Motorsport News - Renault
Tough opener for Highlander Lewis
9th May 2012
Highlander Lewis Williamson heads to the next round of the Formula Renault 3.5 in Monaco eager to build on the experience of a tough opener in Spain.
And the 22-year-old from Golspie admitted the season's first double-header at Aragon, in Spain, had thrown up its fair share of challenges.
"It wasn't exactly the opening weekend we'd all been hoping for," explained Williamson who, like his Arden Caterham team, is contesting the FR3.5 for the first time.
"We never really got the car set up the way I wanted it throughout the weekend and, in the end, we struggled to find any true pace."
In the opening race, Williamson qualified 22nd and had moved up to 14th by the end of the opening lap. He eventually finished 15th as his car began to struggle with grip.
But there was disappointment in the weekend's second race when, having started 23rd, his race ended prematurely when he spun into the gravel.
"I have to hold my hands up and take responsibility for my mistake," Williamson, supported by the Highland Arena consortium of private backers, continued.
"On the installation lap the brakes were locking the front left wheel, then the car struggled for rear grip when we got into traffic in the race.
"In the end, the car completely swapped ends and I spun into the gravel: race over."
But Williamson, a past McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year a member of the Red Bull Young Driver Development Programme, is confident he and his Arden Caterham team can cure the problems before Monaco at the end of the month.
"They're as frustrated as I am, because we know the car has the pace," he continued. "We just need to get it dialled up correctly for the circuit.
"I know the guys are working very hard to get the car set up the way I like it. In the past, in other formulae, if the car's been out of sorts I've been able to bully it into doing what I want it to.
"You can't do that with the FR3.5 car. It needs to be as perfectly set up for the race track as possible: and that's what we need to achieve for Monaco."
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