Johnny Cecotto and Barwa Addax Team have had a great weekend at the circuit of Silverstone, in which they managed to climb on to second place of the podium in Saturday’s first race and were forced to abandon the second race after being forced off the track by a rival while racing in 4th position. Cecotto also set the 2nd fastest lap time in the qualifying session. Josef Kral finished just outside the points. He was definitely improving as the weekend went on.
Johnny Cecotto has worked very hard and very well, over what have been a few very complicated days weather wise. The wet conditions have created a lot of headaches for all the teams. He started with an 11th place finish in free practice, which gave very few clues away as most of the field complete than average of just 3 laps. In qualifying Johnny managed to find the ideal rhythm to finish the session with the second fastest lap time and right on the heels of the pole position. The track was almost impracticable due to the quantity of drivers on the circuit at the same time and the lack of visibility. This meant that he started Saturday’s first race from the front row of the starting grid. The race, however was obliged to start behind the safety car due to the dangerous state of the circuit. There was a lot of water that had accumulated over certain areas of the track. After 7 laps behind the safety car Johnny was able to hold on to his second placed position when the race got truly under way. Although working out the right strategy was complicated, once drivers from the back of the field had decided to make their tyre change, while the safety car was out on track, which gave them a very important advantage and threatened the leaders. Cecotto and Barwa Addax Team were able to take advantage of another safety car to carry out their pit stop, solving what was a delicate situation, something the leader of the race was not capable of doing. The Spanish team also took the risk of changing all 4 tyres because the rest of his main rivals had opted for another strategy. At the end of the race it worked out well because his tyres were in better condition than the rest of the field.
In the second race the Venezuelan driver made a flying start and he climbed from 7th to 5th position at the first corner, which could have been better if he had not been held up by one of his rivals in front. He was fighting it out with the leading drivers in the championship table, showing that he should be up there with them high up in the championship table. Disaster struck with only two or three corners to go when he shunted off the track by a rival, who in a head to head had lost the duel and had come off the track and when he came back on track he lost control and literally crashed into Cecotto when the Venezuelan driver was looking to round off a great weekend with another fantastic result.
Josef Král progress this weekend is worth a mention. He finished 22nd in free practice, after hardly having taken part in proceedings. He managed to set the 14th fastest time in qualification despite having been held up in traffic in his last lap when setting his best time. He was fighting hard in the middle of the main peloton of drivers, which turned out to be more complicated by the fact that back markers were making up ground because they had made their tyre change early and he was in the main pack of drivers with very little visibility. Starting from the same position in the second race he demonstrated that he was capable of looking after his tyres, avoid problems and show his true capacity, finishing just outside the points scoring positions.
Cecotto has climbed up the table in the overall rankings but it could have been better if it had not been for the unlucky incident on the last lap of the second race, which was not his fault whatsoever. Barwa Addax Team have picked up important points from Silverstone but with a bitter taste with what could have been in the second race, with the finish line only hundreds of metres away. Both drivers and the team can feel satisfied with their efforts and a job well done, even if they were once more dogged by bad luck.
Johnny Cecotto, official Barwa Addax Team driver: “In Silverstone it was a good weekend but with a bit of bad luck. We qualified very well, starting from the first row. Although we got scared for a second because we had a problem at midsession which almost cost us the second place but luckily I just managed to roll to the pit lane and there the mechanics fixed the problem quickly and we could go out to go a little bit quicker. Race 1 was very difficult because of the conditions but I managed to do a good race without any mistakes, we could have won the race easily but we lost a lot of time at the pit stop which cost us the race but second is very good. Race 2 I had a mega start and if Razia wouldn't have blocked me I could have past second in the first corner from seventh on the grid but also like this I gained 2 positions. At mid race the car and our pace was very good and I was running consistently in P4 until in the last lap Gutierrez coming back on the track after having gone off whilst trying to overtake me, hit me in a very dangerous way in the race finished in the wall. All in all it was a good weekend because we brought home a podium and our speed was very good in every condition, this is a demonstration of the good work we are doing.”
Josef Kràl, official Barwa Addax team driver: “It was a let's say crazy weekend because of the weather we had. Free session and qualy was influenced by the rain a lot. Unfortunately I had bad traffic in my last laps of qualy and no new set of rain tires which didn't allowed me to get any better time. In race one I was hoping to get to top 8 but when I came for the pitstop there was a problem on my rear right tire which cost me lot of time and we lost the chance to have a good position for Sunday's race on the reverse grid. In race two I was struggling with big graining in the first half of the race but luckily I could get rid of it and in the second half of the race I managed to overtake several people and with a few crashes I finished on P10. So now we need to focus on Hockenheim and do our best to improve”.
Source: Barwa Addax Team