Jessica Edgar bounced back in F1 Academy, leaving Le Castellet with two solid finishes and further championship points, after a hot weekend (July 29/30) in the south of France.
In a closely matched field around one of the circuit’s shorter configurations, the young racer from Cumbria was on the pace, finishing practice just 0.4s from the quickest time, but was frustrated as just 0.2s from pole in Q1 she finished ninth, and was eighth in Q2.
The opening contest on a busy race day was a tough one for Jessica – who is represented by Greenlight Sports Management – as she fell back at the start before mixing it with Maite Cáceres coming into the chicane on the Mistral Straight.
Unfortunately, she twice took contact from another car and would have to come into the pits for a new nosecone. Battling back from then onwards in the hope of a Safety Car to bunch the field up, her luck didn’t turn, and she crossed the line 15th.
Things improved for Jess in race two, as she maintained her eighth-place grid spot off the line, before once again battling with Cáceres as Rodin Carlin teammate Abbi Pulling snuck past. After a Safety Car period, Jessica pulled off a good move on the former at the final corner to regain eighth and was part of a battle for fourth with Nerea Martí, Carrie Schreiner, and Pulling, but unable to find a clear way through in the dirty air.
With a good start to race three, Jess moved past Schreiner off the line and almost made it past Hamda Al Qubaisi, settling into seventh, which became sixth when Bianca Bustamante spun off. Finishing the race in that position, she scored eight championship points, closing in on eighth in the standings in the process.
There will now be a lengthy three-month wait for the final races of the 2023 F1 Academy season, which take place at Circuit of the Americas near Austin in Texas, alongside the United States Grand Prix, over the weekend of October 20-22.
Jess Commented,“We started off FP1 fairly strong with new tyres which we had saved from the official test at the circuit a couple of weeks ago and in FP2 we finished just 0.4s off. For Q1 we started on a set of scrubbed tyres, but it meant we didn’t have the peak performance of them, so I finished P9, just 0.2s off. For Q2 we started on a new set of tyres, but I didn’t push hard enough and could only manage P8. With the track being hard to overtake on, I knew it was going to be hard to make headway in the races.
“I didn’t have the best start for race one and was got hit from the side by another driver putting me off the track and dropping me back to 15th. I had a bit of damage on the steering, but it was ok to carry on, so I caught the driver back up but while attempting to make a move, I was turned into, which resulted in my front wing being damaged. I had to pit which unfortunately meant it was race over for me and I was unable to catch anyone back up again.
“Race two was a lot better. I made a good start and caught up, but with drivers defending I didn’t have anywhere to go, finishing P8. I had another mega start overtaking one person for race three, but after that, due to the dirty air I couldn’t make any further headway. Overall, I think it was a positive weekend and we have definitely learnt lots. I can’t wait for our last round in Austin running alongside Formula 1!”