The GP2 Season began promisingly for Arden International driver Rene Binder with two points finishes in Bahrain. Unfortunately for the Austrian, who is the nephew of former Formula 1 driver Hans Binder, results have not been so easy to come by, and he has not scored any points since.
The Austrian driver feels he has been unlucky so far during the 2014 season, and believes he should have scored more points than he has. He scored points in both races in Bahrain but has not added to his tally since. He did finish in seventh place in the Feature race in Spain but was penalised post-race for a yellow flag infringement that cost him both the points in the Feature race but also a front row grid slot for the Sprint race.
“[I feel I’ve been] very unlucky but also with some promising highlights,” said Binder to The Checkered Flag. “It started with two promising point finishes in Bahrain. Then we finished 7th in the main race in Barcelona but – two hours later – lost that top position due to a 20 second penalty for not respecting yellow flags. Silverstone was just a very difficult race weekend for me. And finally in Hockenheim and Budapest we lost a lot of points mainly due to bad luck. So it can only get better. Of course I am very disappointed, but I will keep pushing.”
Binder believes he needs to improve his qualifying efforts to enable him to have better races, as he feels his pace in the races is more competitive. He feels he is still learning on track and is not ready to compete at the front, but is working on his driving to enable him to bring himself into regular points-paying finishes.
“There is no doubt that I need to improve my qualifying performance, while my race pace is not too bad,” insists Binder. “In Budapest I set the 7th fastest lap on Sunday, which was 4 tenths [of a second] from our championship leader, Jolyon Palmer. Realistically speaking I am not ready yet to fight with the big guys but if I can qualify close to the top 10, I should be in a position to make some good points. And that [has been] my target since the beginning of the season.”
He admitted some early season struggles with his Arden Internatioanal machine after a year at Venezuela GP Lazarus, but feels his season is beginning to turn around. He felt happier at Hockenheim, especially with a decent run in qualifying, and hopes to be able to build on that weekend in the remaining rounds of the GP2 season.
“In Hockenheim, where I qualified 12th, but just 7 tenth from pole position, I could at least see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Binder. “It definitely helps if you know a track very well and can start to push the car to the limit right from the beginning of free practice.”
When asked what it will take to get himself back into the points for the first time since Bahrain, the Austrian hopes for some better luck and some progress to be made in qualifying to hopefully leave him less work to do in the races, rather than having to play catch-up all of the time.
“That’s a good question,” pondered Binder. “For sure some better luck and hard work in order to find the limit of the car with new tyres in qualifying.”
Despite the results not going their way, Binder insists that the atmosphere within the Arden International team is still positive. He believes that the inexperience of himself and his team-mate Andre Negrao has not helped, and the Austrian believes both would benefit from an experienced team-mate this season while they come to terms with GP2 machinery, something Binder experienced in Spain when Tom Dillmann drove in place of Negrao when the Brazilian was injured and unable to compete.
“The atmosphere is still very good, even if we are all unhappy as our results do not reflect our true potential,” insisted Binder. “The working relationship with Andre is very good as well but, considering our lack of experience, we would both need an experienced team mate.”