With both EQ8 Caterham Racing drivers improving on their morning practice times, a stellar qualifying performance puts Tom Dillmann on the front row of the grid for Saturday's Hungarian GP2 Feature Race.
Tom Dillmann "Qualifying was great. In free practice we did not show our pace, but we worked in the same way as we did in Hockenheim to make sure we had a good car for qualifying. I was confident going into the session and it was just about putting a lap together and using the peak of the tyres. I planned to try and do my qualifying lap on the first run but I had a bit of traffic on the push lap so it was not possible. On the second set of tyres I had the perfect opportunity as the team sent me out at exactly the right time when nobody else was on track and I did my fastest lap on a free track. Last year I had pole here and this year a front row, so I am very pleased with our performance."
Having qualified on the front row of the GP2 grid and running third for the majority of the race Tom's strategy was ruined by two safety cars, the second of which prevented him completing more than two laps on the option tyre. With a one lap sprint to the chequered flag Tom was unable to make use of his new tyres, crossing the line 9th and scoring the two points for the fastest lap.
Tom Dillmann "I had a good start from the front row, but I was lacking some pace on the prime tyre and I lost time to Nasr and Palmer in the early stages. I concentrated on keeping my tyres fresh and I was closing the gap to the leaders before the first safety car came along and ruined our strategy. I then had a bit of a tough time at the restart as a lapped car held me up and allowed the leaders to create a gap ahead of me. When we pitted for the option tyre the car balance was really good. We were quick and ready to move back through the field, but another safety car came out just at the wrong time and I couldn't use the new tyres. With just one lap left to race after the safety car came in, there was no chance to recover the places and regain our podium position. Both safety cars ruined our strategy today, but there is nothing we can do about it and now I just have to focus on tomorrow's race."
Race 2 :
Tom Dillmann lined up ninth on the GP2 Sprint race grid, he managed his tyres well in the early stages of the race, fighting hard on the closing laps to gain positions, but he was forced off track for a pass for the final point scoring position ending his race.
Tom Dillmann "I had a bit of wheel spin off the line but we stayed in much the same position as we started. We made a positive step with the car from yesterday. I looked after my tyres for the first two thirds of the race so I could push at the end, which worked well. I was fighting for the final point scoring position and took a look on the inside to pass Quaife-Hobbs. Unfortunately he ran me onto the inside kerb, forcing me to spin, so that was the end of my race. He was penalised for that. I think I did the best I could today with managing the tyres but we still need to find some race pace. We have such a good qualifying car and we can start at the front of the grid, so results will come. I am enjoying working with Caterham Racing and to achieve P2 and P4 in qualifying has been good. We have made some positive steps between Hockenheim and Budapest and I think we know more or less what we can do to find more pace in the race.
I have some unfinished business with the team now and I would love to come back and have a full weekend with no problems and a bit of luck. Yesterday, without the safety cars we were easily in a podium position and I really wanted to deliver a good result for the team."