Following on from the rollercoaster ride of emotions that Racing Engineering had undergone at Magny Cours, today's Feature Race at Silverstone was something of an anticlimax. The team knew that, following yesterday's difficult qualifying session,...
Following on from the rollercoaster ride of emotions that Racing Engineering had undergone at Magny Cours, today's Feature Race at Silverstone was something of an anticlimax. The team knew that, following yesterday's difficult qualifying session, today's race would be a case of both drivers avoiding any incidents and concentrating on making up as many places as they could from their positions in the lower half of the grid.
Fortunately for both drivers and spectators the terrible weather that has been blighting the UK for several weeks took a break today and the race was held under cloudy but sunny skies. The cars lined up in front of the pits following their warm up lap but the start was aborted when the DPR car of Andy Soucek stalled on the grid.
Once the race started properly pole sitter Zuber jumped into the lead followed by Conway and di Grassi. Further back in the pack both Javier Villa and Filipe Albuquerque in their Racing Engineering cars made clean starts and immediately began to look towards improving their positions. Javier found his car afflicted with understeer from the start but he started picking off several of the cars that had been in front of him on the grid. By just after half distance Javier had moved ahead of his team-mate Filipe although the young Portuguese driver stayed close to the number 14 car.
Javier soon found himself involved in a battle with Zaugg and Yamamoto. The Japanese driver dived inside the South African at Stowe but Zaugg fought back at Club and both men found themselves on the grass as Javier rocketed past both cars to gain two positions. Sadly this was as far as Javi could get although he closed right in on the 12th placed Chandhok as the race finished.
Filipe held on well keeping close to Javier and he too gained a place in the Zaugg/Yamamoto incident crossing the line in 15th place, a very promising result given his almost complete lack of experience in a GP2 car.
Alfonso D'Orleans(team principal):
"All in all I'm quite happy with the team work and specially with Javi's recovery and the great overtaking moves he did, some were really impressive. It's a shame we couldn't cure all the understeer he had in the car but with solittle time available in practice it was not possible. Without all that understeer I'm pretty sure he would have been fighting for points, something we hope he can do tomorrow. Good work also for Filipe who had to really dig deep, and for all the guys that did a great job giving him a decent car after last week's big accident. He was learning more on every lap as his laptimes show with his best times right at the end of the race, so tomorrow I'm sure he'll improve further."
Javier Villa (driver car 14):
"We had quite a lot of understeer right from the start and that limited us because on this track, with 99% fast corners, if your car understeers it is quite tough to closely follow other cars as you lose a lot. Despite this I wasn't that slow and I finished caching up the five cars in front of me so we are trying to fix the problem for tomorrow and then I think I can do better."
Filipe Albuquerque (driver car 15):
"The race has been really useful in gathering experience with the car and especially, with the tyres. You really feel the bigger power of the GP2 car on the rear tyres and I have to get used to the way they wear. Tomorrow I will go better for sure as I'm starting 15th and I'll be using all the experience I have gained today."