Down to earth with a bump ! The weekends follow each other and that's about as far as it goes. The Tech 1 Racing team came back down to earth with a bump at Silverstone after its success in Monaco. Performance was not to blame; rather, it was an...
Down to earth with a bump !
The weekends follow each other and that's about as far as it goes. The Tech 1 Racing team came back down to earth with a bump at Silverstone after its success in Monaco. Performance was not to blame; rather, it was an overall lack of success that hit the team from Toulouse on English soil. It is now looking forward to Budapest to get back in the groove
This was the Formula Renault 3.5 Series first visit to Silverstone. It is an atypical circuit combining fast and technical sections. Collective testing provided an opportunity to come to terms with the difficulties of the track and find the right set-up. Things got off to a good start as Charles Pic and Julien Jousse set the 4th and 8th quickest times respectively. "We did a good job during the test session and we found the set-ups we wanted," was how Simon Abadie analysed the situation. "But above all the test showed us just how closely matched the field is: with eighteen cars in the same second we can't afford any mistakes if we want to set the super pole."
Group B in which Julien was placed was the first to hit the track. He was quick on his first run but failed to get the best out of his second set of tyres, and he finished the session just on the qualifying borderline with the 7th best time in his group.
In Group A, Charles got into the super pole shootout at the very end of the session setting the 5th quickest time. Finally, the Monaco winner at the wheel of a car whose performance suffered after an off at the end of qualifying, was unable to do better than 12th. "Our qualifying performance wasn't great," Simon admitted afterwards." The level's so high that the slightest error has very serious consequences."
With Charles in 12th place on the grid and Julien 16th the team's chances of putting on a scintillating display in the first race were very slim. Both drivers set off with the firm intention of gaining a few places and finishing in the points. Julien fought his way up through the field to finish 7th, while Charles in a down-on-performance car could do no better than 15th.
The second race was almost a repeat of the first with Julien in 10th spot on the grid and Charles in 15th. Both drivers made a good start to the race getting up to 9th and 10th places respectively before the tyre changes intervened. "At the last moment, when we'd already asked Julien to pit, we changed strategy. The message didn't really get across to our drivers and both cars came in at the same time," admitted Simon. "Julien's stop was very quick but it cost Charles around fifteen seconds." Julien managed a points-scoring finish with 10th place while Charles saw the flag in 13th spot having set the second-quickest lap in the race.
"Obviously, I'm not very happy with this weekend," said Simon. "It's neither the drivers' not the team's fault: just a lack of overall success. We scored five points, which helps us hold on to our second place in the teams' championship. In the drivers' one, both Julien and Charles have thirty-one points. We'll have to have a trouble-free weekend in Budapest. We've got a month to prepare for this race so we'll try and get back in the groove in Hungary