British F3 - What they said: Spa qualifying

Next Event:
Donington Park
14 / 15 September

Next Event:
Donington Park
14 / 15 September

What they said: Spa qualifying

What they said: Spa qualifying

Friday 19 July 2019

Ayrton Simmons, Neil Verhagen and Lucas Petersson were the top three drivers in qualifying for race one at Spa Francorchamps, while Ulysse De Pauw claimed a front row start for race three on Sunday. Here's what each had to say at the end of the session.

Race one and three pole, Ayrton Simmons:

"I'm absolutely delighted, you can't get any better than that. After the last practice session we were over a second off, so a big credit to the Chris Dittmann Racing guys for giving me the car to put on pole.

"Overall the balance was a lot better than in practice and we managed to get a good tow as well on the last lap which got me pole. Regardless of the tow, our middle sector was still really quick so I'm really happy with it.

"It's good to see that everyone is so close and it's such a long lap, over two minutes, and there's only a few hundredths between us. I knew it was going to be tough and tight so even on the last lap when the tyres are starting to go off I just had to get every inch out of the car.

"It's going to be tough at the start tomorrow, I need to get through Eau Rouge safe and then pray that they don't all get in my tow. After that I'll just need to get my head down, it would be great if we can stay ahead of everyone by the time we get to Les Combes. I'm looking forward to it, I love a good race and I've got good racers around me.

"The prize money will go towards a new set of tyres for the next test day, but it's always good to get a bonus and a nice pay cheque at the end of the day too!"

Race one second and race three third, Neil Verhagen:

"After Donington it's good to show that we're back in the groove again, so I'm happy with that and happy for Double R as well as I think that's our best qualifying this year. I'm happy that we keep improving over the year and we keep making the right steps. 

"Unfortunately Spa is the only track in the world where you don't really want to start from pole from so I think it's looking quite good for me race wise, so I'm looking forward to it and looking to see what I can do into Les Combes. 

"Starting from podium positions in two of the three races, podiums would be the least expectation for both of those, and maybe we could make it another podium in the reverse grid, if we do a good race it's been done before so we'll see!"

Race one third, Lucas Petersson:

"It felt good, at the time I didn't think it was the best lap but I put it together. I did the same thing I did in practice and it worked out. The grid is really close and hopefully we can replicate this and continue our momentum in the race.

"I guess the person starting first doesn't normally have the best first lap here, everyone is going to be towing off each other if the gap is perfect, so hopefully I can do that and move ahead, as everyone else will want to do.

"I've been working hard and doing a lot of preparation for this race, so it's good that it came out into a podium position for qualifying." 

Race three second, Ulysse De Pauw:

"I'm pretty happy, the pace was not so good this morning and we worked a lot with the car for qualifying and we found something quite good. I decided to do qualifying on my own and not to take a risky approach with slipstreams, so we had a good pace. I just feel I could have done a bit more and maybe I was too cautious during my fastest lap, and I did a mistake. So for the fifth place it could have been a bit better but for the second place for race three I'm really happy and it's great to have another front row start.

"At Donington I knew that if I was starting in P2 and stayed there after the first lap I knew I'd have a good chance of finishing in P2 because overtaking there is difficult, but here will be another story with the tow and there will be a lot of overtaking, so it's good to start at the front but even from fifth place anything is possible."

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