Mixed feelings at Silverstone - but more points in the bag
By Megan Cantle
Thomas Maxwell grabbed some more well-earned points at the third round of the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup season, with a solid eighth place finish in race one, and an unlucky sixteenth in the second.
Race 1 was a reasonably uneventful affair for the Darwin native. After pressuring Charles Milesi for seventh at the start, he ended up maintaining his impressive qualifying position of the year so far, eighth, to the finish line - adding yet more important points to his ever-growing tally. He had to work hard and drive a near perfect race after a safety car restart in order to keep the rapid Richard Verschoor behind him. But he was mistake free, never allowing Verschoor to find a way past, and in the end had built up enough of a lead him to safely cross the line. He also became the only driver to have scored points in every single race of the season up to this point.
A red flag in the second qualifying session of the weekend hindered Maxwell’s chances of a good session, meaning that he started race 2 from fifteenth on the grid. He had work to do if he wanted to keep his tally of points finishes up, but being caught up in contact between several cars on lap one dropped him some all-important places. It then became a case of seeing how far up the order he could get, and within a few laps had climbed from twenty-third to nineteenth, with an overtake of Max Fewtrell and the help of a few retirements further up the field.
The race really started to come alive as the clock ticked down, with another brilliant move down the inside of Alex Peroni gaining Maxwell another place. There were frantic moves up and down the field, resulting in more retirements ahead and promoting Maxwell as the drivers took the chequered flag. By crossing the line in sixteenth, his perfect run of points unfortunately came to an end, but he had shown good pace and cleverly thought out overtaking manoeuvres in his rapid charge up the field.
"I leave the weekend with mixed feeling from Silverstone,” he commented. "I’m happy to have score points and continued our good form in race 1, but feel that we should have been up there in the second race as well. I'm hungry for some solid results, I wanna be up on that podium.”
"I was very unfortunate in Qualifying 2 with a red flag wrecking our session. It's a very hard track to come through the field. Being caught up in a first lap incident saw those chances slip away. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, we’ll bounce back."
With almost no time to rest, Maxwell will next head to the most famous circuit in the world - Monaco. The series will be there as a support category to the Formula One race this upcoming weekend ( 24th-27th May ), and Thomas will be looking to maintain or better his impressive tenth place in the Driver’s Championship standings.
“Monaco next weekend means we're straight into focusing on what lies ahead. Definitely excited to return to this awesome event, it’s for sure my favorite weekend of the year”