20-year-old Alex Lynn is the 2013 Macau Grand Prix winner. The British driver dominated both the qualifying and feature races for the Prema Powerteam outfit, defeating 2012 Macau winner Antonio Felix da Costa into second and Brazilian driver Pipo Derani into third.
But did his success on the streets of Macau come out of the blue, or is their something about this young man that is special? And will his efforts help him progress in the tough world of single-seater motor racing? Let’s analyse Lynn and let us see what he might be able to do in the years to come.
Alex Lynn made his single-seater debut in October 2009 aged just 16 years and 43 days old, driving for Fortec Motorsport in the Formula Renault UK Winter series, finishing eighth in his first race and tenth in the championship after the four races of the series.
He continued with Fortec in the main Formula Renault UK series for 2010, and claimed tenth in the championship again, and finished on the podium for the first time in the series finale on the Brands Hatch International circuit. He did win the Graduate championship however for first year drivers.
He returned to the Formula Renault UK Winter championship at the end of 2010, and took his first single-seater victories, winning both races at Snetterton and a further race at Pembrey. He won the six-race championship with 146 points ahead of Finnish driver Joni Wirman, Brit Jack Hawksworth and Russian Daniil Kvyat.
He continued for a second year in the Formula Renault UK series for 2011, again with Fortec Motorsport, and dominated. He won twelve of the twenty races, and only finished off the podium five times. He finished ahead of fellow Brit Oliver Rowland, and current GP3 series star Tio Ellinas.
During the off-season in Europe, he went over to New Zealand to race in the Toyota Racing Series for Giles Motorsport for the first four events (12 races), winning race 3 of the opening event at Teretonga Park in Invercargill. He finished ninth in the championship, and finished on the podium twice more, both at the Timaru International Motor Raceway.
For 2012, he moved to the British Formula 3 championship, once again with Fortec. He finished fourth in the championship behind champion Jack Harvey, Malaysian Jazeman Jaafar and Puerto Rican team-mate Felix Serralles. He won once, race three at Silverstone.
He also ran occasional races in the FIA European Formula 3 championship as a guest driver, claiming two third places along the way, one at the legendary Pau track in France and the other at Hockenheim. However as he was a guest driver, he was ineligible for scoring points towards the championship.
He raced in the Masters of F3 event in July of 2012 at Zandvoort, finishing seventh after qualifying tenth. He also made his first appearance on the streets of Macau, and qualified impressively on pole position for the qualifying race in which he finished third, and he also finished third in the main race behind Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa and Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist.
Returned to New Zealand for Toyota Racing Series in January 2013, this time for the M2 Competition team, and he finished second in the championship behind Kiwi Nick Cassidy. He won three times, once at Timaru International Motor Raceway, and twice at Taupo Motorsport Park. He visited the podium nine times out of the 15 races in the series.
Lynn moved away from the Fortec Motorsports team for the first time in 2013, racing instead for the Prema Powerteam squad full time in the European Formula 3 Championship. He won three races in finishing third in the championship, once at Brands Hatch, the Norisring and at Vallelunga.
And then he returned to Macau for a second shot at the Macau Grand Prix. After qualifying third on the grid, he won the qualifying race, and then dominated the feature race, holding off Antonio Felix da Costa impressively, while Pipo Derani was over six seconds adrift in third. Speaking after his triumph, Lynn was almost speechless.
“I can’t put into words how I feel,” Lynn said. “Since I finished third last year I’ve dreamed of winning this race. I can’t believe I’ve actually done it!”
Still only 20, what could happen next for Alex Lynn. His preference is another year with Prema Powerteam is possible in Formula 3, but he is testing with the DAMS team in Formula Renault 3.5 in the next few days with a view to stepping up in 2014.
“At the moment it’s probably the thinking to stay in Formula 3,” said Lynn.
“DAMS are a very good team and we want to have a link with them, if not for next year then for the future, and make the most of the opportunity.
“We’ll discuss things in the near future, but I’ve still got strong links with HWA [Mercedes, which has backed his F3 career to date] and we’ve still got the same plan.”
So if Formula 3 is his destination for 2014, he will be one to beat for the championship. He has shown obvious talent in every series and event he has raced in up to now, and there is no reason why he cannot continue to shine.
If he steps up to Formula Renault, there is no reason why he cannot show his obvious skill and fight for points, podiums and indeed wins.
The future is far brighter now for Alex Lynn post-Macau, but anyone who has followed his career has already seen how good he is. His development curve is still on the up, he is still getting better, and that can only be positive for the young man. He will be one to watch over the next few years, mark my words.