Adrian Quaife-Hobbs continued his fine GP2 Series rookie season with a further points-scoring finish in the latest round of the series in Singapore on Sunday (22 September). Recovering from an operation earlier in the week, the 22 year-old finished the weekend with a strong performance that saw him move up from 22nd on the grid to finish eighth in the sprint race.
With nearly a month away from training, Quaife-Hobbs’s first time on the track proved a challenge. However a fast pace in the early stages of qualifying, posting the 12th fastest lap, gave way to optimism, although the BRDC Superstar subsequently dropped to 18th after struggling with traffic on his second run, on new tyres.
Saturday’s hot and humid conditions in Singapore did nothing to aid Quaife-Hobbs’ recovery, and the weekend’s opening feature race was largely a training run for the Briton who struggled with the heat and the pain. Despite that, Quaife-Hobbs was as ever determined not to let the injury ruin his weekend and overnight the team made some changes to the car to ensure it was easier to drive in race two.
And on Sunday Quaife-Hobbs was almost back to form. Starting 22nd he quickly carved his way through the field, passing an incredible 14 cars by the flag, including a last lap pass on Rene Binder to claim the final point.
“It’s been a pretty tough week but I’m glad I’m now on the road to recovery and that I was able to finish the weekend on a high,” said Qaife-Hobbs. “The infection, which started in Spa, really started up again on the way to Singapore, and the doctors felt it necessary to remove the infected lumps under my arms quickly to allow me to recover faster.
“The bigger issue was that because of the infection I’d already had in my knee I’d not been able to train properly, and when you come to race at a track like Singapore where humidity is high, it’s very noticeable if you’re not at peak fitness.
“Practice was difficult, though qualifying was better, and it was only traffic that cost me a potential top ten time, but race one was very hard. It was hot and humid, the pain was bad and naturally I couldn’t take painkillers, and it took a lot of me. By Sunday though, I was feeling a lot better, as the effects of the operation had worn off and I’d spent a lot of time in my room, cooling down and resting.
“As a result I was able to really push hard in the race, making a lot of passes to move up the order, and run consistently fastest over the last six laps. Now I have more than five weeks to get back up to full fitness ahead of the next round, where I aim to return to the podium and hopefully secure another win.”
The final round of the GP2 Series takes place over the weekend of 2/3 November in Abu Dhabi.