This morning's GP2 sprint race was eventful to say the least and one where strategy was vital. Starting P13 and P21 on a wet grid, Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia powered through displaying some terrific overtaking manoeuvres to both sit in the top five in the latter stages of the 24 lap race.
As the track dried Caterham Team AirAsia opted to stay out, as others were called in to change onto slicks. With serious pace Davide lead the field, with Luiz in third, having fought his way from the back of the grid. As the rain held off the team pulled off two quick pit stops, but unfortunately with five laps to go it was not enough time to make up the positions.
Davide's race was sadly ended early when he collided with an Arden car on turn one, which has landed him a ten place penalty for Budapest.
Phill Spencer: "We are massively disappointed with the results today. We relied on a technology that let us down which is very unfortunate. We stayed out as long as we could hoping rain would come, but in the end we had to bring the cars in late. After Davide's pit stop he came out and collided with an Arden car, so all in all lady luck was not on our side. On a positive note I am very pleased we have made progress in the wet. Our pit stops were great, and Luiz had a good race, so we will put these results behind us and move onto Hungary."
Luiz Razia (Best time 1:49.039 / P14): "We started from the back of the grid. I did not get a good start and I was very careful through turn one not to get tangled up in any incident. Once I had got heat in tyres it was great, I overtook about ten cars, which was a lot of fun. At one point we were running P2, as people came in to change for slicks. We were expecting rain during the race, but it didn't come and so by the time we came in for a tyre change it was too late. One thing I am very pleased about is that we were competitive in the wet, unlike Silverstone. We found something in the car and tyres which we did not have before, and our pace was good enough to finish in the points. Unfortunately it was not a good weekend overall, with no points which is very frustrating. Looking ahead to Budapest, I have done quite a lot of races at the Hungaroring, including F3000. It is quite a hard track, no long straights and tight corners. But I am looking forward to it, and some hot weather!"
Davide Valsecchi (Best time 1:58.237 / DNF): "The engineer and driver did a great job today. The car was extremely competitive. But we took the wrong decision, which ruined it for us today. We started well, we struggled a bit in the first two laps, but after that the car ran really fast and we gained position after position. We took a risk today which did not pay off, we should have boxed with the race leaders but we didn't and so we have no points again today. Anyway next time we will be on top, we have learnt a lot, and I am confident the car is good for Budapest."
Humphrey Corbett: "The set-ups we ran today were very different to Silverstone, and they worked. The drivers were very pleased with the cars in these conditions. We called both drivers in too late, we relied on modern technology too much. There are two things you do, you look at the lap times of those that have changed onto slicks and if you are in a similar position to the leaders you pit at the same time as them. Davide had his problems at the end of the race, but otherwise was very happy with the car. We are a new team and we have learnt our lessons from here and will now move onto the next round in Budapest where it is usually very hot and you need good mechanical grip. We'll be on the same tyre which is good for us. We are hoping we will get the best out of the cars and as always qualify well."
Next event: Budapest 29 - 31st July 2011
by: Team AirAsia