Zuber battles wet weather at Spa As is often the case in Belgium, rain was a consistent threat at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. This weekend represents one of the biggest challenges of the season for Dubai resident Andreas Zuber, of...
Zuber battles wet weather at Spa
As is often the case in Belgium, rain was a consistent threat at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. This weekend represents one of the biggest challenges of the season for Dubai resident Andreas Zuber, of the Piquet Sports team.
Despite predicted rain showers, Zuber's first practice session remained dry and gave him a bit of satisfaction. "For once the morning practice for the GP2 series was held in dry conditions at the legendary Spa track. It is a really nice track, long and difficult.
"Spa is very much to my liking.
"During the training session last year I was quite a bit faster than my team mate Timo Glock. This year, the Piquet Sports car should be competitive enough to be fighting for podium finishes. I ended practice in seventh, but it is always very close in the GP2 series and you constantly have to go to the limit in order to be among the top players.
"In the afternoon, the first raindrops had threatened with the second F1 practice session, but when we went to the track, it was raining very heavily. There was a lot of standing water on track. It was my first time driving in heavy rain at Spa. It is dangerous, but it is good fun to drive the car in these conditions. I was in the pits still as the red flag came out because my team mate went off. At the end, I qualified in fifth position with a time of 2.16.370. I could have been faster if there had not been a yellow flag. I only completed eight laps. It was really very wet on some parts of the track.
"In race 1, we were hoping that it would be dry because the F1 qualifying had been dry. We were too optimistic and wrong because the rain started coming down at the start of the race. We had to change tyres on the grid. I had a good start, but overall during the race I felt I was lacking speed. We started behind the safety car because it was so wet. I had a good start and we decided to go for an early pit stop and I stopped on lap 6. I was in fourth as the race stabilised more or less by mid-race. Davide Valsechi in the Durango went off seriously in turn 15, causing the safety car to come out as Senna was leading, but hadn't served his penalty.
"When the safety car came back to the pits ten laps before the end, Senna served his penalty. I was still in third position since Grosjean had overtaken me chasing the leader, Alvaro Parente. The race was hard work even if the car was good. I was concentrating even more, focussing to be on the podium when the safety car came out again three laps before the chequered flag because Valerio's car blocked the track in a dangerous position.
"The safety car came back in, opening the way for a sprint to the flag in the final two laps. I thought I would never finish the race when my team mate passed me from the inside and I thought we would become involved for a big crash. Then I passed him again. What a race finish. It is so important not to make any errors to finish the race. Overall the priority is to collect points for the team championship. A great race result and I stepped on the podium for the fourth time of the season.
"The next morning I was less happy when I realized that Piquet Sports car was disqualified after race one because of "unauthorised repairs". This surprised the team who had asked for authorization before proceeding. The result for me is that I was to start last for the short 18 long lap Sunday race. I pitted at the end of lap 2 and retired after Marco Asmer ran into my car from the inside rendering it undriveable afterwards. At least my team mate won and was on the podium for race 2.
"The car is definitely in good shape, and we are ready for Monza our last race of the season next week."