Barwa Addax Team, Champions Again.
CHARLES PIC, 4th. GIEDO VAN DER GARDE 5th
Even though they had more problems than expected the Spanish Barwa Addax Team, has today become champion once more of the GP2 series 2011 at the Italian circuit of Monza, and both drivers have finished in the top 5 overall, with Charles Pic, finishing the championship 4th overall and Giedo van der Garde 5th.
This weekend was full of highs and lows and the drivers of Barwa Addax Team started the free practice with the 5th fastest time of Pic and van der Garde, finished the session in 8th place. However, the qualification was a different story. Charles Pic set a fantastic fastest lap time of 1.32.349, which meant pole position and two more points, giving him more options of finishing punner-up in the driver’s championship. At the same time Giedo van der Garde was complaining about the fact that he was unable to get in one fast lap, affected by yellow flags or excessive traffic problems throughout the whole session which meant that he finished in a lowly 20th position on the starting grid.
Charles Pic started the first race as the only member of a new generation of drivers among the veteran competitors in this class. Philippi, Parente, Grosjean, etc. Despite all this, he managed to finish the race 2nd on the pódium and was able to hold off this season’s champion setting a great race rhythm, backed up by a good race strategy and a great pit stop from the whole team. Giedo van der Garde, continued with his recent run of bad luck which included the robbery of personal belongings. Starting from the back of the field, he began the race attacking from the off but at the first chicane he had his front nose damaged, due to contact with the cars in front. This incident forced him to come into to the pits to replace the damaged front spoiler and he was later sanctioned with a drive through which meant that he lost a whole lap, leaving him at the very back of the field.
At the start of the second race Charles Pic was seventh on the grid, thanks to his 2nd position of the first race and his mission was to finish the championship 2nd. However disaster struck at the beginning of the race. He was being attacked from all sides at the first chicane and was made to brake without any room, colliding with the car in front which forced him to retire from the race and the battle for the runners-up position in the overall classification. Giedo van der Garde, started from a lowly 21st position and drove wonderfully to climb to 13th but was unable to get through the main peloton of drivers in front.
Barwa Addax Team has finished the season as team champions having been the most consistent team of the championship, with both drivers finishing in the top 5 of the driver’s rankings. Charles Pic, finished 4th overall just one point behind the third placed driver and two behind the runner-up. He had his options to finish second overall until the very last race, battling against drivers with much more experience at this level and was very much the best of the younger generation of drivers. Giedo van der Garde finished 5th in the driver’s championship despite having been affected by bad luck throughout the whole season which didn’t prevent him from showing his true ability at all the circuits. He is without doubt one the drivers with options to make the step up to the highest category.
Barwa Addax Team has equalled the number of podium positions as the leading team up till now and there must be a mention for the fact that since the team was taken over in 2007, it has won the championship twice, finished runner-up twice with another third placed finish. As has been common this year, both drivers, Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde have battled very hard in every race, right to the very end of the season, and have set themselves up very well for the future. They are clearly considered to be two of the possible incorporations for the following season in the elite Formula 1 class.