22 Jun 2015
SENSATIONAL RED BULL RING DRIVE NETS MORRIS FIRST POINTS OF GP3 SEASON
Status Grand Prix driver Seb Morris delivered his best race performance of the season by far during round four of the GP3 Series at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday, 21st June, with an outstanding drive to fifth place from 19th on the grid – securing his first points of the year.
Setting-up his maiden GP3 score with a remarkable opening lap, the Marford teenager sliced his way through into ninth position over the course of the first 4.3 kilomteres of racing and climbed as high as sixth place at two thirds distance.
Ultimately taking the chequered flag in seventh position, post-race the MSA Team UK and FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy racer was elevated into the top five after two rivals were excluded for technical infringements. The result means Seb ends his second weekend in GP3 in 11th position in the championship, just a single point outside the top 10.
“I’m really happy to be honest and it’s nice to come through the order like I did in race two, picking up so many places”, said the 19-year-old, “We found some issues with the car after race one, so changed it massively for race two and it was much better – the main thing being I could push harder on the tyre. The aim now is to keep improving when we get to Silverstone in a couple of weeks.”
Producing excellent speed from the start of the weekend, the Welshman posted the ninth fastest time in official practice where he lapped within 0.6 seconds of the outright pace and was the fastest of the Status GP team-mates.
Although qualifying was frustrating and led to 21st on the grid for the first race on Saturday, Seb made a good start to round three – avoiding a multi-car tangle on the grid – but eventually ended the contest in 19th position.
Determined to make huge strides for round four, Seb did just that. After making a superb start he neatly positioned his car on the inside line for Turn One, avoiding first corner contact, and carved his way through into ninth position by the end of the lap.
Following an early Safety Car period, racing resumed on lap four and the Serge DeNimes and Oxford Vaughan ambassador continued his impressive rise up the order. Taking eighth from team-mate Alex Fontana on lap four, he then grabbed seventh place on lap six.
Reeling in the group ahead, Seb closed down pole position starter Ralph Boschung and on lap 12 he sealed sixth position with a great pass. Although edged back to seventh three laps from the finish, his promotion into fifth swiftly followed after the race – the result marking a real breakthrough for the first year GP3 Series racer.
“We had a disappointing qualifying again and that was my fault, I was losing time in one corner which compromised me for the next sequence so, really, we should have been around the top 10 on the grid for the first race”, he explained, “I put all we learned from the first event into practice, though, and with the changes we made for race two it was a great way to finish off the weekend.”
Next on the schedule is Seb’s home event, the annual visit to Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, which will take place over the weekend 4th/5th July in support of the British F1 Grand Prix. As ever, the event will be covered live in the UK on Sky Sports F1.
2015 GP3 Series Driver Standings (after Rd4):
11th Seb Morris, 6pts