Home Featured Grid penalty rounds off disastrous F3 weekend for Dunne at Silverstone

Grid penalty rounds off disastrous F3 weekend for Dunne at Silverstone

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Alex Dunne had a weekend full of things not going his way at Silverstone, capped off with a grid penalty for the next FIA Formula 3 round.

The MP Motorsport driver was only 26th fastest in the wet practice session. Although he spent much of qualifying just 0.07 seconds off top spot, when the track dried out at the end he slipped down to 13th on the timesheet and was 0.553s off pole.

“Quali… absolutely no words, I did the job I needed to putting the car P2 after my first lap, and then for reasons out of my control I was not able to go back out on track when there was a massive improvement once the track dried,” the Irishman reflected afterwards. “P13 in the end, the pace was really strong and I was happy with the job I did.”

Grid penalties for rivals meant Dunne got to start 11th for the next day’s sprint race, and he finished a distant 22nd after a collision with Jenzer Motorsport’s Charlie Wurz while fighting over fourth place. The stewards deemed Wurz at fault for the incident.

“Difficult day, went from P11 to P5, I was then told I had to give the place back to another driver in which turned out to be incorrect information. Then after giving the place back I went for the move again, when the other driver pushed me onto the grass in which he was penalised for,” explained Dunne.

He was “excited to go again” in the feature race as he felt his “pace was unbelievable”, but he had an even worse time on Sunday despite another climb up the order. Dunne finished the opening lap in fourth place, then was 26th a lap later after pitting to change tyres as the track went from wet to dry and then became wet again.

As others pitted he rose back up to 18th on lap three, then triggered a safety car period as returning to the track after a high-speed excursion led to Prema’s Dino Beganovic and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Floersch colliding behind him.

Dunne made it up to 10th while the safety car was out, but then dropped to 23rd and then retired as he contributed to yet another safety car period. This time AIX Racing’s Joshua Dufek had rejoined the track in a way that led to Dunne spinning out of the race near the pit entry.

After the race, the McLaren junior was handed a 10-place grid penalty and three penalty points for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner in the incident that eliminated Floersch and affected Beganovic’s race.

AIX’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak finished 21st in the feature race after a five-second penalty was added to his race time when he met the chequered flag. However, that has now been removed as stewards found he had already served the five-second penalty during the race. The decision puts him back up to 20th place.