Arden International came away from the fifth round of the GP2 series at Silverstone full of disappointment when drivers Andre Negrao and Norman Nato struggled to finish higher than 15th over the course of the weekend.
Aware that the Silverstone circuit would be hard on tyres, the Arden duo ran their practice session on the hard compound in the hope that they would get a feel for the track and be prepared for qualifying.
“It was a difficult start to the weekend. I had to improve a lot on the circuit, in particular sector two,” said Negrao. “We worked on the set up as I was experiencing understeer out of the high speed corners.” The Brazilian’s struggles were noticeable when he finished the Friday session in 21st.
The afternoon was better for Negrao when he came across the line to qualify 16th ahead of his teammate Nato who could only manage 21st.
The start of Saturday’s feature race was full of disappointment for both drivers. Negrao suffered the most when he stalled on the grid. “I had a really bad start to race one. I had stalled on the start and then we had a 10 second penalty for overtaking under the Safety Car,” the Brazilian said.
“Despite this, the car felt good in the race. My pace was up there with the leaders.”
Negrao was able to regain places thanks to retirements from four drivers and an unfortunate last corner incident for Jordan King on the final lap due to contact with Arthur Pic.
“We had a difficult weekend in Austria,” Negrao’s teammate, Nato claimed. “It’s been a difficult weekend [at Silverstone] in terms of results for reasons out of our control.” The Frenchman’s start saw him drop a place by the end of the first lap and despite his pace, he failed to truly make up any ground.
Sunday was slightly better for Negrao who managed a 15th place finish after a steady race from the get-go but Nato suffered front wing damage after contact with Sergio Canamasas on the second lap. He was later penalised for the incident and had to settle for 23rd place at the end of the day.
The disheartened pair head to Budapest in the hope of claiming points after their tough weekend.