BRATT HOLDS FIFTH IN STANDINGS DESPITE ENFORCED RETIREMENT
Despite an enforced retirement on the final lap of a robust seventh round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Zolder in Belgium today, Saturday, 19th June, category front-runner Will Bratt still maintains a top five placing in the driver standings.
Heading into this weekend's action aiming to make the most of his past experience at the 2.5-mile track, the 22-year-old Euroseries 3000 Champion made a good start to today's encounter by moving up from ninth on the grid to seventh early on.
On the second lap at the Bolderberghaarspeldbocht hairpin though, contact to the rear of his car from an over-exuberant Philipp Eng resulted in Will being pitched into a spin and the subsequent excursion meant a drop down the order to 17th place.
Recovering superbly well with some tremendous laps before and after a Safety Car period just prior to mid-distance, the Banbury racer climbed back into the top 10 with around four laps remaining and looked all set for further gains during the closing stages.
Running in ninth place and edging ever nearer to the rear of Mihai Marinescu's car into the last lap, Will sized up a move as the pair headed towards the Kleine Chicane but the Romanian forced him wide onto the grass and the net result was a bitterly disappointing spin into retirement.
Such was Will's pace today, even though fighting through the order following the lap two contact from Eng, he was able to post the fifth fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m24.780 seconds to underline his true Zolder potential.
"I'm disappointed with the way things ended today, even after the contact on lap two I was still able to fight through and eighth wouldn't have been a bad result at all", said Will, "In the first incident, (Philipp) Eng just over-cooked it and hit the back of my car. He'd just passed another car but over did it and the contact, even though quite light, was enough to make me spin.
"It was a real shame about the spin on the last lap, I was quicker than (Mihai) Marinescu and eighth place was definitely there for the taking but he moved over on me when I was committed for the move, put me on the grass and there was nothing I could do."
Thankfully, there was no damage to speak of on Will's car so for round eight qualifying tomorrow, Sunday, 20th June, he will be aiming to secure a spot on the first couple of rows as he bids to battle for his third podium finish of the season.
Qualifying for the eighth round of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship gets underway at 09.45 (local time) with the 35-minute race set to follow at 14.00. Live TV coverage of round eight will be screened in the UK on digital satellite and cable channel British Eurosport.