Circuit De Catalunya
Arden Gambles On Tyre Strategy In Spain
Arden has a strong track record at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, and has won GP2 races here in the past, but a fine pedigree seemed to count for little as the team limbered up for the second double-header of the 2011 season. Appearances, though, can be deceptive. Neither of the team’s drivers completed many laps in this morning’s free practice session, because they acquired valuable circuit experience during a recent test and felt it would be better to preserve fresh tyres for the race. Czech Josef Kral qualified 12th, to give himself a decent chance of fighting for points in tomorrow’s feature event, but Jolyon Palmer had a troubled afternoon and will line up only 22nd.
“I hardly ran at all this morning and posted only one quick lap. Our lack of mileage probably meant sacrificing a bit of qualifying pace, but I know I will have a tyre advantage in the race. My grid position isn’t brilliant, but it’s not a disaster, either, and I’m confident I will be able to make significant progress tomorrow. We have taken a bit of a gamble, but calculated risks sometimes pay dividends and I’m really looking forward to seeing whether our tactics pay off.”
“It was a bad day today. The car was inconsistent and I couldn’t put together a decent lap. I was struggling with oversteer and the field is so competitive that missing a few tenths puts you a long way down the grid. Hopefully we can use the new tyres to good effect in the race, but I have lots of work to do.”