DIFFICULT NURBURBRING FOR DPR Despite having had two of the fastest cars in the field at the last two race weekends, DPR struggled at the Nurburgring to find the optimum balance for the Dallara-Renaults of Ryan Sharp and Olivier Pla, and ...
DIFFICULT NURBURBRING FOR DPR
Despite having had two of the fastest cars in the field at the last two race weekends, DPR struggled at the Nurburgring to find the optimum balance for the Dallara-Renaults of Ryan Sharp and Olivier Pla, and were unable to make an impact on the Championship points tables. Scotsman Sharp, from Aberdeen, did however finish both yesterday's 35-lap race and today's 24-lap event, both in 9th position.
These two finishes gave him valuable track time at the German circuit although Ryan was frustrated not to have been able to score any points. The latter race is a new, longer format, which does not include pitstops, which will be seen at all remaining GP2 rounds. This has come about due to a change in F1 qualifying rules and a larger window of opportunity for GP2 in the timetable.
"The weekend was difficult but positive all at the same time as I got two top ten finishes. This was the first time we've been off the pace all year, and we struggled right from the start. Qualifying wasn't great for either me or Olivier but at least I had the chance to use the knowledge I'd gained in yesterday's race to improve the car for today. I think everyone will have races like ours this year, one weekend where it just doesn't come together as you think it should. Because there's so little practice time, you really need to have a good car set up right from the word go."
Ryan was particularly unfortunate not have to finished in a better position today. He was climbing well through the field when he came across the accident between Lopez and the two Arden cars which had blocked the majority of the track and Sharp's way past the stricken cars. He had to stop until it cleared and subsequently lost a number of track positions.
Toulouse's Olivier Pla was another unfortunate victim of someone else's track indiscretions this weekend. Having qualified in 9th place for the first race (a spin on his fastest qualifying lap dropped him down several places on the grid), he was an innocent victim in the first corner mayhem yesterday. It was another late night's work for the DPR team to repair the damage to his rear wing, bodywork and left hand suspension.
With no experiences from the 'long' race to use to his benefit, he and his engineer chose not to change the set up on their car. However, with different, cooler temperatures today and fresh tyres, Olivier had bad understeer throughout the race and struggled to make more of an impact.
Having been pushed from behind by Alvarez, and losing several places as a result, he considered himself lucky to have finished in 8th place.
The team now looks forward to a mid-season break from racing until the beginning of July, with just one test planned at Paul Ricard in the interim. With the whole field becoming more technically reliable, though still susceptible to the heat, the drivers are eager to try out the upgrades proposed for the Ricard test. Since DPR was last there in early April, the drivers and engineers have got to know the car very well and know which areas to work on, so the Bookham, Surrey based team are all hoping for a productive, positive and structured test to enable them to bounce back for Magny Cours.