In his first race in Formula 3, Zane Maloney produced a strong drive to fourth place for reigning Teams’ Champions Trident.
The Barbadian driver ran as high as second place during Saturday afternoon’s Sprint Race in Sakhir, but dropped back in the final laps of the event as he struggled with grip from the Pirelli tyres.
Maloney acknowledges that coming to grips with the tyres is the biggest element he must understand in order to claim higher race results going forward.
“Those Pirelli tyres are quite difficult to get your head around,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing, to keep the tyres during the race and have lots at the end to battle.
“Of course I’m happy to get a race under my belt, but on the other side, I’m quite annoyed. We did have the pace for P2 today and obviously P2 ended up being P1.
“We had a lot more potential, obviously it’s the first race so lots to learn. We learned a lot in that race so looking forward to the Feature Race and hopefully we get a better result.”
Maloney will start Sunday’s Feature Race from inside the top six, giving him another strong opportunity to claim a successful result.
But with the experience of his first race under his belt, the 18-year-old is eyeing up a stronger result to get his rookie campaign in the category off to a positive start.
“I’m usually quite handy in the racing side of things, I was quite confident going into the race that if we got a good start, we would be in the mix and see what our pace was like from there,” Maloney said.
“The pace wasn’t amazing, we have to check to see how much was from me and how much we have to get better with the car. But I’m sure a lot of it was from me over-pushing a little bit as it’s my first race in this category and with the Pirelli tyres.
“The racing side of things was really good, and looking forward to tomorrow and getting stuck back into racing.
“We have a good opportunity. Obviously my teammate Roman (Stanek) is ahead so we will be trying to get up there with them.
“But we have a good opportunity, have a good start again, we were P2, P3 after three or four laps so just looking forward to get going and focus on those tyres.