CONSISTENCY THE KEY FOR FRONT-RUNNER BRATT AT BRANDS HATCH Will Bratt's consistently strong weekend at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit received a post-race boost following the 12th round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship on Sunday, 18th July,...
CONSISTENCY THE KEY FOR FRONT-RUNNER BRATT AT BRANDS HATCH
Will Bratt's consistently strong weekend at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit received a post-race boost following the 12th round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship on Sunday, 18th July, when the British racer was credited with his third podium of the season.
Finishing the encounter in a highly competitive fourth place, having started sixth on the grid, the 22-year-old was promoted into third position in the final classification hours after the race when Dean Stoneman was penalised following an early-race incident involving Jolyon Palmer.
With Philipp Eng taking the race win, Will has been pushed back to fourth in the driver standings but he is within just seven points of the Austrian. Furthermore, the Banbury-based driver has closed to within 79 points of the championship lead with six races remaining having been the second highest scoring of the front-runners over the course of the Brands Hatch event.
"I'm pretty happy with the result", said the Michelangelo Search supported racer, "Fourth wasn't a bad finish and my pace was good. Obviously it's nice to have gained extra points following Dean's (Stoneman) penalty but it's not the way you want to do it. I think we did a solid job though and it's been a very good weekend on the whole -- that win is still eluding us though!"
Although making a decent start from the third row of the grid, Will slipped to seventh initially but quickly moved back into sixth place at the expense of Sergei Afanasiev. Then, on lap four, he moved into the top five following the aforementioned incident between Stoneman and Palmer which resulted in the latter ending his race in retirement in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.
Five laps later, race leader Kazim Vasiliauskas ran wide at Surtees and although he rejoined Will was close behind and managed to pass the Lithuanian for fourth. For the remainder of the 24 lapper, the 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion held onto his top four placing comfortably and finished around four seconds clear of Nicola De Marco.
"We've definitely had good pace at Brands, right from testing last Tuesday we've been on it so I'm disappointed not to have been able to fight for a win", added Will, "Qualifying is where we need to improve, testing goes well and we can always put in strong race performances but there's still something to find in qualifying. As soon as that's sorted, I'm sure we'll be able to challenge for wins."
With two on-track fourth places this weekend, Will has once again underlined his front-running consistency in Formula 2 and is now looking forward to a fresh challenge a fortnight from now, rounds 13 and 14 of the season at Brno in the Czech Republic.
Taking place over the weekend 31st July/1st August, the seventh event of the campaign will carry a great deal of importance in terms of the potential championship outcome as, following Brno, there will be a break of just over a month before the final two race meetings in Germany and Spain.
2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship Driver Standings (after Rd12): 1st Jolyon Palmer, 186pts; 4th Will Bratt, 107pts