Despite An Unfortunate Weekend Barwa Addax Team Remain Leaders
It was a weekend to forget for the Barwa Addax Team at the Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps. The team was really dogged by bad luck and circumstances which left both drivers, Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic wondering what had happened.
The free practice sessions went more or less according to plan with Giedo van der Garde finishing in 4th place and Charles Pic, in 5th. They were positions that reflected the level, category and position that both drivers have in this championship. However, in qualification things started to go horribly wrong for the Spanish team. Giedo, only managed a poor 11th position due to the fact that he was continuously held up by traffic and was unable to get in one good lap. Charles Pic posted the third fastest lap time but was forced to retire in the third sector of the following lap. He was later disqualified because he didn’t have enough fuel in the tank to carry out the compulsory tests after the qualification session. A series of unfortunate circumstances, considering the circuit is almost twice the length of any other and for the car to stop when it was just a few hundred metres away from the pit lane.
In the first race, Charles Pic, who started from last position on the grid, made a very good start. He started overtaking rivals from the very beginning but on the first corner, the driver in front broke 50 metres before everybody else surprising the French driver, who having to brake hard on a damp surface, lost control of his car and unfortunately took out Luiz Razía who was completely unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Giedo van der Garde made such a good start that he reached the first corner in the leading positions. He decided to take this first corner on the outside line in an attempt avoid all the mayhem inside but as he was coming out of the corner he was hit by another rival and crashed into the protection barriers, damaging the nose cone and he had to put the car in reverse to get it back on track, which meant that he lost a lot of ground to the rest of the field. He recovered by setting similar lap times to the leaders. He managed to catch up with the main group of drivers and with the change for wet tyres and some great overtaking, he managed to climb up to 12th position when the safety car had to come out. Incredibly, another driver destroyed his car with a heavy shunt from behind, whilst they were behind the safety car! Clearly luck had turned its back on Barwa Addax Team and both its drivers.
The second race, being so short that they call it the sprint race, made it impossible to make up enough ground even though they tried hard. Once again Giedo van der Garde had problems with damage to the front of his car and Charles Pic suffered from mechanical problems. They were unable to give as much spectacle as they would have liked and they limped home in 19th and 20th.
Nevertheless, Barwa Addax Team go away from Spa holding on to their lead in the team championship, despite everything that happened this weekend. Giedo van der Garde, remains second overall in the driver’s championship and Charles Pic is 4th in the table.
The GP2 Series will move on to the last event of the season which takes place at the Italian circuit of Monza during the Formula 1 weekend from the 9th – 11th of September. The final podium placings for the team championship will be decided as well as the second and third placings for the driver’s championship. This weekend Romain Grosjean sealed the driver’s championship.