Tveter Shows Strong Pace at Silverstone But Mechanical Difficulties Prevent More Points
SILVERSTONE, England, July 17 — After the most successful event of his young GP3 Series career July 7-9 in Austria when he recorded two top-five finishes, rookie Ryan Tveter had a disappointing doubleheader at Silverstone last weekend despite showing excellent pace.
Tveter, of Oyster Bay, N.Y., started ninth and ran as high as seventh in the first race on Saturday before he rolled to a stop with mechanical difficulties short of the finish. That gave him the 17th starting position for Sunday's race, in which he finished 13th.
Driving a Dallara fielded by Trident and sponsored by Jagonya Ayam!/KFC Indonesia and Pertamina, Tveter qualified ninth with a time of 1:47.412 for the 5.891-kilometer road course. Arjun Maini set an identical qualifying time, but Tveter passed him at the start of Saturday afternoon's 20-lap race and the third-place driver, Nirei Fukuzumi, had a problem so Tveter rose to seventh almost immediately.
He was just 0.2 behind the sixth-place driver, his teammate, Dorian Boccolacci, on lap four. He actually passed Boccolacci with his DRS on that lap, but Boccolacci wiggled by going into the next corner as they battled fiercely. Tveter ran faster that lap than George Russell, who was second at the time and went on to win the race.
Unbeknownst to the Formula 1 fans in the grandstands, the oil temperature in Tveter's car had been going up since the start of the race, however. On lap five he dropped to 12th place due to the mechanical gremlins. Still, he ran his fastest lap of the race on lap six with a 1:50.632, and on lap seven his lap time was faster than both the second- and third-place drivers. He passed Raoul Hyman for 11th place on lap eight, but then stopped on the track with 13 laps complete when the engine shut down. That brought out the race's only full-course caution, and Tveter retired at that point.
That gave Tveter the 17th starting spot for Sunday's 15-lap race, which was held under dry but cooler weather. He was 15th by lap four, and he took 14th on lap nine by passing Bruno Baptista. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap 10 with a 1:50.212. Two laps later he moved into 13th when both he and Baptista passed Fukuzumi, and he was still in that spot when the checkered waved on lap 15. Alesi, another one of Tveter's teammates, started on the pole and led every lap.
Tveter is now tied for 11th in the driver point standings with Leonardo Pulcini.
The next event is another doubleheader July 28-30 at a track Tveter has done very well at in other series, the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary.
“Silverstone was shaping up to be a great weekend for us before the engine issue towards the end of Race 1," Tveter said. "We saved a set of tires in practice looking towards the races so our true pace didn't show in qualifying, where early on I was P5. We didn’t quite get the balance for the second and final run and I dropped to P9, tied to the thousandth with Maini in P8. It was so close between everyone as usual, but still a very solid and consistent session.
"Race 1 got off to a great start and I was on the attack from P9 to P7. The car felt terrific and the pace was really strong. Unfortunately the mechanical issue put an end to our chances of another haul of points and a good reverse grid position for Race 2.
"It was such a pleasure and privilege to drive around Silverstone at the British GP this weekend, and I’m feeling confident and very happy with the progress and package we have heading to Hungaroring. Thanks to everyone for their efforts at Silverstone.