|Although both of the Racing Engineering drivers qualified in the top ten today at the Istanbul Park Circuit in Turkey a session interrupted by red and yellow flags meant that neither Dani Clos nor Christian Vietoris was able to show their true pace.
The Friday morning free practice session saw the Istanbul circuit affected badly by rain as cloudy skies meant that the entire 30 minute session took place in a light drizzle. With only a short break before the afternoon qualifying session it was essential that neither Vietoris or Clos took any risks and damaged their cars but it was also important to cover as many laps as possible to allow both men to familiarise themselves with the new wet weather Pirellis.
Despite the difficult conditions which saw several spinners and a red flag both drivers were quickly on the pace, especially Vietoris and the young German began reducing his lap times as he got used to the slippery track and, by the end of the session, his fastest lap of 1:43.399 was also the fastest of the session. Clos was similarly running at the front of the field and the young Spaniard’s lap of 1:44.811 saw him finish sixth.
The sun had come out and the track had dried for the start of Qualifying and lap times were some 10 seconds quicker than in the morning. Once again both of the Racing Engineering drivers were amongst the quickest but two red flags and several more yellow flags saw the session become something of a lottery as to whether a driver was able to get a clear lap or not.
As the 30 minutes of qualifying came to an end Clos was 5th fastest with a time of 1:34.797 whilst Vietoris was just a little slower in 9th with a lap of 1:34.981.Both men have shown recent excellent pace, in the Asian GP2 Series in the case of Clos and pre-season testing for Vietoris, so their grid positions for tomorrow’s race need not prevent them fighting for a win and the usual meticulous preparation by Spain’s Racing Engineering team will ensure they have the cars to do the job.