Home Featured Verschoor’s comeback in F2’s Barcelona sprint race halted by safety car

Verschoor’s comeback in F2’s Barcelona sprint race halted by safety car

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Richard Verschoor drove from 12th on the grid all the way up to sixth in a wet-to-dry Formula 2 sprint race at Barcelona.

The Van Amersfoort Racing driver shared his thoughts with Formula Scout about a race where he felt he lacked pace despite progressing up the order to score three points.

“It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the race,” he said. “I think we had a good opening lap. I put some pressure on some guys, overtook some guys and ended up P8 after the first lap.

“Then we had decent speed, not too good, but we could more or less keep up with the others, which was very important. At some point [Ayumu] Iwasa was much quicker than me, but we still managed to stay in front.”

As the race progressed, the rain stopped and the track dried out, prompting several drivers running towards the back of the field to pit for Pirelli’s soft compound slick tyres.

On lap 20 of 26, Verschoor’s team-mate Juan Manuel Correa – who had already boxed – spun at the exit of turn one and into the gravel trap. It caused a virtual safety car period, and then eventually required the safety car to come out.

Verschoor believed that had the safety car not been deployed, he would have ended the race further up in the order. His pitstop timing enabled him to pass Prema’s Ollie Bearman and Virtuosi Racing’s Amaury Cordeel, who got a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits and then a 10s penalty for failing to serve his initial penalty properly.

“We made the decision before the safety car came out. So we were on to gamble for the slicks,” said Verschoor of his pitstop.

“I’m really happy we did that. I think it could have worked without the safety car. We would have gained like six seconds from the cars in front. So it’s a shame about that. I think we could have gained a lot of positions.

“In the end, the others stopped under the safety car and mine was half under safety car. So it was a bit of a shame. But in the end, I did my out lap behind the safety car, so it wasn’t too tricky.”

“It’s always different,” he replied when asked how the car balance changed after fitting the slick tyres. “You cannot really compare the wet and the dry, but I still think we’re lacking a bit of pace. So we have to look into that and see if we can be stronger tomorrow.”

Verschoor also gave his thoughts on whether the race’s rolling start in the wet was neccessary.

“It [track conditions] wasn’t that bad. For me, I wish we should have done a standing start. I don’t know why we didn’t, but the rain wasn’t that bad. Just following some cars there was a bit of spray, but it wasn’t too bad.”