Gonzalez battles with the conditions at Nurburgring in GP2
Venezuealan Rodolfo Gonzalez was again driving for his Trident Racing team in GP2 last weekend as the GP2 series moved from a wet/dry Silverstone to similar conditions at the Nurburgring circuit in the Eiffel Mountains in Germany for the latest races in the GP2 series, which supports Formula 1. If anything the temperatures were even lower.
The qualifying session for GP2 was held in dry weather conditions, and for a change this was an uninterrupted session with no red flags.
Gonzalez ended up a disappointing 20th place and commented “If we look at the lap times we clocked today we can clearly see that our gap to the top-10 isn't too much, but we suffered from a difference of performance between the front and rear tyres. We have to investigate the reason, because I think I couldn't have done more today”.
After an eventful race Gonzalez ended up in 10th in the first race of the weekend, and led the race before his compulsory pit stop. He ran a clean race and didn’t commit mistakes, as he kept lowering his lap times and climbed back to a spot close to the points zone.
This became 9th place, after a penalty for another driver, and so only 1 place for pole in the reversed grid for race 2. After his issues in qualifying a better grid slot would have given him his first points of the season. As he commented “I'm satisfied with the how we ran today and I'm sure that with a better starting spot I could have ended up the race into the points zone. I raced as focused as I possibly could because this time I didn't suffer from irregular tyre wear, and I was really at one with the car. I improved my position, and my pace proved fast and consistent. I hope to repeat tomorrow, as I'll take-off from the 5th row.” The final race of the weekend took place on Sunday morning on a damp track and changeable conditions likely throughout the sprint race, and after a slow getaway for all drivers (due to the slippery conditions) Gonzalez made a good start and managing to avoid other spinning cars got up to 5th place, and in the points. He battled for several laps with a group of 6/7 cars before he came in to change to dry tyres and then was served a drive through for contact with fellow Venezuelan Cecotto . This left him at the back of the field and so he finished in 15th place at the flag.
After the race Gonzalez said "My start has been good, and I stayed for some time among the leading pack, with a great pace. Then I touched with Cecotto, and race control punished me with a drive-through. It's a pity because with a drying track the car's handling kept improving and a points finish was already in our pockets." The GP2 series now moves straight to the next race in Hungary at the Hungaroring with the races next weekend where Gonzalez will be looking at getting a good qualifying slot to give him the potential of a points finish on what is a tight track where it is difficult to overtake..
By: Rodolfo Gonzalez/Chris Roberts