It would be extremely unfair to class a weekend in which Enaam Ahmed finished second, fifth and third as a failure. In a weekend in which the Carlin driver was never expecting to set the world alight, it is quite satisfying to head home from Northamptonshire with a 58 point lead.
Qualifying was simply a case of being fast, but not fast enough. Lanan Racing driver Toby Sowery was always expected to have a successful weekend at Silverstone, and he wasted no time in setting a quick time at the beginning of the session. Sowery elected not to try to improve, leaving Ahmed to challenge for pole. However, the 17 year old could only set a lap time within a tenth of Sowery’s. He started the opening race on the front row nonetheless.
As soon as the lights went out for race one, Ahmed piled the pressure on his championship rival. Unfortunately, once Sowery was up to speed he managed to make a break, leaving Ahmed to fend off his teammate James Pull. He kept second position quite comfortably. This was admirable considering Silverstone’s long straights and powerful slipstream combined with the fact the BRDC F3 cars do not have all that much downforce.
Ahmed started seventh in race two, and proved to be quite bright. The Londoner quickly found himself in a battle with teammate Cameron Das, and Ahmed proved his overtaking prowess by successfully making a move for sixth place despite a resilient defensive effort from Das. Ahmed subsequently passed Manuel Maldonado relatively easily to still gain plenty of championship points.
Being involved in so many battles came at a price though, since Ahmed never had clean air to set a quick lap. Consequently, he started the final race of the weekend from fifth position on the grid. Ahmed wasted no time in making his qualifying position an irrelevant number. After inheriting third place due to a collision between Ben Hingeley and Callan O’Keefe, he charged down his team mate James Pull. Pull proved difficult to be competent at sticking his elbows out though, and despite relentless attempts at a move for second, including one on the final lap, Ahmed ended up finishing third.
After the race Ahmed said “I’m really happy, I think I made the most of the weekend as I could. I didn’t have such a good start in that race from about fifth, and then James and I had a good race I thought, so that was awesome. I had as many goes as I could on James but he defended really well, so it was a good race.”
It is easy to call a weekend that did not quite live up to the immensely high standards of Ahmed’s previous races a poor one. In reality, consistent finishes at the sharp end of the field should never be sniffed at, and Ahmed will still head to Spa with an excellent 58 point lead at the top of the BRDC F3 championship. The fact such a weekend is not classed as excellent is a sign of just how formidable Ahmed is. The cliché ‘you can’t win them all’ is sometimes overused, but in this case it is also very relevant.