Catalunya: Ocean Racing Tech race 1 report

Ocean Racing Technology on pole for Barcelona sprint race Brilliant race for Fabio Leimer secures 8th place finish Ocean Racing Technology's 2010 GP2 Main Series campaign got off to a good start at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain)...

Ocean Racing Technology on pole for Barcelona sprint race

Brilliant race for Fabio Leimer secures 8th place finish

Ocean Racing Technology's 2010 GP2 Main Series campaign got off to a good start at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) today. After starting 11th on the grid for the `Feature' race, which includes a mandatory pit stop, Fabio Leimer had a strong start that saw him up in to 7th place before chaos in the second turn caused him to drop back to 15th. After this, the Swiss driver performed some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres that saw him eventually cross the line in 8th place, securing his first point of the season and pole position for Sunday's 'sprint' race.

Fabio Leimer's final result was also aided by a remarkable strategy from the Portuguese team, who asked their driver to come in for an early pit stop. "It was an excellent race and my aim was to cross the finish line in 8th position because it gives you the opportunity to take the lead of the second race," Fabio Leimer explained. "The start went well but things got complicated in the second turn where I lost a lot of positions, but then I gained a lot of those back before finding myself stuck behind Pastor Maldonado. The team decided to call me into the pits and this was the best strategy possible because it allowed me to resume the race with a clear track and clock a series of fast laps and gain time. On Sunday it will be crucial to make a good start because there is often a lot of overtaking in the second race but until then, we will keep working on the car in order to make it even more competitive for the sprint race."

After qualifying in 19th place teammate Max Chilton endured a difficult race, however the English driver gained valuable experience for the rest of the season as he battled it out to eventually cross the line in 18th place. Speaking after the event he explained that the chaos at the start helped to determine the final outcome. "The car was fast but I was trapped behind slower cars and I could not get past them as I had to brake really hard to avoid the chaos. Then the car's behaviour was sometimes really good, but at other times it wasn't. Having said that however, the overall balance was satisfying. Tomorrow I will have to get a good start and make up as many positions as I can. To finish inside the top 10 would be a nice result," Max Chilton said.

Today's result now allows Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes' team to have hope for a strong result in tomorrow's sprint race... "It was a good start," confirmed Tiago, who was happy that Ocean Racing Technology had started the season at the front. "Fabio's fight back was excellent and this result has pleased us. We will do our best to defend our position on Sunday because securing a good result in the first race weekend is always very important. Max Chilton's race was a little more difficult but it was good experience for him and I think he can deliver and have a good race on Sunday."

Sunday should see cloudy skies above the Barcelona track with a maximum temperature of 20o.C. The sprint race will form part of the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and will be broadcasted live on the Eurosport chain starting at 9:30 am.

-source: ort

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Tiago Monteiro , Pastor Maldonado , Fabio Leimer , Max Chilton