Before Round 7 got underway I invited fans of GP2 to get involved with Callum Rowe’s GP2 Blog. The response I got was incredible; millions of you guys (perhaps less) replied with interest to get involved.
Katy, James, Lauren and Leny have all written about the weekend just gone and expressed their opinions on what happened in the races at the Hungaroring.
Katy McConnachie (@MissKaty_F1): It was yet another eventful GP2 weekend for the 7th round of the season and so far, it has been my favourite.
Out of many amazing things that happened over the course of the weekend, there is only one thing that I could talk about and that is the brilliant win that Arthur Pic produced during Saturday’s Feature Race.
As a Pic fan, this win wasn’t only the highlight of the weekend for me, it was the highlight of the season. This season has seen some very dominant lights-to-flag wins and Arthur’s wasn’t one of them but that didn’t make it any less spectacular to watch!
Starting from 3rd on the grid was already enough for me and I was just expecting a 3rd or 2nd place finish, it never occurred to me that Arthur may have won as I was fully expecting the likes of Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer to make a fight for that top step position.
Arthur took over from Raffaele Marciello and lead from that moment. There was a lengthy Safety Car period which I believe helped Arthur a lot. It was his impressive get away from the rest of the pack when the Safety Car returned to the pits that was the highlight of the race for me. With 3 minutes left on the clock, Arthur pulled a decent and manageable gap from Stefano Coletti that allowed him to take his brilliant maiden victory.
It was also nice to see that not only was all the Campos team and his Physio Emilien down at the podium to cheer him on, but his older brother Charles and good friend Jules Bianchi.
Like his brothers first GP2 win, this race was one I am so happy I got to watch and I am certain it is the first of many. It was such a spectacular drive from the French rookie and a well deserved reward for all the hard work put in by the Campos Racing team.
James Rowe (@MrJamesRowe): My wonderfully talented writer of a brother has for some reason given me the opportunity to write about GP2. What a fool he is for letting me of all people grace his website and write about the sport he loves the most. I’ll do my best.
It was always going to be tough for Hungary to top the extraordinary weekend of Germany that preceded it by just one week. Hockenheim served up two remarkable races but the Hungaroring did its best to come close.
Nasr and Palmer provided some intense battles on track and some pretty entertaining moments up on the podium. I thought Palmer’s moves on Nasr at turn one were wrong. Especially the one in race two. His original move was super, don’t get me wrong, but the way he ran Nasr wide and forced him off track was not professional. It is a well-known fact that a driver should leave a car’s width at all times but Palmer failed to adhere to this rule.
Palmer himself had been forced wide by Nasr at one point during the weekend but that doesn’t give him the right to do the same. It just gets silly when drivers are pushing one another to and beyond the limits because that’s when it all goes wrong. We don’t want to see things going wrong. Not in racing.
The podium at least did provide some entertainment as the pair bickered about the on-track battles. So long drivers aren’t spewing out a load of PR drivel then I’m happy, I love to hear the true emotion of how they’re feeling.
Lauren Harrison (@lharrisonx): With the GP2 following the F1 circus to the Hungaroring; the feeder series had a lot to live up to after the epic 200th and 201st races that were celebrated in Hockenheim the week before.
After such an epic start to the season for Johnny Cecotto, it was disappointing to see some silly errors emerging throughout the weekend, notably when he collided with Jolyon Palmer during practice, causing damage to both their cars, with the Venezuelan’s weekend not improving with two retirements in the races. In contrast, Jolyon Palmer was absolutely amazing this weekend; his on track battles with Felipe Nasr absolutely compelling and incredible to watch, the hunger apparent in aggressive manoeuvres that were well executed, something that I adore viewing as a motorsport fan! Also, it was pleasant to see a new winner rising through the ranks in Arthur Pic after a well-executed race presented him the opportunity to win his maiden victory in the series. One final sweet touch to the race was Izawa gaining his first podium which would’ve been his daughter’s birthday in Japan; what a way to celebrate your daughter’s birthday!
One thing that I didn’t enjoy about the race was the nasty collision between Nathanael Berthon and Sergio Canamasas; it’s never nice to see such an accident unfold at high speeds, nor do I like seeing any driver crash, but Canamasas’ crash was absolutely horrible to witness considering he clattered the barrier not just once, but twice and can understand why he didn’t race on Sunday after such a shock to the system.
The sprint race was equally as exciting, yet filled with incidents throughout the field, notably towards the end of the race. Again, kudos has to be given to Jolyon Palmer after more exciting racing and proving exactly why he’s a championship contender this season; scoring vital important points against his main championship rival Felipe Nasr in what could be one of the overtakes of the season. In what could’ve been one of the most exciting races of the season, there was also disappointment for the likes of Dillmann and Markelov whose races were ended on the last lap of the race, both due to silly accidents which are frustrating, especially as this could’ve been Markelov’s best race of the season thus far.
Overall, the drivers produced two amazing races filled with drama and excitement as always, showing exactly where overtakes can be done and why they deserve to be with their teams; it’s easy to see how GP2 is the feeder series to Formula 1 with the brilliant and enthralling races that we have seen this season. Hopefully the races at Spa-Francorchamps will be equally, if not, more exciting than the ones that we’ve seen at the Hungaroring!
Leny Polastri (@leny_458): Everyone following junior series knows that the way from GP2 to Formula One isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) very long. But especially this weekend proved once again how close these two series actually are: By comparing the times of the Qualifying sessions the top three GP2 drivers would have been able to start on the Formula One grid ahead of P20. I have to mention at this point that this result is a bit distorted since Hamilton and Maldonado – the GP2 champions of 2006 and 2010 by the way – were not able to set a time in their Qualifying due to technical problems on their cars.
And well, the Hungaroring is a track “on which you can’t overtake”. Now say that again having watched this weekend’s races with drivers like Izawa crossing the finish line being fourth having started last. Actually Formula One drivers confessed more than one time they watch GP2 races and try to emulate some of the amazing moves the junior drivers show in their races – If this doesn’t show the high quality of GP2, then I don’t know what else to say.
If you want to get involved with this type of feature next time, drop me a tweet or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.