TEAM: Solid points for Räikkönen Robertson racers at Silverstone
TEAM NEWS: Räikkönen Robertson Racing drivers Atte Mustonen and John Martin both recorded top ten finishes at the Silverstone round of the 2008 British F3 International Series. Martin led home the squad in race one, finishing sixth while Mustonen and Arundel finished 10th and 12th. Mustonen was the first Double R driver across the line in race two, finishing fifth with Martin seventh and Arundel 15th.
As the lights went out at the start of round 17, John Martin made a good start, challenging Oliver Turvey as the cars headed down the start/finish straight. As the field headed into the first corner though, Martin was squeezed into the pit wall and with no room was forced to slow, allowing a number of drivers to pass him. At the end of the lap Martin was sixth, with team mate Atte Mustonen just behind him in seventh. Henry Arundel had made up one place from his 12th place grid slot. As the race progressed, Martin found himself under pressure from Mustonen, who had Nick Tandy close behind in seventh. With five laps to go Tandy made a dive to get past Mustonen, tagging the Finn and putting him into a spin. Mustonen managed to recover, but was three places down in tenth place. With limited time available, Mustonen was unable to make up the places and crossed the line in the final points paying position. Henry Arundel finished 12th.
Conditions remained dry and bright for the second race of the day, with John Martin starting from seventh, Mustonen from ninth and Arundel from 15th. Mustonen made a lightening start to move up to sixth by the end of lap one, while Martin had a slow getaway and had fallen to ninth, while Arundel was 16th. In an uneventful race, position remained unchanged until the final lap, when Martin found a way past Devaney for eighth place. An incident between Sam Abay and Nick Tandy at the last corner put Abay out of the race, elevating Mustonen to fifth, Martin to seventh and Arundel to 15th at the chequered flag.
Reflecting on his weekend, Martin said, “In the first race I made a good start, but I was a little unlucky at turn one; I got boxed out by [Oliver] Turvey and had nowhere to go. That pushed me down the order a bit, and I was stuck behind Alguersuari for the rest of the race, but couldn’t really do anything about it. In the second race I made a bad start unfortunately, I had way too much wheel spin and lost quite a few places. It’s difficult to pass here, but I managed to pass Devaney on the last lap. I’m looking forward to Bucharest; I went well there last year, so hopefully we will be strong next weekend.”
Team Principal Anthony Hieatt added, “I’m a little disappointed with the team’s performance this weekend, we showed we had the pace, but we didn’t get the results and the podium I think we were capable of. It’s very difficult to pass here, and unfortunately a bad start means a difficult race. Atte was very unlucky to lose what would have been seventh place in race one, but did a great job to finish fifth in race two. While this weekend may have been a little frustrating, with such a tight race schedule we’re already focusing on the next race at Bucharest.”