Jack Aitken and Jake Dennis took salvageable points at their and the team’s home race weekend at the 68year Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire.
It was a difficult start to the home race weekend. The Saturday Qualifying session opened on a damp track. The Arden trio joined the field on slicks and set their first fastest times, but were caught out on their second run in the latter half of the session as the second red flag of the session came out -leaving Jake lining up twelfth, Jack fourteenth and Tatiana eighteenth for Race One.
Jake made a great start up to eighth followed by team-mate Jack in ninth, however Tatiana stalled off the start dropping back to 22nd. Jack ran wide at Maggotts and Becketts on lap 4, losing three spots. Jake lost his several lap battle with Arthur Janosz (Trident) and Nyck de Vries (ART Grand Prix) dropping back to eleventh; however the Brit managed to climb back to eighth to finish the race. Meanwhile, Tatiana recovered from her troubled start passing Akash Nandy (Jenzer) and Sergio Ferrucci (Dams) to finish seventeenth.
Jake was handed a post-race penalty for exceeding track limits, meaning a start in twelfth for Race 2, losing out on a pole start and points.
A resolute Jake had a superb start off the line, climbing to sixth on the opening lap and firing up to fourth by lap 6. However, on another turn of bad luck when the second virtual safety car ended, Ralph Boscung (Koiranen GP) tipped Jake into a spin losing him back to tenth, which the Swiss driver was penalised for (10second time penalty). The Racing Steps Foundation driver managed to recover to ninth and secure fastest lap (worth two points) before the chequered flag fell. Jack had less fortune off the start dropping two places. However, the Renault Academy driver had a fantastic drive, including passing two spots on the last lap to finish sixth and pick up four points. Despite starting seventeenth, Tatiana made a focussed charge up to fourteenth but was hit from behind on lap 8, losing her rear wing forcing her to retire.
Jake: “Silverstone weekend was again so close but so far. Qualifying looked good for a front 2 row start but the red flag put a stop to that, so we found ourselves down in 13th.
Race 1 I had a good first lap and got up to 8th. After a long race with some tyre degredation, I dropped back to 12th again but came back strong in the end to regain 8th place on the last lap. Only to receive a penalty which put me back to 12th and I missed out on reverse grid pole!
Race 2 was damp and I was feeling confident in those conditions. I managed to work my way up to P4 and looking good for a podium and maybe even the win but unfortunately after the VSC the driver behind miss his braking point and hit me from behind and span me round. I managed to get back going and get fastest lap which shows how much speed we had which makes it even more frustrating!”
Tatiana: “Silverstone was probably the most encouraging weekend of all, even though it was the worst on paper, because it's a track that I've never done well at in the past – and yet I had the pace.
Unfortunately, in qualifying we made the mistake of leaving it too late to go out on fresh tyres because it was going to rain and there was a high chance of a red flag, which of course was the case when Leclerc and Santino Ferrucci came together.
Then I had another clutch issue at the start of the first race, and then twice in the second race the car went into 'safe mode', which eventually led to Jake Hughes going into the back of me during the second Virtual Safety Car period.
Without some of those problems, I think I could have been fighting for points and maybe even to get some reverse grid poles. When you put our best sectors together, we're there in the mix, in the top eight.
And the fact that I was quick at Silverstone means now I believe we can be quick anywhere – we've already done the hard bit, which is to have the pace, so now we just need to fine tune those details and start putting everything together.”
Jack: “It was another difficult weekend. It could have been very different had our laps not been ruined by red flags in qualifying. We managed to salvage points and show pace though and we will keep pushing for the results we deserve.”