Reflecting on the opening weekend of the 2022 Formula 3 season in Sakhir, Charouz Racing System’s Ayrton Simmons says he enjoyed an “overall positive” outing.
Simmons ended Friday’s Qualifying session from Bahrain in 29th, however in the races, he was able to progress to 18th on Saturday and climb to 20th on Sunday.
The British-Spanish driver admits that he was left disappointed with his performance over one lap, but was pleased with his drives during the race, which saw him come away from the weekend with a positive outlook.
“My overall thoughts are positive, I learned so much throughout the weekend,” he said. “Just trying to soak everything in, learn as much as I can because the experience pays off a lot in this Championship.
“So the more experience, the more you learn, the quicker you’re going to end up being. Overall, qualifying was a little disappointing. We obviously felt like we had more pace than what we actually showed. That was due to some complications.
“But we moved forward during the races, that was very important, so happy with the overall race weekend. I’m very pleased to get up the places I got to in the races. Starting at the back is going to make your job harder to tyre and get up to that midfield battle, but we did so in the end.”
Simmons first linked up with Charouz at the final round of the 2021 F3 season in Sochi, before signing with the team for the entire 2022 campaign.
The 20-year has hailed the Czech squad for how it has worked with him thus far, while also highlighting that spirits weren’t deflated following Friday’s difficult Qualifying outing.
“I was down (after Qualfiying), I could feel the team was a bit disappointed as well,” he explained. “I think I showed great spirit in some ways, kept positive, kept everyone’s heads up and said ‘look, we’re going to move forward during the races’.
“We did, so I think the mental strength this weekend was one of the highlights. Also to jump in and finish in around the top 15, top 20 after just doing the pre-season test is pretty awesome.
“Charouz have been great, they’ve been absolutely great to take a driver that’s had very little experience in the car, who obviously has to go through a load of stuff.
“Teaching a lot of basics throughout the week can be tough, but they’ve been absolutely brilliant with me. We’ve been working together to move up the field and there’s a good connection between me and the team, to the mechanics, the engineers, everyone involved.
“I’m definitely very confident that we’ll move higher up as the season goes on, that’s for sure, purely because of the mentality and the way Charouz works. I’m looking forward to that.”