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Carlin bemoans patchy season

1 January 1901

Carlin Motorsport admit they are surprised not to be leading the World Series by Renault standings considering they have 'two of the fastest drivers' in the field according to Trevor Carlin.

Currently classified third in the team standings, drivers Robert Wickens and Mikhail Aleshin have shown front-running pace all season, but have been stymied by inconsistencies in their respective race and qualifying performances.

Indeed, Wickens has been a star performer in qualifying this season, starting on the first two rows in all but one race. However, a series of on-track incidents have consigned him down to tenth in the standings, despite the fact he also has a race win under his belt.

By contrast, Aleshin has raced consistently and has failed to finish just a single race, but a disappointing qualifying record means he is yet to score a win this season.

With Giedo van der Garde and P1 Motorsport having established comfortable leads in both the driver and team championships, team manager Carlin admits he is frustrated that they aren't doing better.

“Somehow we've got to find a way to get Robert to continue what he's doing in qualifying but to stay out of trouble in the race, and Mikhail to up his game in qualifying, and carry on racing as he is at the moment. I really believe the team championship is within our grasp, and I'm quite disappointed that we haven't dominated the team's championship because we've got two of the fastest drivers.

“If there's some bad luck to be had, it seems to be coming our way so far this season, but I believe we have a very good and consistently quick car, and we're aiming to make the most of that at the final four races.

Still, while Carlin is hoping Wickens can stay out of trouble in the second-half of the season, he is delighted with the young Canadian's form in what is his first year of racing in Europe.

“People used to say, “Wickens can't qualify”, well I have to say that no-one can qualify better than Wickens. He makes no mistakes, uses the tyres and it's a pleasure to be working with him when he delivers such fantastic results.

“Unfortunately through various incidents, probably 70 per cent of which were not his fault, he's been tagged or touched by various cars and has been forced off the road and been unable to finish races. Its cost us probably about 50 points, and I'm not saying that he would be leading the championship, but he should be a strong second.

“He's had one of the best qualifying averages of any driver this season and considering he doesn't know any of the circuits, that's a very impressive statistic.”

Carlin, meanwhile, admits he is confused about Aleshin's inability to qualify this year, not least because it was one of his strengths in 2007.

“Mikhail is now in his third season with us and it's still a pleasure to have him in the team. In reality we were hoping Mikhail would be a championship contender, because he has the speed, the talent, and he's won races with us before. For some reason everything I expected of Mikhail has been reversed.

“We knew that he was one of the fastest drivers out there, and in previous seasons he's qualified well but lost places in the race. This season we've seen him bring home the car in nearly every race, but he's struggled in qualifying and been forced to make up a lot of places in the races. Mikhail was second in the championship for the first part of the season, and that was because he was very consistent, bringing the car home and scoring solid points.”

The World Series by Renault resumes at the Nurburgring at the end of this month where Aleshin, who is better placed in sixth overall, will aim to close down Giedo van der Garde's 39 point lead.


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