GP2 Catch-Up – Silverstone

Delayed mini-notes from the two GP2 races held at Silverstone, supporting the British GP. I plan to do this style of notes for GP2 from now on with the proviso that they’ll be dropped if I’m too busy. Nice get out clause, eh? As I said before, I’m miles behind on watching GP2 which is why I’m posting about Silverstone the weekend after the series ended. I do know who won, I’d like to see how he did it!

Coverage from ITV4, who have improved at every round.

Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England
Rounds 9 and 10 of 20.

FEATURE RACE

36 laps
Sat. 5 July
Dry and sunny, patchy cloud

– Senna and Grosjean start on the front row.

– GO! Senna leads, Grosjean drops a place to di Grassi, as Pantano also gains. Conway had a terrible start from 8th and is now about 24th.

– Senna off course at Stowe, rejoins 5th. May have been the wind which is strong here, cars with wings don’t like strong winds as it messes with the downforce. Lucas di Grassi now leads.

– Zuber is off course as well, he was 4th. Replay: Spins at speed! He’s rejoined.

– Chandhok makes a good move on someone… we cut to Buemi losing multiple places, replay, tyres touched with Maldonado.
– Someone in the gravel! Ran wide. Maldonado. The Buemi collision caused damaged?

– 2 cars pitted for tyres – this is early. Conway is one of them.
– Maldonado off again at the same place as last lap.

– Chandhok takes Fillipi, another good move, Fillipi left the door open a little too much and Chandhok took it.

– Vitaly Petrov takes Ho Pin Tung, Petrov is 10th from 16th on the grid.

– 11 laps gone, 25 to go: di Grassi, Grosjean, Pantano. More cars are starting to pit.

– Grosjean pits from 2nd. Most cars have pitted except for the faster cars who are leaving it a while longer. Grosjean emerges 8th with 6 guys left to stop. Grosjean is the leader of those who have pitted.
– Pantano pits. Championship leader before this weekend. Does he beat Grosjean? No! Pit strategy didn’t work, positions maintained.
– di Grassi is in, so is Senna – almost touch in the pits! Senna had to brake to avoid him. Senna comes out in 10th, di Grassi is 4th, still ahead of Grosjean and Pantano.
– Chandhok is in, gets out ahead of Senna to gain a place.

– Kobayashi took an early pit stop and it worked well, he’s now 4th.

– Spoke too soon! 2 laps later he’s out of the car, parked on the grass. Technical failure of some kind.

– Buemi passes Fillipi through Bridge corner, ballsy.

– Pantano in 3rd is faster than Grosjean in 2nd, directly behind him.
– Pantano pushes his way through! They touch several times under braking for the chicane.

– Chandhok v Zuber, wheels touch, Zuber stays ahead. Then Zuber blocks into Copse! Not impressed with that, pretty dangerous place to block.
– Meanwhile Pantano has caught di Grassi, the leader. Grosjean has fallen a long way back having leaned on his tyres earlier.
– Zuber just lost three places, he didn’t slow down in time and overshoots the corner. Watching the mirrors and not the road? Chandhok, Senna and Buemi are through.

– Pantano dummies di Grassi into Stowe, passes for the lead! di Grassi fights back at the next corner but can’t quite do it. 5 laps to go.
– Maldonado in the wall! Major damage, he spun the car in front of someone almost taking him out too. Local yellow only due to location of the car, it is out of the way.

– Chandhok passes Grosjean but it was under the yellow so the place is given back immediately. Buemi then gets by Senna!
– Grosjean very slow through the fast corners compared to Chandhok. Grosjean is locking his brakes at nearly every corner. Chandhok is now through.
– The last three laps of this were absolutely crazy! Grosjean v Senna v Buemi. Brilliant stuff. Grosjean lost out due to wearing his tyres but held on valiantly for most of that and does indeed beat Senna who went over the gravel in the last few corners.

– Giorgio Pantano wins! di Grassi 2nd, Chandhok 3rd, Buemi 4th, Grosjean 5th, Senna 6th. Conway made it as far as 14th after dropping to 24th on lap 1.

SPRINT RACE
24 laps
Sun. 6 July
Very Wet

– Fillipi on pole because he finished 8th yesterday. Zuber alongside him. Top 8 from race 1 are reversed, P9 onwards line up in yesterday’s finishing order.

– Buemi and Herck crashed on the out lap to the grid! They cars hadn’t even reached the formation grid yet, let alone the race start grid. I have a feeling we could see a lot of cars go out. Buemi should have started 5th, Herck was way back.

– GO! Someone stalled, slow getaway for Zuber. Lots of spray. Maldonado was the staller. Fillipi leads ahead of Senna (started 3rd). Senna passes him for the lead, but in the same shot his teammate Chandhok spins off!
– Fillipi is off the track, in the gravel. Yellow flags at turn one, don’t know why.

– Parante and d’Ambrosio in the gravel, d’Ambrosio should continue.
– Grosjean has lost his front wing, is somehow holding off the other cars at these wet lower speeds. Petrov spins under acceleration! Pantano now 3rd.
– Grosjean pitted for his new wing.

– Fillipi vs Kobayashi, Fillipi goes off again and gives the place away.
– Conway is somehow 4th and setting fastest laps – he started 14th!

– 5 laps gone and the top 4 are already 20 seconds ahead of the next group.

– Grosjean has recovered to 12th, he’s passed Villa. Grosjean’s teammate Fillipi has spun off again!! He’s struggling to stay on the track.
– Senna is now setting fastest laps while leading.

– Grosjean is pushed onto the grass by Buurman! Grosjean gets by him on the next straight, just drives past.

– At half-distance we have: Senna, di Grassi, Pantano, Conway, Soucek, Petrov. Just the top six score in the sprint race, top 8 in the feature race.

– Grosjean picks off Valerio easily for 9th.
– Kobayashi is 7th and he started on the last row of the grid.

– Petrov v Soucek for multiple corners! Petrov wins. He’d been faster at the overtaking spots but yellows prevented a pass before now. Kobayashi has caught these two while they were fighting.
– Soucek and Kobayashi collide!! Soucek pushed into the barriers, wheel ripped off the car. Replays… might not have been a push as Soucek got a wheel in the dirt which spun him around. His car is far enough out of the way not to need safety car.

– Raining hard now. Maldonado takes a drive-through for speeding in pitlane, after his car was pushed there to be refired at the start!

– Fillipi has pitted and retires. Maldonado now has to take a 10-second stop/go penalty for overtaking under yellows. Not much point him continuing after his day!

– Asmer has spun through the polystyrene advertising hoarding, destroying it, he was running last already.
– Senna is now in lapped traffic, which can’t see him due to the spray. He’s 8 seconds up on di Grassi who will surely close in now. 3 laps to go.

– Villa messes up the chicane and gets on the grass, spins around and stalls it. He was the only driver to finish every race this year – until now. He’s out.
– Asmer spins again, either at the same place as last time or he’s taken out another hoarding! He gets out and walks away.
– Senna has actually opened out the gap going through traffic.

Bruno Senna wins! di Grassi 2nd, Pantano 3rd, Conway 4th, Petrov 5th, Valsecci 6th.

Replays: Big shunt on the last lap! Three cars into each other at Bridge corner, involving Kobayashi, a BCN car and Maldonado. Lots of debris at Bridge. Terrible for Kobayashi who was 6th and on for a point after starting 25th.
Only 15 finishers, six of whom were lapped.

POINTS
Top 6 at the halfway point of the year:
50 Pantano
39 Senna
25 Buemi
24 di Grassi
23 Grosjean
20 Petrov

BLOG NOTES

Thanks to Jeff at MyNameIsIRL for pointing out the FEEDJIT live feeds by adding it to his own blog. A great addition which I have no qualms about stealing. It misreports where I am but you get the right region within the country. It’ll be interesting to see a) if I have many readers and b) where they are.

The McLaren/Hamilton penalty hearing was today and the result will be announced tomorrow. I am expecting no change to the penalty and possibly an extra penalty for ‘wasting time’, which is not without precedent.

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