Silverstone hosts its very first Formula Renault 3.5 Series meeting next weekend. Until now Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) and Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) are the only drivers this season to have tripped up Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport). But all that could change at Silverstone!
After Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and Monaco, Formula Renault 3.5 prepares to visit another legendary circuit. Silverstone, the scene of 41 British Grand Prix, is built on the site of a military airfield. The track is as fast as it is technically demanding and is an ideal arena for the twenty-six Formula Renault 3.5 Series drivers.
The Championship leader Giedo Van der Garde will clearly be the man to watch. His twenty-nine point lead over Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) means he can approach the races with an increasing sense of calm since he is no longer the one who has to take all the risks! Above all, Giedo must be consistent and finish each race in a similar fashion to his Monaco performance, for which he was rewarded with second place. Furthermore, having driven the circuit at the wheel of a Formula 1 car during testing, the Dutchman has the added advantage of racing on familiar territory.
First Bertrand Baguette at Spa-Francorchamps and then Charles Pic at Monaco both proved that Van der Garde is not untouchable. They are just two of a long list of drivers to watch out for. On English soil, the five British teams will undoubtedly be the most dangerous.
The P1 Motorsport team, home to Giedo Van der Garde and WSR's sole female competitor, Pippa Mann, will start with a lead. However, Carlin Motorsport (Mikhail Aleshin/Robert Wickens) and Red Devil Team Comtec (Marco Bonanomi/Pasquale di Sabatino) will doubtless keep up the pressure.
For Fortec Motorsport, the pressure is perhaps even greater. James Walker will be keen to maintain his momentum after a strong performance on the streets of Monaco. The driver from Jersey will surely want a repeat of his victory at Donington last season. Walker can now count on some heavyweight support in the form of Fairuz Fauzy. The Malaysian, who lives at Silverstone, made a remarkable comeback to the category at Monaco, winning a place on the podium at the first attempt. Will he do better still on his home turf?
For some, this fourth meeting of the season has already taken on the appearance of a last chance. After a start to the season which fell well short of their expectations, Alvaro Barba, Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam), Guillaume Moreau (KTR), Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com), Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) will have to do something special if they are to remain in with a chance of the title.
The fourth weekend of the season sees a return to the traditional format. After four sessions of collective testing, the drivers will take part in the battle for SuperPole for the second time this season. The first race, with its reverse-order start grid, takes place on Saturday June 7 at 2:25PM, the weekend's second race getting underway on Sunday 8 at 1:15PM.