Zhuhai (China), May 12 (IANS) India’s Raj Bharath rounded off his maiden Formula Masters weekend with a fourth place finish in the third race here Sunday.
Driving for Meco Motorsport, 18-year old Raj’s weekend had started on a strong note after he clinched a pole position Friday and finished third in race one and sixth in race two.
The third and final race turned out to be the Bangalorean’s strongest performance of the weekend as he came through the field after starting 10th and finished fourth, missing out on the podium by a whisker.
“I wasn’t expecting to get on the podium starting 10th, but now that I know that I could have, missing out doesn’t feel good,” commented Raj.
The Meco Motorsport crew had continuously worked through the weekend coming to terms with the new engine/gearbox package and the new tyres, and the effort seemed to have paid off as Raj had extremely strong pace as soon as the lights went out.
After a sterling start from 10thAgrid spot, Raj was running sixth by the end of the opening lap before the safety car was deployed after one of the drivers spun out. As the safety car went in, Raj managed to pass another couple of cars and eventually finish fourth.
“My restart behind the safety car wasn’t very good and I think that is why we missed out on the podium,” he admitted.
After scoring a strong haul of points this weekend, Raj was satisfied with his debut outing and was already looking forward to the next round on May 24-26 at the Shanghai International Circuit, the venue of the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.
“I scored my first international career podium at Shanghai last year (in Formula Pilota), so I think we should have another good weekend there,” he said.