De Jong Overcomes Mistake To Race Well At Silverstone

Daniel De Jong - Photo Credit: GP2 Media Service

GP2 Series newcomer Daniel De Jong experienced a tough second race weekend in the series at Silverstone, but left happy with his pace and a 13th place finish.

The Dutchman faced an uphill struggle when torrential rain made free practice a washout – depriving the Rapax driver of any meaningful running.

The conditions were still tricky come qualifying later on the Friday, but De Jong managed the 19th fastest time of the 26 runners before he was promoted to 14th on the grid due to penalties and exclusions of other drivers.

More rain on Saturday led to the feature race starting behind the safety car, but De Jong made a mistake in spray on the first lap and ran into Rodolfo Gonzalez, ending his race before it had really even started.

That put him at the back of the grid for the sprint race on Sunday, which provided the first running of the GP2 weekend that was even close to dry.

He made a good start and also benefited from some retirements to be up to 21st by the end of the first lap, and then followed regular frontrunner James Calado through the order. He was up to 16th at the start of the penultimate lap, before benefiting from some late retirements ahead of him to cross the line 13th.

“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 De Jong, who is 20 today.

“Coming from the back of the grid to finish in 13th place is a good result, I'm happy with that and our pace was quite good as well.

“It's only my second weekend in GP2 and so I'm 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.”

De Jong will be absent from the Hockenheim round in two weeks' time as he contests the Auto GP World Series round at Curitiba in Brazil. That should allow race-winner Tom Dillmann to return to his seat.