David Beckmann is no stranger to the thrills and spills of FIA F2 and F3 racing, the drama and the pressures that go along with it.
The Van Amersfoort Racing driver picked out a Sprint Race from his GP3 campaign in 2018, where he rose from P15 on the grid to take the victory.
“Sochi GP3 2018 Sprint Race. The weekend started very difficult because of a difficult Qualifying so I was P15. We had good pace to go up to P5 in the Feature and then I started P4 for the Sprint Race, did a really good start in and managed to go up to P2 after the first lap. But then was battling a lot with Joey Mawson in front, but I just could not get past him.
“It was very difficult and frustrating for like 80% of the race. Then, in the last five or six minutes there was a crash and they put out a VSC. At the restart, it was just one lap left. The restart came just as we crossed the start/finish line, so we had exactly one more lap left. I had a really good restart, I gained half a second to him and then I was in DRS range. So we were battling crazily into the first corner. It was a tough battle and then I thought that I just couldn’t let him get away again in the middle sector, so I tried to just stay as close to him as possible. Heading onto the back straight I was within six or seven-tenths to have DRS and got a massive exit. I wasn’t sure if there would be enough space because the corner is a right-hander and I did the move on the left side because he was closing off inside.
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“I knew if I got him to brake on the outside, he would push me out. let me run wide and I’d have no chance. I knew that I had to close in front of him so, at like 290kph, I went in front of his car at the braking zone and just hoped that he didn’t lock up. I really trusted this guy but I knew he's a good driver so I thought I could do it. It just worked out, and I got him at the fifth-to-last corner, the last sector on the last lap of the last race. The team was going crazy, it was the best race for sure.
“It was just frustrating because it was tough to get past and then on the last lap you make the move. It's not only a DRS pass, I had to brake later than him then close in front of him and make sure I still made the corner, so everything was going on in the pace of hundredths of a second. I felt like it was so difficult because there was so much adrenaline in the body and you just didn't move. It was a lot of pressure because it was the last lap and I had to do it but it's nice that it worked out.
“I was at Trident, and they only spoke Italian but they were going absolutely crazy. I mean they told me they didn’t know what happened. I didn't know and asked my engineer if it was the last lap because you don't want it to fall out of your hands again. Obviously, the other team was very sad because they lost. They we're leading every lap except the last sector of the last lap, it’s obviously frustrating but that's how racing is. It's never safe up to the last lap, even up to the last corner. Our team was really crazy and was celebrating a lot, typical Italian passion.”