18 June 2009
Silverstone next up for GP2
Silverstone is the venue for the fourth round of the 2009 GP2 Series and, after Vitaly Petrov scored not only his first win of the season but also took the lead of the championship two weeks ago in Turkey, could things be on the turn?
Petrov's success left Barwa Addax team-mate Romain Grosjean two points behind as, after starting his season with a bang, the Frenchman failed to score in Istanbul, while his Russian colleagues consistency paid off and gave him the advantage.
Strong performances by both drivers over the season have allowed Barwa Addax to dominate the teams' standings so far, while rivals - now led by ART Grand Prix - have been forced to play catch-up behind the Spanish squad. This weekend's racing at the home of British motorsport will now see the rest of the grid redouble its efforts to slow the progress of the reigning champions.
Ocean Racing Technology's Karun Chandhok lives locally, and is no stranger to the British track, so will be looking for a strong weekend for GP2's newest outfit.
“I love Silverstone," Chandhok enthused, "It's my home circuit, apart from when I race in India of course, and any driver in the world who doesn't enjoy the first half of the lap at Silverstone just doesn't love their job!
"It's a fantastic track. The first corner, Copse, is blind, you cannot see the inside because of the barrier and, normally, you have a cross-wind there, so you have to be prepared for it when it comes across as you get on the barrier. And, then, at Becketts, it's just an incredible sensation of G-force and speed. It's where you really appreciate how good a GP2 car is with the downforce, compared to other cars with no downforce.
“The first half of the lap is very high speed, you hardly hit the brakes - and then you come down to Club, a left-hander. You go for the brakes, but they are very cold because you haven't used them for the whole lap!
After that, the rest of the lap is medium speed, so you have to compromise the car set up a little bit and find the best compromise. In sector three, you have to be quite patient with the car. The last corner is very irritating as it goes on and on, and the level of grip is fantastic. The surface is quite grippy except for when the English
weather decides to throw a lot of water from the sky: then it gets a bit tricky!
“The atmosphere in Silverstone is incredible: it's a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd, and it's always a full house. You can feel Silverstone's soul… I'm really looking forward to this weekend, because generally anybody who has a car which works well in Istanbul will work well in Silverstone.”
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