Jonny Edgar matched his best finish in Formula 3 with fourth-place in the Zandvoort Sprint Race, capitalising at the start to secure his position. The Trident driver settled in after the first lap of action to take his third top five result so far this season.
The Briton said that the car was showing good speed around the Dutch circuit, but that overtaking was difficult off the racing line due to the sand and lack of grip. With an eye on tomorrow’s Feature Race, the Trident driver said he capitalised on his good getaway and will be looking to replicate the start on Sunday.
“The race was quite good, the first lap I managed to gain a place and then after that we were stuck in a DRS train and no one could overtake. The car felt quite good but it’s just impossible to overtake here unless someone makes a mistake.
“The start was difficult. Here it’s the lowest grip I’ve ever felt at the start. Some people got a good start and get a much bigger advantage and then T1, off the racing line, it’s so slippy here so that’s why there’s more of a chance of people locking up and making a mistake like that because the difference in grip between being on line and off the line is much bigger than other tracks. The main focus for tomorrow getting a good start and a good first lap because that’s the easiest place to make places."
Looking ahead to the Feature Race, Edgar knows that making up places will be difficult once again and is expecting another tough battle for position.
While drivers were stuck in a DRS train, the Red Bull junior is eyeing up an opportunity if one presents itself, particularly around the possibility of a Safety Car. All 30 drivers made it to the chequered flag in once piece in the Sprint, something that was a surprise to Edgar.
“I was quite surprised there wasn’t a Safety Car today because if there is one, that’s another good chance to make some places. After that, it’s about saving the tyres a bit and sitting in the DRS and then if the car ahead does make a mistake, you need to make use of any chance you get because I don’t think we’ll get many chances to overtake. If everything goes well, it’ll be nice to get a top five but otherwise, maximise the best I can from where I’m starting.”
Edgar was disappointed that he never got a real chance to fight for the podium, settling into the DRS train that emerged after Caio Collet took the lead of the race from Juan Manuel Correa.
Reflecting on the race, Edgar said that his P4 result was the best he could’ve managed as a result of the lack of overtaking opportunities around Zandvoort’s tricky and narrow layout.
“I never really got close enough to Zak (O’Sullivan) to get a chance at overtaking. From behind, I never really had pressure. He was always there but never close enough to overtake me. When you follow here, the tyres overheat a lot so it’s hard to stick close when the car ahead has DRS that effect is gone so you don’t really gain anything on the straight because the car ahead also has DRS and a slipstream so there wasn’t really a chance of doing anything.
“For me it felt like the tyres dropped off fairly early. You could feel the grip going away a bit which I think everyone had a little bit. Through the race it got worse and worse but the laptime didn’t really drop off because as the fuel comes down, the laptimes stay quite consistent. You definitely start to struggle more with the car as the race goes on.”