Another character-building weekend for Tambay in Hungary
Adrien Tambay had 'a weekend to forget', but learned a lot of important lessons at the tight and twisty Hungaroring Circuit in Hungary at the weekend. Failing to finish on the podium for the first time in over eleven months, and losing ground in his battle for the Formula BMW Europe series, the teenager's sense of disappointment was real.
Qualifying saw Tambay and his Eiffeland Racing team working hard to find the optimum set-up for the combination of the circuit layout and the hot, humid weather. Their combined best efforts fell short of expectation and the 17-year-old Frenchman claimed 5th and 4th fastest times for the first and second races, respectively. Feeling down on power during both sessions, Tambay was relieved when his team boss, Albert Hamper Eifelland discovered after qualifying had ended that the engine in Tambay's 27 car, which had been used since the beginning of the season, was at the end of its life, and it was subsequently changed it ahead of Saturday's first race.
Race one, held on Saturday afternoon, saw pole-setter, Daniel Juncadella lead the field while Tambay charged through from 5th, passing Spaniard Facundo Regalia, as well as his main series challengers, Marco Wittmann and Esteban Gutierrez. Lying 2nd Tambay focused on reeling-in the leader, but an ambitious move by Gutierriez took both himself and the 17-year-old from Le Cannet out of the race, the Frenchman's car blocking the narrow track, causing a safety car period. Out of the race ' missing the podium for the first time since September of 2007 - the despondent Tambay realised that although he would not lose any points to Gutierrez, he was now a soft-target for Wittmann, who entered the weekend behind him in the points table. The race was won by Juncadella, with Wittmann second and Kevin Breysse claiming the last of the podium positions.
Trackside after the race, Adrien Tambay's disappointment was palpable, 'I made a great start, and quickly settled into an aggressive, but clean pace. I picked my way through to 2nd, and with a few laps to go, with a real chance for victory, 'Bang!' Esteban took me out. He did it last year at the World Finals in Valencia, and it didn't taste any better this time.'
Sunday morning's race, run in slightly cooler conditions, saw Tambay forced to take a somewhat cautious approach when ' during the formation lap - his steering wheel column 'dropped' 5cm for reasons that remain unknown. With no time to repair the problem before the lights changed to green at the start of the race, Tambay set off, conscious that he could lose his steering at any moment. Nursing his car throughout 13 long laps, he was rewarded with 4th position and although glad to have banked some more points, he was again visibly disappointed, 'What a weekend to forget. With my steering column loose it wasn't safe and I had to drive very cautiously. It's been so long since I didn't stand on the podium, that it feels very strange not to be there. Before the weekend, if somebody had said that neither myself or Gutierrez would win a race, I'd have found that hard to believe. Now, Daniel (Juncadella) has won for the first time ' twice! I've lost ground to both Gutierrez in the series lead, Juncadella has passed me for 2nd, and Wittmann has closed in 4th. In a series as competitive as this, you cannot afford to lose 32 points in a single weekend to any of your closest competitors. I have to forget the negatives now and concentrate again on the positives. I want only to focus on having a great weekend in Valencia in three weeks time, on what looks like a fantastic new street circuit. In the meantime I'm off to Road America for the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds of the FBMW Americas Championship. I want to thank Antonio Ferrari from EuroInternational for his kind invitation, with thanks also to my sponsors, Gravity Sport Management and my family for their constant and indefectible trust and support.'