Tambay scores double podium at Silverstone, consolidates series position Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in England was the venue for rounds 5 and 6 of the FBMW Europe series at the weekend, and Adrien Tambay, was expecting another hard-fought...
Tambay scores double podium at Silverstone, consolidates series position
Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in England was the venue for rounds 5 and 6 of the FBMW Europe series at the weekend, and Adrien Tambay, was expecting another hard-fought battle for success over the weekend's two races. By Sunday night, he had scored a pair of third-place finishes, his very best possible results in challenging circumstances.
Arriving at Silverstone, where his father, Patrick made his first Grand Prix start in 1977, Tambay knew he had outright pace, having been among the front runners in pre-season testing at the fast 5.14km circuit.
In qualifying for the first race, Tambay claimed the 3rd fastest time, possibly missing out on 2nd fastest in heavy traffic close to the end of the session. Heading into second qualifying, expectations running high, and aware of how traffic may effect his opportunity, the 17-year-old ultimately claimed a disappointing 5th place.
Race One, run late on Saturday afternoon brought dry conditions and in spite of losing a place on the very first lap, Tambay quickly recovered it, settling into a steady rhythm, his focus on the leading duo. In a highly competitive class, Tambay crossed the line 18 minutes later to claim third place, behind race winner, Mexican Esteban Guttierez and the Dane, Michael Christensen.
On Saturday evening, a visibly disappointed Adrien Tambay received a call from his mother to confirm that he had passed his baccalaureate examinations, after two years of unsupervised home schooling. It was an opportunity to smile about something on a weekend where one of the FBMW Europe series' most focused and expectant drivers was forced to accept something less than victory.
Sunday morning brought the second race, and with it, wet conditions that Tambay felt may favour his car set-up. Starting 5th on the grid, he knew he would have to do his very best, and avoid possible trouble from other drivers on the wet track surface. Starting strongly, Tambay had gained a place by the end of the first lap, then targeted fast starting Romanian, Mihai Marinescu.
One lap from the chequered flag, the young Frenchman noticed waved yellow (caution) flags two corners ahead, and made a lunge to claim third, confident that he would not lose the battle to the finish line. Crossing the line third, Tambay was headed by Guttierez and the young Brazilian, Pedro Bianchini.
Speaking after the end of Sunday's second race, the young Tambay remarked, "That was the best we could have realistically hoped for. We need to work hard between now and Hockenheim (the next event, in two weeks time) to improve our dry weather set-up. We've been having the same problem here as in Zolder; just too far away on set-up when the track is dry and rubbered-up by the bigger (GP2 and F1) cars. We have a better understanding than before, but we need to do more. I'm actually pretty happy to have claimed two more strong finishes, but we need to do more."
Looking ahead to Hockenheim, Tambay added, "We travel next to Hockenheim, where I claimed double- victory last season my first in FBMW. It's a track where my team has been strong before, and it should allow us to see where we're really at in relation to the competition. For now, we must remain aware of the positives: five podium finishes including two wins in the first six races, and right in the hunt for the championship, lying second on points. Guttierez is the target now, and I believe that we can overhaul him just as soon as we figure out a few small things with the set-up. For the first time in many months, with my studying behind me it's a huge weight off my shoulders - I will be able to focus only on racing, and I am sure we will see a benefit from that opportunity. In the meantime, I'll be in the mountains every day on my bicycle, and in the gym, preparing for Germany."
Those eagle-eyed fans would have noticed the return of the Hugenholz Property Group and Moulin Rouge logos to Tambay's number 27 car, appearing for the first time since the end of last season. In thanking his sponsors, the super-fit Tambay explained, "We've been working with my management team, Gravity, to bring both HPG and Moulin Rouge back onto the car after a great debut season in 2007. I wasn't even born when the Moulin Rouge began sponsoring my father (31 years ago, in 1977) and I'm proud to have the support of both businesses. My thanks to them, to my team, to my family, and to Gravity for their continued support."