Gonzalez has a testing time in the mixed conditions at Silverstone
Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez had high hopes when he returned to the familiar surroundings of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit for the latest GP2 races, after many years racing there in junior formulas.
As has become the norm the English summer weather brought a mixture of rain, damp and fully dry conditions over the weekend, which caused havoc with planning a perfect car setup.
The qualifying session on Friday was held in wet conditions with strategy and being out at the right time dictated qualifying positions. As the rain got worse through the session the best time were set early on.
This left Gonzalez a frustrated 23rd place on the grid for the Feature race. He commented afterwards “Today's set-up choice didn't work out well for us. The rain increased instead of stopping and we didn't have a true chance to fight for a better result...”
The feature race started behind the safety car, due to the heavy rainfall, which meant the first few laps were a lottery with very little grip, even on wet tyres. The circuit dried up progressively during the race in the closing stages and Gonzalez paid the price of a late tyre change, but didn't make any mistakes and so he finished in 19th place at the flag.
As Gonzalez commented “The first part of the race has been good for me. I almost caught team mate Colletti and my pace was good. Then the strategy penalized me, as a late tyre change make me lose position and forced me to settle for one of the last spots. It's a real pity, as I hoped for a much better-ending race.”
The sprint race was held in dry conditions and Gonzalez was battling back through the field and got up to 10th place before a technical issue slowed him down to finish in 13th place. After the sprint race Gonzalez said “The start of the race has been really good for me. I lapped in some really good times and my pace proved really consistent. Then we suffered from a technical issue and lost speed. I couldn't do anything to defend myself, and of course I couldn't manage to improve my position.
The GP2 Series will be back on-track in two weeks on the German Nurburgring racetrack, for the sixth round of the 2011 season.
by: Chris Roberts/Widerviewphoto