16/04/2012

Last time out ...

Usually in this article we bring you news of everyone who raced this weekend but this time we're gonna cover all the Indians to get you right upto speed (we realise we've been neglecting the lower series recently).

F1
di Resta 12th, Hulkenberg 15th, Karthikeyan 22nd.

- A disappointing race for the Indian contingent.
- Paul di Resta's pace wasn't bad but he just couldn't make up enough positions after a poor qualifying.
- Nico Hulkenberg had a poor start, received some nosecone damage from flying debris, got stuck behind
Kovalainen in the first stint which ruined his race.
- No points for Sahara Force India.
- Poor pace from Karthikeyan due to unidentified car problems.

We all know the race did not go to plan but there was one very promising thing to emerge, as Robert Fernley discusses below.

Paul di Resta (Sahara Force India driver)
"It was an extremely close race today and although we were able to keep ourselves in the hunt, we were just missing the pace to catch people and make up any more ground. So it was a bit like the race in Australia where there were lots of cars running very close to each other and a lot of guys nursing their tyres. I think we made some good calls with the tyres and there were lots of different strategies playing out around us. It was also incredibly slippery offline with the marbles making things very tricky. So we go away from here knowing that we are not too far away from the other teams and determined to get the car dialled in nicely for Bahrain next week".

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver)
"I didn't get a great start because there was a lot of wheelspin and I lost a few places straight away. Then I picked up some damage to my front wing on the first lap. I don’t think I hit anybody, but there was a lot of debris flying around going into turn one so maybe that's when it happened. That made the first stint very difficult because there was massive understeer and I had to change the nose at my first stop. We targeted a two-stop strategy, which I think was the right choice because our pace was strong towards the end of the race and I closed up on the main pack, but I think we lost too much at the start to make a real impact in the race".

Robert Fernley (Sahara Force India deputy team principle)
"We always felt that scoring points in today's race would need an element of luck or attrition, but as it was we saw almost 100 per cent reliability. Paul was in the mix for most of the race, fighting to get in the top 10 and ending up just under eight seconds from seventh place, and just 22 seconds off second place, which shows how competitive the field was today. We know that our race pace relative to our midfield rivals is not too far away and hopefully we can continue to close the performance gap quickly".

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT driver)
"My start was also quite poor, so we still have to do some work on the start system because it's still new. It was quite difficult to drive on the option tyres because we had a problem and the car was moving a lot on the straight, we are yet to identify what the reason was for that so we'll have to look into it and make sure we overcome it. But on the primes the car balance was much better and it was easy to drive. We set out to finish the race this weekend in China and we've achieved it, so we have to be pleased about that. Now we hope to progress a little bit more in Bahrain next week".

I just want to mention what Robert Fernley touched upon; that everything was so close. Paul was just 3.5s from 10th place. 10s would have got him 7th place. 15s would have got him 4th and 22s would have got him 2nd! What does this all mean? Well although the team are aware that they are slower than the other teams at the moment, it's only by a very very minimal amount. This is promising heading into the next race (next weekend) in Bahrain where the team have to try score as many points as possible. After that they can look forward to race five, Spain, where they have a major upgrade package; just a one second improvement could yield some podiums!

World Endurance Championship
In Karun Chandhok's first race he finished 17th overall but 7th in his class. He is now waiting for the second race, the 6 Heures de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on 5th May.

F2
The first round of the 2012 championship was held this weekend at Silverstone, UK. Unfortunately Parthiva Sureshwaren had a pointless weekend.

He qualified 14th for race one, finishing 16th. In race two he qualified 13th, finishing 14th. Parthiva will be disappointed that in both races he finished behind where he qualified but the positive thing to come out of the weekend is that he improved in race two compared to his performance in race one.

Unfortunately Parthiva has not scored a point in 21 races now; he really needs to start getting top ten finishes. Let's hope he brakes this unwanted record at the next race on the 28th April in the Algarve, Portugal.

Formula Renault 3.5
The season starts on 5th May at Ciudad del Motor de Arag├│n, Spain.

A two day pre-season test was held in Barcelona, Spain and Sahara Force India reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, finished 10th on day one and 13th on day two. Don't forget it's just testing, the positions don't count for anything really - we expect Jules to be a title contender when the season gets properly underway.

British GT Championship
One round (two races) has been held so far at Oulton Park, UK.

In race one Sailesh Bolisetti finished 19th overall and in race two he finished 20th overall.

Doesn't seem good at first, but this championship runs different classes of cars, in a similar manner to the World Endurance Championship. Those 19th and 20th places both translate to 2nd in their class - a podium finish!

So a great effort by Sailesh so far, let's hope he can continue this promising pace at the next race - the N├╝rburgring on the 18th May.

Indy Lights
Three races have been held so far this season with the most recent one held yesterday on the Streets of Long Beach.

Armaan Ebrahim's results for the three races are 8th, 12th and another 12th yesterday. This gives his 60 points in the championship, putting him 12th overall which makes him the 5th best rookie out of 11. Although it's very tight in the midfield; just 6 more points would put him 8th overall.

The next race is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, US on the 25th May.

Okay, that's you fully upto date for now, thanks for reading :-)

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