CORDEIRO TAKES A STUNNING SECOND IN SPA HAILSTORM Leonardo Cordeiro was the toast of MW Arden after today's GP3 Series race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Brazilian made a brilliant start to vault from 15th to sixth, following the trail blazed by...
CORDEIRO TAKES A STUNNING SECOND IN SPA HAILSTORM
Leonardo Cordeiro was the toast of MW Arden after today's GP3 Series race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Brazilian made a brilliant start to vault from 15th to sixth, following the trail blazed by team-mate Michael Christensen (up from ninth to fourth), and then kept his nose clean throughout a madcap race. The Safety Car was scrambled after a multiple pile-up at the first corner... and soon after the restart a fierce hailstorm hit the circuit and sent cars spinning in all directions. Most drivers pitted for wet tyres and Cordeiro was shuffled towards the front of the field, behind Canadian Rob Wickens -- the only driver not to stop. The Safety Car reappeared until conditions improved, but did not pull in until just before the race reached its 30-minute time limit. Wickens drove slowly back to the start/finish line, to make sure he did not need to commence another racing lap, and Cordeiro had to settle for second. Christensen lost out in the conditions and slipped to 14th, one place behind the other MW Arden car of Miki Monras.
"I am absolutely delighted to score a podium finish on my first visit to a classic racetrack such as Spa. The car felt pretty good in free practice and I was able to find my way around. The circuit is fairly wide and, in the wet, it was possible to take a variety of lines. I made a few mistakes, but felt very confident after I managed to set a top-ten time. In qualifying we made a good call to switch to slicks on a drying track. It was absolutely the right thing to do, but unfortunately I clipped a kerb and spun into the tyres. Even so, I felt sure I'd be able to race strongly and focused on keeping out of trouble during the first lap, when I gained nine places. Soon after that I passed Michael and another car, too, to take fourth. Racing opportunities were slightly limited because most of the race took place behind the Safety Car. That was sensible, though. The spray was so bad that you couldn't see the car ahead, even when you were running right behind it. It has been a tricky day, but the outcome was brilliant."
"The car felt very good in the wet, during free practice, but qualifying was hard to call with such changeable track conditions. I probably went for slicks too early -- it was hard getting them up to temperature and the tyres had lost their edge by the time the track dried a bit more. I was then given a penalty for driving too quickly past some yellow flags -- I thought I had backed off enough, but obviously the stewards thought otherwise. It was always going to be tricky making progress from 26th on the grid -- and even more so given that we had so few racing laps."
"I spent free practice acclimatising to the circuit and the conditions -- and it was a useful exercise, because the race was always likely to be wet. I was happy enough with my performance in qualifying, although I was perhaps a little too cautious when passing yellow flags. I made a great start in the race, but I was running more wing than some of the others and that made me easy prey on the long straight. I lost time during the tyre stop, because I was stacked behind Leo in the pits, and after that it was hard trying to stay on the track -- even on wets. We had so much potential today, yet circumstance has left us with little reward. It's very frustrating."