With the circuit completely soaked following persistent rain, drivers set off behind the safety car
Luiz Razia put in a typically well-judged performance in the first of this weekend’s GP2 Series races at Silverstone, rising from eighth to fifth and taking the championship lead.
With the circuit completely soaked following persistent rain, drivers set off behind the safety car and the race remained neutralised until the end of lap seven. The leading drivers delayed their mandatory tyre changes, in case conditions improved sufficiently to justify a switch to dry rubber, but most of the field peeled in after 19 of the scheduled 29 laps, when the race was neutralised to allow James Calado’s stricken Lotus entry to be recovered from the edge of the circuit. Razia was running fifth at that stage – and he was still there when the race resumed, having slipped behind one rival but passed another. He put Nigel Melker (Ocean) under enormous pressure during the closing stages (which involved yet another safety car interruption), but was unable to make a move stick and was still fifth when the chequered flag was shown after 25 laps, the maximum time limit having been reached. Main championship rival Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) finished seventh and Razia has taken a slender advantage in the title race.
Team-mate Simon Trummer started 19th, having gained a few grid positions as a result of others’ penalties, and engaged in several lively tussles on his way to 16th place.
Luiz Razia comments:
“We didn’t have much chance to do any installation laps, with the bad weather having delayed the start, but the car felt fairly well balanced. It was difficult making up places as a drier line emerged, but I picked off one car and profited from a good tyre stop. The safety car interruptions determined the race, really, and we opted for a risk-free strategy. “I’m sure I could have been quicker than Nigel Melker, but he defended well and it was impossible to pass. Still, I’m starting fourth tomorrow and that gives me an excellent chance of fighting for a podium finish. I’m pleased to have taken the championship lead, too, but know only too well that we still have lots of hard work ahead.”
Simon Trummer comments:
“The start of the race was really difficult because I couldn’t see anything! I was dropping away a little bit before the first safety car appeared, because the car didn’t work too well in the slow-speed corners. As the track dried, though, my performance got better and better relative to the cars around me. In the final stages I was able to claw back a few of the positions I’d lost and briefly made it to 15th, although Fabio Leimer then passed me. I’m not happy to finish only 16th, but it was my first GP2 race in the wet so I’ve gained more useful experience that will help me in future.”
Source: Arden International