Carlin unlucky in Abu Dhabi
The second race of the weekend in Abu Dhabi provided more disappointment for the Carlin team today, as both Mikhail Aleshin and Max Chilton suffered more bad luck in the second round of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series. Chilton crossed the line in 19th place while Aleshin failed to finish.
Despite having crossed the line in 8th place yesterday, Chilton lined up 12th on the grid today, following his 20 second penalty in yesterday's race. The young Brit immediately hit a problem though, when his car failed to go into first gear. Forced to start the race in second, Chilton immediately lost positions off the line and by the end of lap one was 24th.
Aleshin meanwhile made a good start from his 23th grid position and by the end of the first lap had already climbed to 19th place. Despite little overtaking around the Yas Marina circuit, Aleshin was up to 16th place by lap 22. The Russian saw his race come to a premature end however, when his car cut out on lap 23. The cause was a electronic spike, which caused the engine to cut out. The fluke interference was caused by an outside factor and gallingly meant the problem was only temporary.
At the back of the field, Chilton was doing his best to make the most of his race and passed Turvey on lap four to take 22nd. A drive-through penalty for Geido van der Garde and an accident for Sam Bird elevated Chilton to 20th and when his team mate retired, Chilton lay 19th. The Carlin racer had little further opportunity to make up a position and crossed the line 19th.
Speaking about a difficult race, Chilton said, "After a disappointing start due to a gear problem, I made a few positions on the first couple of corners and then I settled into position. I kept on pushing, but there wasn't much potential to over take anyone. It's good to get the first race meeting under our belt as a new team, and we take away from here a lot of positive experience."
Team mate Aleshin said, "I want to thank the team for all the work they have done this week, but obviously we got a bit unlucky this weekend especially in the second race. Unfortunately this sometimes happens and there is nothing we could have done about it. The important thing is we are getting experience and my pace in the race was very good. Bahrain will be pretty tough as it will be the first time for me at this track and we only have a short amount of practice, but I will work 100 per cent. I think we have all the ingredients to show some good results. "
Reflecting on the team's performance, Trevor Carlin added, "This weekend has been a big learning curve for us. Max has just one season of experience in GP2 and it is Mikhail's first season. I think we can be happy with the pace we've shown from the outset in testing and in the way the team have worked together over our first GP2 event. All the ingredients are there for some great results this season and we take a lot of encouragement from the potential we've shown so far."
The GP2 teams get just a few days rest, before track action gets underway in Bahrain from Thursday 17th February.