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“Driving standards (again)”

June 27, 2012

© GP2 Media Services.

Recently, I noted my disappointment with the standards of driving by GP3’s Dmitry Suranovich at Monaco.

The Russian blocked, weaved and backed into Lotus GP’s Conor Daly, eventually instigating a horrific accident that sent Daly skyward at the Nouvelle chicane.

Thankfully all emerged unscathed, but it was the latest in a string of incidents dictated by poor standards of action behind the wheel.
Last weekend’s GP2 races at the Valencia street circuit raised the bar of madness a touch further.

The on track action appeared – at times – to be almost amateurish, dominated by some shocking driving and mindless accidents.
These drivers are supposedly vying to be the future of Formula 1. One can only hope some semblance of maturity graces the field before they take their next steps on the motor racing ladder.

Whether it be Jolyon Palmer spearing an innocent Fabrizio Crestani in race one in attempt to take several cars at once, causing Crestani to barrel roll on a couple of occasions.
Or whether it was Rodolfo Gonzalez hitting Giancarlo Serenelli into the wall, bringing out what was then the third safety car of the opening race.
Then there was Tom Dillmann driving with a broken rear wing, which eventually fell off, leading to Gonzalez to crash into it head on, bringing out a safety car.

Or possibly the four-car pile-up on the opening lap of the Sprint Race as the GP2 field cast itself into turn two, bringing out an immediate safety car.
Or the aforementioned Palmer hitting the rear of Johnny Cecotto Jr on the start / finish straight just as the race went back to green flag racing.

The series of faux pas’ were not limited to the racing track. There was a team member who seemed to wander aimlessly off the pitwall and into the path of oncoming traffic during a series of live pitstops – Giedo van der Garde thankfully has quick reflexes.

Beyond that, there were incidents in free practice when Gonzalez crashed into the turn fourteen barrier on his own at slow speed.
In qualifying, Gonzalez and Cecotto Jr seemed determined to fight for position on track, baulking the fast Davide Valsecchi as a result.
The blissful lack of awareness added a light comical touch to the situation. Apparently it did not occur to them to slow down, so they could make track space for themselves.

In saying that, the final six laps in the Sunday morning Sprint Race was absolutely top notch – the fight for the win between James Calado, Rio Haryanto, Fabio Leimer, Max Chilton, van der Garde and eventual winner Luiz Razia was a joy to behold.

Prior to that, the action was somewhat less than enjoyable, because frankly the standard of racing in the field was appalling. Much of it represented the absolute nadir of GP2 – some truly abysmal driving.
It was rather reminiscent of GP2 in Monaco last year. Someone needs to sit these boys down and have a chat.

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