The largest crowds of the season flocked to the Northamptonshire countryside last weekend for the first British Grand Prix after Silverstone’s £30 million plus refit. The new facilities meant that GP2 graduated into the old Formula 1 garages, with the team taking one of the adjacent Paddock suites for guests, sponsors, friends and family, to enjoy our home race.
After a promising test session at the track earlier in the season, the drivers were keen to get out on track and put some of the difficulties of the past two rounds behind them. Friday morning’s practice session saw an excellent performance from both Marcus who finished third fastest and Sam who went quickest ahead of title rival Romain Grosjean. Hopes of taking that level of performance into qualifying were washed out by the rain, as the afternoon’s session was interrupted by a torrential downpour after only a few laps. The timing was not ideal for the iSport duo who hadn’t yet managed to nail a hot lap and the conditions did not allow them to improve on their initial offering with most of the session spent watching the clouds from the garage.
Starting from P6 and P8 for the feature race, the team was consoled by the fact that many of their rivals were even further back after the weather chaos. More rain immediately before the race saw the start delayed, with the 26 GP2 cars eventually led off by the safety car, which was a relief to some iSport fans who have become accustomed to plenty of action on the first few corners. As the safety car pulled in, our drivers initially made a positive impression on the field, both taking a place before quickly dropping back as the wet tyres wore quickly. Both drivers pitted early, hoping to gain the advantage from a quickly drying track and escape without losing too many positions on tyres that were causing them both serious problems. The strategy was timed well, with Marcus eventually crossing the line in third position less than a second behind Veitoris in second. Sam also scored good points in fifth.
Sunday morning’s sprint race began with a stall from Colletti on the front row, immediately ahead of Sam Bird. Taking evasive action to avoid the stricken Trident man cost Sam some time worsened by Romain Grosjean passing our man for third. Behind him, Marcus began to make headway, passing Vietoris and setting the fastest lap of the race on more than one occasion. It was enough to take him past his team-mate and into fourth, and he continued to make headway towards the podium sports, chasing down Van Der Garde and Clos. Sam was suffering from a suspected rogue front left tyre which was consistently locking up under braking and not behaving as expected. Bianchi was able to capitalize on Sam’s problems pushing our man down into sixth. As the end approached Ericsson could not quite get close enough to the two in front to force his second podium of the weekend, but left with a handful of points and renewed confidence for the German Grand Prix.
by: iSport International