BRATT RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION WITH BATTLING TOP 10 Round 14 of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship provided a stern test for Will Bratt at Brno in the Czech Republic this afternoon, Sunday, 1st August, but the category front-runner did...
BRATT RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION WITH BATTLING TOP 10
Round 14 of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship provided a stern test for Will Bratt at Brno in the Czech Republic this afternoon, Sunday, 1st August, but the category front-runner did well to overturn a difficult opening lap to claim the final points position with a determined 10th place finish.
Lining up ninth on the grid, the reigning Euroseries 3000 Champion -- who is now a full member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) -- made a good start initially and looked set for a competitive run after an overnight gearbox change.
Into the first corner though, Will was forced wide offline and picked up debris on his tyres which resulted in a lack of grip. The net result was a slip to 13th position as several cars managed to get ahead along the straight between turns three and four.
Mounting a solid fightback, he grabbed 12th place on lap four from Armaan Ebrahim and then set about pressuring Mihai Marinescu. After reeling in the Romanian Will gained a further position on the 11th tour to move within one place of the points-paying top 10.
As the race neared its conclusion, the 22-year-old from Banbury looked set to remain tantalisingly on the fringe of 10th place but with just a lap to go Philipp Eng was forced out of the top three with a mechanical problem meaning Will was elevated into the points.
The fight over third place in the driver standings has most certainly closed up following the two Brno races this weekend with Eng in third on 122 points, Will just 10 points adrift in fourth and Sergei Afanasiev a mere two points further back in fifth position.
"We did ok to grab a point from today's race", said Will, "I got off the line alright and held 10th place comfortably but I was pushed wide onto the marbles at Turn One so a few cars were able to pass me on the straight out of turns two and three as I hadn't got the grip.
"The car felt ok today, we ran quite a few set-up changes compared to Saturday but the problems at the first corner set the scene really. Overall our pace wasn't bad, things felt better after the gearbox change, and we're right in the thick of the fight for third in the championship which is good."
With just four races remaining in the Formula 2 season, there is now a five week break in action ahead of rounds 15 and 16 at Oschersleben in Germany on 4th/5th September. The all-important championship finale will then follow a fortnight later, 18th/19th September, at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain.
2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship Driver Standings (after Rd14): 1st Jolyon Palmer, 221pts; 4th Will Bratt, 112pts