SERGIO PEREZ 7TH AND GIEDO VAN DER GARDE 9TH The first GP2 Series race at the Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps took place today with doubts concerning the weather, due to the constant menace of rain. The longer of the two races finished...
SERGIO PEREZ 7TH AND GIEDO VAN DER GARDE 9TH
The first GP2 Series race at the Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps took place today with doubts concerning the weather, due to the constant menace of rain. The longer of the two races finished with Sergio Perez of Barwa Addax Team crossing the line in 7th position and team-mate Giedo van der Garde just two places behind in 9th.
Sergio Perez was once more affected by adverse circumstances. Sergio started from seventh on the grid and yet again made a fantastic start, getting to the first corner in fourth position and after overtaking another rival, finished the first lap third breathing down the neck of the leading two drivers. In less than a lap he was already challenging the overall leader of the championship and was prepared to throw down the gauntlet. In a strategic attempt to culminate his great fightback, he decided to come in as early as the seventh lap for his pit stop with compulsory tyre change included. It didn't quite work out as planned because on the following lap his rivals came in and the positions were left unchanged. Disaster struck when the stewards penalized the Mexican driver with a drive through for speeding in the pit lane. After carrying out his penalty, he was relegated to thirteenth position. Sergio once more showed tremendous character and climbed back to seventh place and was even challenging for sixth at the finish line. He picked up 2 valuable points and will start from the front row in tomorrow's second sprint race. He eventually finished 21 seconds behind the winner. If one takes into account the time lost with the drive through and the midfield battles he had, in an attempt to get back to the leading positions, it goes to show that he had a race rhythm to be up there fighting for the victory with the two leaders.
Giedo van der Garde drove a very good race and considering how difficult it is at this level to make up ground, with the cars so evenly matched, the Dutch driver deserves credit for having improved 14 places from his start position on the grid. Giedo made a good start making up a lot of ground on his rivals. When he came in for his pit stop, he had already made up ten positions and was lying in 13th place. After his tyre change he had a tough series of battles in the middle of the peloton of drivers but he was up to the task and he managed to climb to ninth at the end of the race. Even though he was forced off the track by one of his rivals as he was trying to overtake, he still managed to keep it together in his effort to get into the points. Van der Garde's feat is worthy of mention, even if it went without reward. It's a shame that he wasn't able to gain one more position, because apart from the point it would have meant starting from pole position in tomorrow's race, with the possibility of achieving an important result.
Barwa Addax Team maintain their second position overall in the race for the team championship, something that has been commonplace in recent years. Sergio Perez consolidates his second position overall in the driver's championship and has even managed to increase his lead over his closest rivals. Giedo van der Garde remains fifth overall despite not having scored points today.
Tomorrow's second short sprint race will be over 18 laps covering a distance of 125.948 kms and will start at 10.35 hrs local time.