CHAOS REIGNS AMID THE RAIN
Arden International had to reflect on what might have been after a topsy-turvy second GP2 Series race at the Hungaroring, Budapest. Pre-race drizzle persuaded most drivers to start on wet tyres – one that enabled Josef Kral to run a competitive seventh in the early stages while team-mate Jolyon Palmer was back in 25th after gambling on slicks.
Within seven laps the circuit had started to dry, triggering a flurry of tyre stops as the safety car came out to allow beached cars to be retrieved, but later in the race it began to rain again and wet rubber was once again the wisest option. Kral was on slicks when the safety car was summoned for the second time – and opted to stay out in the hope that the track might dry. He was fifth when the race restarted for the final time, but his tyres were ill suited to the worsening conditions and he eventually had to pit again under race conditions, which dropped him to 17th.
Palmer moved in the opposite direction, meanwhile, and was up to 10th – and running on wet tyres – when the final restart was given. Unfortunately, he then spun at the exit of Turn Four and failed to make the finish.
It was a barometer of the race’s chaotic nature that winner Stefano Coletti (Trident) started from 21st on the grid and only 23 of the 28 scheduled laps were possible before the 45-minute time limit elapsed.
Josef: “I made a really good start and gained some positions, which enabled me to run seventh before the tyre stops. I lost a few places after switching to slicks, so decided not to pit again when the rain returned – it was something of a lottery and I felt it was worth gambling in a bid to get back into the points. Then it started to rain again, of course, which cost me even more time. I eventually came back in for wets, to minimise the risk of an accident. The results haven’t been startling this weekend, but my performances have definitely improved and that puts me in good heart ahead of the next race, at Spa.”
I then made a mistake and went off at Turn Four.
Jolyon: “My start was OK, although I struggled on slick tyres in the early laps. The wets were significantly quicker and my early gamble didn’t pay off. Midway through the race, however, I started catching people and we switched to wets at a good time, which enabled me to gain a few positions. Unfortunately, I then made a mistake and went off at Turn Four – a frustrating end to a bad weekend. Hopefully I’ll learn from it and things will perk up at Spa.”
By: Arden International