As the single-seater season officially drew to a close last weekend, we were trackside in Abu Dhabi to enjoy a superb send off. With debuts, victories, podiums and a championship winning driver to celebrate…
Beckmann powers to a podium
After making the switch to Trident Team mid-way through the GP3 season, David Beckmann has wasted no time in proving himself, with a series of strong points finishes, podiums and 3 victories in only his first year in the championship. After a long break in the season, the series came to its finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, where David was determined to end on a high.
With a strong qualifying session, the German driver netted a 6th place start for the race on Saturday, ready to tackle as the lights went out. With a great get away, soon enough he was in the perfect place to make a move on Hughes for P5. Settling into the race, David kept hot on the tail of Ilott, which on Lap 9 allowed him to mount his challenge as they stormed into the Marina section. Excellently defending the chase behind, he set after cutting into the gap to P3. Sealing a thrilling final lap lunge against Hubert, David scored his place on the podium, which was later promoted to 2nd place following a penalty for Mazepin.
Despite an unfortunate tangle on the first lap of the second race bringing his season to a premature end, David more than proved himself as a front-runner against the competitive field.
“David really showed his speed and great race craft with a P2 in race 1, unfortunately he was taken out of race 2 through no fault of his own. However, the second half of the year has certainly been one to remember, with a series of wins, poles and fastest laps”
Title honours and a dynamic debut
Back in the Formula 2 paddock, excitement was at fever pitch as George Russell went head-to-head with Alexander Albon for the championship title. Getting behind the wheel for the final time, before making the all-important step up to Formula 1, George had full focus on ending his junior career in style.
With the optimum start for the race on Saturday, George claimed pole position and an additional point for his efforts. But as the race began, drama ensued, with title rival Albon stalling on the grid and a further dramatic crash which brought the safety car out before racing had truly begun. Settling in behind Nyck de Vries, George put into practice his supreme strategy and called to pit early to engage the undercut. A gamble that paid off as he squeezed by the Dutchman at the pit stop, extending a comfortable margin of 3.3s at the flag, George claimed his seventh win of the season. With Albon finishing out of the points, George had done enough to be crowned 2018 Formula 2 Champion. Climbing atop of his winning car, George celebrated to rapturous reception in the pit lane, taking his second junior title in succession, surpassing the points record set by Formula 1 driver, Charles Leclerc in 2017.
Director of Infinity Sports Management, Harry Soden, comments:
“What a way to seal the title! Pole, fastest lap and a win. From start to finish, George has been the class of the field again and dominated the championship”
Fresh from the back of his Macau GP success, Dan Ticktum took to the wheel of F2 machinery for the first time, making his debut with Arden Motorsport. Competing in the Formula 1 package, gave the British driver a perfect opportunity to showcase his talent, a challenge that he certainly rose to. Jumping right in at the deep end, Dan managed to take an impressive 14th place on the grid for the Feature Race, outperforming many drivers in full-season campaigns. Avoiding the chaotic start to the race, Dan capitalised on his position to climb within the Top 10 as the safety car made an appearance. Battling throughout the race, he crossed the line in 11th, on the cusp of earning points in only his first outing. Prepared to improve even further in the Sprint Race on Sunday, despite a strong start, he was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue with the car. However the future looks bright for Dan as he looks ahead to 2019.
“Dan was thrown straight in at the deep end, but as Dan always does, he wasn’t phased and coped very well. Out qualifying his team mate, he gained valuable race experience”
Preparation never stops…
With another successful season sealed for our roster of talented drivers, from GT racing, to junior formulae, the work never stops as preparations for 2019 are already underway.
Ahead of his Formula 1 debut, George Russell rapidly switched from F2 to the seat of a Williams F1 car for the first time, as post-season testing got underway at the Yas Marina Circuit this week.
Over in the GP3 paddock, our guys took to the track for testing ahead of a potential move to the newly-established Formula 3 series next year. Hot from his 2018 campaign, David Beckmann took to the track alongside those making their first steps up to GP3 machinery, Max Fewtrell (2018 Formula Renault Eurocup Champion), Logan Sargeant (Formula Renault Eurocup) and Olli Caldwell (ADAC F4 & Italian F4). Across the three day test, the talented young drivers are performing well, gaining a solid base to build upon as we go headfirst into winter training.