Set-up problems restricted Will Bratt to a couple of points finishes at the second round of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Magny-Cours in France.
After showing strong pace in testing on Wednesday and then free practice on Friday the 23-year-old got caught up in traffic during qualifying which left him down in eighth on the grid for the first of the weekend's two races.
The race was run in damp conditions after a rain shower prior to the start. Bratt made a strong start to get himself up into fifth on the opening lap. However, he was struggling for grip from the outset on the slippery circuit. He managed to hold onto fifth until the fourth lap, but slipped down the order to eventually finish in eighth.
“We had a complete lack of grip,” said Will. “The car just wasn't handling at all, I did as much as I could at the start and during the first few laps but we had four-wheel drift everywhere. On the data my traces all looked good so we're baffled why the car wouldn't handle. In the end I was just hanging on in there, eighth was definitely the best we could do – it must have been a tyre issue.”
Qualifying on Sunday morning for the second race left Will just as frustrated as the first session had, but for different reasons. Unable to make the most of the lap where he enabled his car's boost, he could only qualify seventh.
At the beginning of the race Will didn't get the best of starts and slipped down to eighth behind fellow Briton Jon Lancaster. A mistake from Ramon Pineiro saw the Spaniard drop behind Lancaster to separate the pair, with Bratt finally able to find his way past on lap 15. He set about closing the five second gap to Lancaster and was the quickest man on track over the final nine laps. He closed to just 0.284 seconds behind Lancaster at the finish.
“It was a weekend with plenty of promise but unfortunately just one of those where things go against you. We definitely had a fundamental problem with the set-up in the wet conditions on Saturday as the car was pretty un-driveable. Qualifying was the issue on Sunday, had we started where we should have on the first two rows we definitely had the pace to challenge.”
Will now sits seventh in the standings, with the next round taking place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 25/26th June.