DELIGHTED BRATT MAKES PODIUM RETURN AT VALENCIA Banbury's Will Bratt made a welcome return to the FIA Formula 2 Championship podium at Valencia in Spain this afternoon, Saturday, 18th September, with a season-best second place finish during the...
DELIGHTED BRATT MAKES PODIUM RETURN AT VALENCIA
Banbury's Will Bratt made a welcome return to the FIA Formula 2 Championship podium at Valencia in Spain this afternoon, Saturday, 18th September, with a season-best second place finish during the penultimate race of 2010 -- moving him to within just five points of the coveted series top three.
Pressuring pole-sitter Nicola De Marco hard throughout the 25-lap duration, having moved into the runner-up spot from fourth on the grid through the first couple of corners of the race, Will was the quickest driver on track and just missed out on a maiden F2 victory by a mere 1.2 seconds.
Having threatened to deliver this sort of performance all season long, the 22-year-old is delighted to have achieved his best result of the campaign in such impressive style but heads into tomorrow's final day of F2 action with his sights set on a front-row starting slot for round 18 and a race win.
"I'm really happy with the result today, it's fantastic to be back on the podium and to also set the fastest lap as well -- it proves the pace we had and what might have been possible if we'd started alongside (Nicola) De Marco on the front row", said the Michelangelo Search-backed racer.
"My start wasn't that great at all but through the first couple of corners I made good progress around the outside to take third and then second. From there, I pressured De Marco as much as I could but second is a really good result. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow now, we have a great chance to try and qualify on the front row and if we can do that I know our race pace is good."
Starting the weekend's track sessions with the eighth fastest time during the opening free practice on Friday, Will improved to fifth quickest in the second practice -- an outing affected by a brief burst of rain early on -- and then posted the fourth fastest time during this morning's round 17 qualifying session. He did have the potential for a front row starting slot but was baulked on his best lap.
Although not making the best of starts, Will was able to hold position and then moved around the outside through turns one and two with some great driving to take second place and slot in behind pole-sitter De Marco.
Will pressured De Marco hard and on the third tour he posted the fastest lap of 1m29.255 seconds (161.53 km/h). The pair were easily the class of the field, lapping at least a second per lap quicker than the rest, and at the finish on lap 25 they were separated by just 1.2 seconds -- Will actually crossing the line a huge 16 seconds clear of third placed Armaan Ebrahim.
Heading into the final day of the 2010 season tomorrow, Sunday, 19th September, Will is now back into fourth place in the championship standings, just five points behind Sergei Afanasiev and a mere two points ahead of Philipp Eng.