Trident’s Zane Maloney leaves Barcelona with mixed emotions. A mistake during Qualifying dealt an unshakeable blow to his quest for points in the third Formula 3 round.
The Trident driver missed the call for the FIA weighbridge and the resulting penalty relegated him to a pit lane start for both the Sprint and Feature Races.
Despite this setback, he managed to put together a noteworthy performance. Although debris hampered him in the Sprint Race, he carved his way through the field to finish P13 in the Feature Race. However, Maloney says he’s frustrated that he ended up point-less despite his efforts.
“The weekend was kind of finished before I even got started.”
“The small mistake from my side - which is easy to do when you have so much adrenaline and when you're on the radio talking to the team - I take the blame for that. Missing the weighbridge is not something I should have done.
“The Sprint Race was going good until Franco (Colapinto)’s engine cover came off and went into my car. It was a bit of a disaster after that. Going into the Feature Race, we knew we had the pace. It was about getting a clean first few laps and not killing the tyres, and then catching up to the field to try and make the moves.”
Heading to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, things looked promising for Maloney. Off the back of achieving his maiden pole position last time out at Imola, he had his sights set on repeating the performance. Qualifying in P12 put the Bajan driver firmly in contention for points, particularly taking reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race, but the penalty left him playing catch up for the rest of the weekend.
An impressive climb up the order in the Feature Race saw Maloney recover to reach the chequered flag in 13th, managing to make up 17 positions in 24 laps. Even with plenty of passes on track, he says there’s only one move that stands out his mind – his double overtake on Ido Cohen and Kush Maini on Lap 17.
“A lot of them were quite risky and I had to brake so late for most of them. Into Turns 2 and 3, getting the two overtakes – I can’t remember who it was on. I was really setting it up for a few laps, so that one was probably the nicest.”
Rather than dwelling on his mistake for too long, the strong race pace the Trident driver demonstrated across the whole weekend has been a source of encouragement.
“The pace was amazing - I think I was the same speed as Victor (Martins) in traffic. It's even more frustrating because I know that if we were up there, we would have had a really good race. It was an amazing race, but no points came out of this weekend. I'm still very annoyed, but at least we have the pace and we can move from here.”
Sitting 14th in the Drivers’ Championship on 15 points, Maloney will be eager to put things right next time out at Silverstone and break into the top 10.