Chipping Norton racer, Alice Powell, finished a fantastic 11th place in Race One of the Formula One supporting, GP3 series in Monaco. It was the first ever visit to Monaco for the GP3 Series, as well as the Status GP team and Alice.
In the 40 minute practise on the Thursday, for the first half of the session, Alice was a stunning P5, but slipped down the order while she was making changes in the pits. Due to traffic, Powell was not able to improve, so ended up P17.
Qualifying was slightly different to as it was in Barcelona. The field of 26 cars was split into two groups. Alice was in the first group to venture out of the pit lane for the 14 minute qualifying session. Powell managed P6 in her group, which put her P12 on the grid for the race, a superb result for the ex Cotswold School student, who is the least experienced driver on the grid, in terms of seat time in the GP3 car.
For Race One, Alice got a good start and managed to avoid the stalled car of Barcelona race winner, Conor Daly. From then on, she pulled a good gap of over two seconds from the group of cars behind her and put fellow Brit, Alex Brundle, under pressure for 10th place. Powell eventually crossed the line in 11th place, setting the 10th fastest time.
Race Two saw Alice get another good start from P11. However, her race took a huge blow as contact at the first corner, damaged her front wing and badly damaged her steering, which meant she had to pit sort the damage. When she exited the pit lane, she was at the back of the grid in P24. The race was red flagged on lap 13, due to a big accident which left debris over part of the track. Alice ended the race in P22.
Commenting on the weekend, Alice said “This weekend was an incredible experience for me! To race around the streets of Monaco is nearly every race drivers dream! Qualifying was pleasing, as was Race One, as we showed our pace and potential. Race two was a terrible shame, but that is classic Monaco for you, the first corner is very tight. I am just glad that the people who were involved the huge crashes are okay. The Status team have done another fantastic job this weekend, and yet again I exceeded my expectations. I am still learning the car and cannot wait for the next race in Valencia.”