Motorsport News - GP2
De Jong Continues Strong GP2 Graduation At Silverstone
10th July 2012Danil De Jong produced an excellent drive from the back of the grid during the second of the weekends two GP2 Series races at Silverstone on Sunday, 8th July, to round-off a challenging outing at the British Grand Prix venue with a well deserved 13th place finish.
On only his second weekend in the FIA Formula One World Championship support category, the Rapax driver who celebrates his 20th birthday today continued to impress with a high level of performance despite immensely difficult conditions over the course of the event.
Torrential rain during practice day on Friday, 6th July, resulted in a saturated track surface and also led to several red flag stoppages, meaning the Dutch GP2 rookie was unable to benefit from any true running prior to the all-important qualifying session later in the day.
Heavy rain persisted but Danil did a great job to post the 19th quickest time, out of 26 runners, although he was subsequently promoted to 14th on the grid for the Feature Race due to penalties for several other drivers.
Treacherous conditions continued to cause problems during the first of the weekends races on Saturday, 7th July, to such an extent officials decided to begin the encounter behind the Safety Car. Unfortunately for Danil, a small misjudgment on the brakes in the heavy spray on lap one led to contact with the rear of the car driven by Rodolfo Gonzalez and resulted in retirement.
Determined to make amends in Sundays race, the Westmaas-based Dutchman certainly delivered with a highly competitive drive through the order gaining a total of 13 positions on his original starting slot of 26th on the grid.
Making a good start in his Pirelli-shod Dallara in the first dry outing of the weekend for GP2, he immediately gained some places and also benefitted from a couple of retirements to be in 21st position by lap two.
Running closely behind category front-runner James Calado, who also started at the back, Danil followed the Briton for several laps as the pair made their way further up the order and into lap six they were 17th and 18th respectively.
Maintaining a good gap to the cars behind, Danil continued to make gains as the race wore on and into lap 20 he was in 16th place. But a dramatic last couple of laps enabled him to leap into 13th due to an incident between Calado and Max Chilton and a separate retirement for Johnny Cecotto.
It was a really tough weekend with the weather and then the mistake in race one, I was really disappointed about that, but race two was really good, said the Karpack, Boix Europe and ECOCUPS supported driver, Coming from the back of the grid to finish in 13th place is a good result, Im happy with that and our pace was quite good as well.
Its only my second weekend in GP2 and so Im still learning so much. It was a big challenge going into qualifying and the races without any real practice time because of the bad weather. We still did a good job though in the end, I want to say thanks to the team for giving me a good car again.
Danils next GP2 Series outing with Rapax will come as part of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend on 28th/29th July. Before then, he will return to action with Manor MP Motorsport in the AUTO GP championship on 21st/22nd July at the Autdromo Internacional de Curitiba in Brazil.
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