The eighth round of the GP2 Championship was held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The longest circuit on the eleven round calendar, one loved by racing drivers for its high-speed corners. Another challenge to be considered at this circuit is the changeable weather conditions, which can affect half or all the circuit at any time.
The rain began as the GP2 drivers fed round onto the grid for the Feature Race. Rene lined up seventeenth with team-mate Andre linging up twenty-fourth. Rene’s struggled to pull away as the lights went out battling to eighteenth before the red flag came out as Conor Daly (Venezuela GP Lazarus) stopped and the heavens opened for another downpour.
The race re-started under the safety car. Rene had progressed to fifteenth before the red flag but was hit by Artem Markelov (RT Russian Time) on lap five to end his race. Brazilian team-mate Andre had a great start making up ten places on the first lap, he was sitting pretty in eleventh just before the red flag.
Andre pitted on lap 12 for fresh wet tyres, after the re-shuffle brought him out in eighth heading for reverse pole on race two. However, he was unable to hold off a challenging Daniel Abt (Hilmer Motorsport) and succumbed to finish ninth, however still picked up his first points of the season.
Starting race two in ninth on a partially damp track, André made a great start to fifth. However, on the hard compound tyre the Brazilian was unable to hold his position to the fighting mob behind him and crossed the line eighth, picking up another point to conclude his Belgian weekend. Rene did his best starting twenty fifth on the grid, making up two places on the start and dropping back only one to finish twenty-third.
Rene Binder: “Qualifying was not too bad, there was only a 1 second gap to pole so I had high hopes of our pace in the race.
Unfortunately, for race one it was raining and I didn’t have a great start. I was behind Daniel Abt (Hilmer Motorsport) so think I could have finished there. Unfortunately, there was an early crash with Markelov and I couldn’t do anything. My weekend was ruined there.
The positive things we can take is that qualifying was good, I lost four-tenths due to my own mistake, so we could havee made the top ten I think.”
André Negrão: “Qualifying wasn’t great, I started twenty four on the grid for the first race. With a very wet track I had a super start and made up lots of places before the red flag came out. From there I just tried to gain as much as possible, with a good pit stop I managed to get up to eighth but I finished ninth. My highest finish in GP2 and my first points. I had a good position to start race two and made up lots of places again but despite fighting hard I lost places and finished eighth. Overall it was a good weekend for me and I hope we can keep the progress going to Monza.”