Strong start at Silverstone
Ed Jones got his 2014 season underway last weekend, with the opening round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Silverstone. Ed made a strong start to his first full campaign in the championship, taking two points scoring finishes before contact from another car in the third race took him out of sixth place.
As the 2014 field came together in an official race environment for the first time at Silverstone, the depth of talent in the 26 car field was clear. Ed was quick to show his potential though, and was quick in both of Friday’s free practice sessions, seventh in session one improving to fourth in session two. With a couple of hours further preparation before the first qualifying session of the season, Ed used the time to go through data and make small set-up changes ahead of qualifying.
With the Silverstone circuit creating a short and obvious peak in tyre performance, putting together the perfect lap at the right time was key to a successful qualifying performance. Ed put in a strong performance to set his grid slot for the first race of the weekend, setting the seventh fastest time overall. Ninth place for race two and a seventh place for the race three grid ensured he had put his Carlin run Volkswagen Dallara inside the top ten for all three of the weekend’s races.
As the lights went out for the first time in the 2014 season, Ed made a good start and held onto seventh place. The Dubai based racer held his position until a safety car restart, dropping to eighth, the position he would take at the chequered flag.
Race two saw another solid performance from the 19 year-old, taking seventh and more points to add to his tally. Ed was on for another strong result in race three until a spin put him out of contention. Pushing hard for position, Ed was running in sixth and challenging for fifth, when contact from another car tapped him into a spin. The Carlin man managed to recover, but was down in 15th place and out of the points.
Reflecting on the first race weekend of the season, Ed said, “The weekend has gone very well overall; it’s great that the work we’ve done as a team has allowed me to perform so well in the first event. Coming here, the aim was to be consistently in the top ten and we achieved that to the extent that I think we have to raise our expectations going forward.
“We weren’t quite sure where we were pace wise based on testing, as everything changes when you move into a race environment, but it’s been really good. Straight away in free practice we were at the front. In qualifying I think I struggled slightly to get the full potential from the car’s capabilities but it was still a strong performance and inside the top ten. We need to analyse this weekend carefully now and focus on moving forward.”
The next race of the season will take place in Hockenheim, Germany from 2 – 4 May.