Promising race pace for iSport ends in frustration at Hockenheim

This weekend saw the iSport team return to the Hockenheim-ring in Germany for Round 8 of the GP2 Series.

Marcus Ericsson
Marcus Ericsson

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

Friday’s Free practice saw the first red flag of the weekend, when Giancarlo Serenelli ran wide and ended up in the barriers, resulting in a 10 minute stoppage time. Heavy rain followed the restart, resulting in poor conditions for both drivers, and limited opportunity to improve performances. Later that afternoon, torrential rain hit the circuit midway through the Qualifying session, causing both drivers to fall back down the field after a promising start. After a period in the pits, the iSport drivers took to the track in an attempt to improve lap times in the 10 minutes left on the clock. However with no improvement on conditions, the iSport drivers were unable to make much ground, resulting in Marcus Ericsson finishing in 14th and Jolyon Palmer 21st.

All but 2 cars went out on Wet tyres for the Feature Race on Saturday, after a heavy shower hit the circuit shortly before the start. Palmer was lined up 21st but unfortunately stalled on the formation lap resulting in a pit lane start. The track dried out quickly with both drivers coming into the pits on Lap 6 to change to Slicks. Palmer soon recovered from his earlier mishap, making up three places to regain his original position. The British driver continued to push through the field, securing another three places, before crossing the line in 18th place. Ericsson, who started 11th, soon became the fastest man on track after the pit stop securing 9th place. On Lap 19 Ericsson was passed by Valsecchi, but the Italian then ran wide resulting in Ericsson regaining his position. Ericsson maintained his 9th place until the final lap, but a battle with Gutierrez resulted in both cars running wide, giving Dillmann the opportunity to pass, resulting in Ericsson finishing 11th.

Sunday’s Sprint race saw dry and sunnier conditions, with both drivers going out on Slicks tyres. Within the first lap the safety car was out but only for a short period before the race got back underway. Ericsson who started out 11th was caught up in the early incident resulting in the driver dropping down to 17th. Palmer who started in 18th place, showed an incredible pace moving up 5 places to 13th in the opening laps, and then again after further incidents, taking him up to 11th. Ericsson made ground when Valsecchi spun, and then again on Lap 14 where he moved in to 10th position. On the last lap Ericsson lost a position to Valsecchi and then went onto run wide on several corners resulting in the driver dropping down to 17th place, where he crossed the line at the chequered flag. Palmer continued to progress and became 10th when Valsecchi spun. Ericsson then went onto battle it out with 5 other drivers to make further ground, successfully overtaking Coletti and then Melker, crossing the line in 7th place. After the race, Palmer and Coletti were penalised 20 seconds for overtaking under a Yellow flag, so final finishing positions were Ericsson P15 and Palmer P18.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones – Chief Engineer “Jolyon had a great drive up to P7 but unfortunately got a penalty for passing Kral, who had made a mistake in a yellow flag zone. Marcus finished P17 after having a left rear tyre delaminate during the race, which made the cars handling difficult in the quick right hand corners. Despite this, his pace was good, but unfortunately lost places as he kept going wide at turn 1 with the tyre problem. This is something we will be discussing with Pirelli as it is very concerning and we can't afford to have this to happen again.”

Source: iSport International

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About this article
Series GP2
Article type Race report
Tags ericsson, hockenheim, isport, palmer

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