Sam enjoyed his best result of the season so far at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, thanks to a dominant display throughout the weekend, culminating in a 2nd place finish in the feature race.
The BP Ultimate Driver had superb pace from the very first practice session, and in qualifying, he held pole position for much of the half hour. Unfortunately, however, his crucial final two laps were baulked by slower competitors and he had to settle for 6th.
Nevertheless, his pace and racecraft would propel him back to the front of the race. “I made a reasonably good start, kept it tidy around the inside of turn one, and reacted quickly to a crash in front of me, enabling me to get up into fourth place. I then made up a further place for third, just behind Hulkenberg.
I felt I had the pace to overtake him but just couldn’t make my two moves stick without compromising both our races.
We both pressured the leading man into a mistake, capitalising when he went wide, leaving me in second place, which I then controlled to the chequered flag.” “I'm really pleased to be back on the podium” he added. “We’ve worked very hard for this, and I’m aiming for a few more in the closing stages of the season”
Sam’s 2nd place jumped him five places in the Championship order.
Photo by Eric Lemuet
Sunday’s race was a rather different story.
Starting 7th on the reversed grid, Sam made an excellent start and was challenging for 4th at the first corner when race one winner Hulkenberg locked up and ran into the back of him, sending him into a spin.
He did very well to recover from the back of the pack to 18th, but when Tsukakoshi and Cheng crashed into eachother just ahead of him, he had nowhere to go but off the track and onto the grass. Again, Sam recovered to 18th, but despite his smooth, unruffled style and obvious pace, could do no more in a reversal of fortunes from Saturday.
The F3 Euroseries moves on to Le Mans on October 4/5.