iSport fell foul of the stewards this weekend at the Hungaroring, losing out on a race win from an excellent position.
On a rain interrupted weekend, Marcus Ericsson continued his good form of late with an excellent qualifying lap to leave him third on the grid, just over a tenth of a second behind Razia in first. Sam Bird could not find the space he needed for his flyer, running into traffic several times on hot laps.
Marcus has been excellent off the grid this season and a perfect start saw him in the lead in turn one. The iSport driver was showing his abilities as he pulled away from Luis Razia who in turn was busy keeping title leader Grosjean behind him. Further back, Sam Bird had made ground and was battling for seventh place. Sam pitted early in an attempt to undercut the men in front, but in the battle with the opposition his tyres degraded rapidly, and a second pit stop was necessary. Eventually the British driver came home in p17.
At the front, Ericsson had just a handful of laps to go, and was girding himself for a battle with Grosjean, who was gradually closing, for the win. Then the announcement from the stewards came through – Marcus’ pit stop had ended with an unsafe release in their eyes, a decision that surprised many observers. Our man rejoined in sixth place, making up one spot to p5 before the chequered flag.
Whilst clearly a huge disappointment, the team is an experienced and professional outfit, and so dusted themselves down for Sunday’s sprint race to see what could be salvaged. Difficult weather conditions produced a race in which tyre strategy and the safety car played large parts, with our drivers pitting a total of five times between them. An excellent drive from Sam Bird saw him take p5, making up 12 places despite two pit stops.
Team principal Paul Jackson has suggested that the procedure for stewards’ penalty decisions should be reviewed after photo analysis by the team showed the pit stop release that cost the team victory was safe.
by: iSport International