Unfortunately all the good work and the fightbacks by both drivers at the Marina Bay Street circuit counted for very little as Barwa Addax Team and official drivers Rio Haryanto and Jake Rosenzweig had a very difficult weekend and were unable to get in among the points, due to the performance of the tyres and the differing strategy between the teams.
In the second race some drivers were forced to box because they had made the mistake of starting with the softer tyre compound, in a race which is usually a straight race without pit stops.
With all of this high risk race strategy creating confusión within the teams and the paddock, Jake Rosenzweig, started the weekend by posting the 20th quickest lap time in free practice. He felt comfortable with the car and only managed 19th in qualification because he had traffic problems on his quickest lap.
He was able to move up the field thanks to a very good start and a clean pit stop on lap 7. Although he came back on the track in 24th position, he was able to pick up on his race rhythm. His lap times were up there with the leading drivers and he was able to gain ground finishing in a creditable 15th place. In the second race he was severely affected by an incident on the 8th corner on lap 1, in which six cars were involved.
He was forced out wide and completely blocked by other drivers and he passed the finish line on lap 1 in 21st position. From then on he had to push really hard to climb places and in the end he was without any grip on his tyres and was fighting it out with other rivals. He was later forced off track leaving his tyres in a terrible state.
He had to box to change tyres and finished the race 18th. It was a shame for Jake because he showed that when he wasn’t held up or hampered by other drivers he was more than capable of setting a race rhythm up there with the best.
Rio Haryanto has also had a pretty rough time of it with tyres this weekend. He had a pretty bright start in Free Practice and finished the stint in 11th position. In qualification he never seemed to find the right moment to get in a fast lap time and he was left frustrated and back in 20th for the starting grid.
He made a flying start and climbed up to 18th. The team took the risk of making their compulsory pit stop as early as the 6th lap. Six other drivers gambled in a similar way. A very efficient pit stop meant he came back on track in 22nd position. From this point on he started to set a very good race rhythm, which saw him climb to 14th position.
Unfortunately his tyres were shot before the end of the race and he was overtaken by various rivals, unable to do anything about it. He finally finished in 20th position. Having to start from so far back in the second sprint race and with all the teams adopting different team strategies, Rio and Addax Team got their tyre choice absolutely right and made a great fightback to finish in 11th position, which makes it clear what could have been this weekend with a little bit of luck.
The championship will finish in Abu Dhabi in early November and will compete alongside the Formula 1 weekend. This will be the last event of the GP2 Series.
Barwa Addax Team