F2

Brands Hatch: Will Bratt race 1 report

F2 RACER BRATT MOVES BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP THREE Banbury's Will Bratt moved back into the top three of the FIA Formula 2 Championship standings at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent on Saturday, 17th July, with a battling and richly ...

F2 RACER BRATT MOVES BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP THREE

Banbury's Will Bratt moved back into the top three of the FIA Formula 2 Championship standings at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent on Saturday, 17th July, with a battling and richly deserved fourth place finish during the 11th round of the campaign.

Qualifying on the second row of the grid, Will made a good start as he sought a way through into a podium-paying position but as he approached Druids Hairpin for the first time contact from slow-starting Sergei Afanasiev resulted in the Briton's car becoming momentarily airborne.

Remarkably continuing without any damage, the 22-year-old was able to assume fifth position on the run to Graham Hill Bend -- the incident giving Ivan Samarin and Tom Gladdis the opportunity to move ahead into third and fourth places respectively.

Unfazed by the unexpected turn of events, Will set about regaining lost ground with absolutely nothing separating the trio in terms of lap times or track position. Nose-to-tail lap after lap, Will's sustained pressure on Gladdis finally paid off on the 14th tour when the latter ran wide at Graham Hill which gave the current Euroseries 3000 Champion a golden opportunity to pass into Surtees.

With a top three finish still in his sights, Will set about trying to force a mistake from Russian driver Samarin but he wasn't quite able to usurp him from the final podium spot. In the end, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star crossed the line on lap 28 just 0.2 seconds shy of the rostrum.

"Overall fourth was an OK result", said the Oxon driver, "It was disappointing to have the first lap contact at Druids as I'd made a good start and it looked like we'd made it through into third. Luckily the car was ok though and I was able to fight hard with (Tom) Gladdis and (Ivan) Samarin. I was pleased with the move I did into Surtees to re-take fourth, just a shame we couldn't quite get third!"

During the subsequent round 12 qualifying session, setting the grid for today's encounter at the 3.7-kilometre track, Will posted the sixth quickest time of 1m16.351 seconds (174.59km/h) to secure a place on the third row alongside current championship leader Jolyon Palmer.

The session was incredibly close, just half a second splitting the top 10 and less than three 10ths of a second forming the barrier between Will in sixth place and Kazim Vasiliauskas on pole position. Two red flag stoppages did interrupt the flow of the 30-minute period and although disappointed to miss out on a front row slot, Will knows he can still fight for a healthy points haul from sixth place.

-source: will bratt

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Series F2
Drivers Graham Hill , Tom Gladdis , Will Bratt , Kazim Vasiliauskas , Jolyon Palmer , Ivan Samarin