane but I had to take to the kerbs to avoid the accidents in front when they all started to funnel in,” he said. “That damaged the floor of the car slightly, although it didn’t really slow it down at all.“Then I was catching Jorg and Albon, but Jorg made a mistake and put gravel on the track. Because I was close to them the marshals hadn’t had time to put the flags out yet, and I had no idea there was stuff all over the track. That lost me some time, with gravel on my tyres, so I couldn’t prevent the other two guys coming past.”Ramsay dropped to 13th in an incident-packed opening lap to race two, but emerged atop an incredible fight to vault to 10th into the first chicane on the second lap. He then hunted down the group in front, but was hit from behind on the fourth lap by fellow Lotus F1 Team Junior Callan O’Keeffe, damaging his rear diffuser.From then on Gregor, despite the handling imbalance, held onto the tail of fellow Britons Matthew Graham and Seb Morris as they battled for sixth, finishing eighth at the chequered flag.“Four or five cars came past me at the start,” he said, “but then I managed to pass a few so it was a good race. At one point there were about seven of us all slipstreaming each other down to the first chicane, so it was great racing!“Unfortunately, Callan caught the back of my floor and made a hole in the back of the diffuser when he came into the back of me, and after then it was tough.“But I’m really, really pleased with the weekend. Two top-10s is a very positive start, especially as there was so much carnage!”Ramsay now switches his focus to the opening round of the Formula Renault Eurocup, which takes place at Motorland Aragon in Spain on 26th/27th April. “I’m really looking forward to that race weekend because we were quick there in testing,” he said.