After the unlucky Australian week-end, NetRex GP world championship team arrived in Bahrain with official line-up.
Qualifying 1 session was quite positive for the team with Michele D’Alessandro closing it in 3rd place and David Greco, despite the lack of practice, entering Q2 with the 8th best lap time.
Q2 confirmed the good sensations of the first qualyfing session: D’Alessandro managed to confirm his third place with a gap of only 0.075 from pole sitter Daniel Kiss; David Greco, on his hand, was able to improve one position and grab the 7th place on the grid.
The race start went flawless for both NetRex drivers, with Greco even moving to 6th after few corners.
In lap 9, before the 1st round of stops for the 3 pits strategy drivers, D’Alessandro was still driving in 3rd and Greco moved up even one more position, placing himself in 5th.
One lap later (10), D’Alessandro enters the pitlane together with Kiss, that leaving Greco in provisional 3rd place, who will anyway enter the pits in the next lap.
After the first round of pitstops, D’Alessandro drives in 5th position and Greco in 7th, while it starts to become clear that VBMadcape drivers, who moved to 1st and 2nd without stops, will go for a dangerous two stops strategy.
In lap 17 D’Alessandro overtakes Kiss and jumps to 4th place, while two laps later the first VBMadCape driver enters the pits, giving the italian #16 the 3rd position. On lap 20 Parisis stops too, D’Alessandro moves to 2nd behind Patel, while Greco goes in for his 2nd stop with a very short second stint.
On lap 24 both Patel and D’Alessandro goes in for their 2nd stop from P1 and P2, rejoining track only behind Parisis and very close to the greek driver, who, as said, is on a different strategy on older tyres. Greco climbs standings till 7th place with his new tyres.
On lap 27 D’Alessandro overtakes Patel for P2 and starts to quickly close the gap on the leader Parisis; on lap 30 NetRex GP #16 car is less than two seconds behind the greek driver and everything seems to predict that he would take the lead very soon.
But bad luck isn’t D’Alessandro’s best friend lately and during lap 30, due to a hardware problem, the italian spins and loses around 20 seconds in the attempt not to damage any car coming from behind. Greco benefits from this situation as well and moves up to 6th position, while D’Alessandro has to start it all again from P9.
On lap 32 Greco even overtakes Simoncic for 5h and four laps later (36) he enters the pits for his early third stop, which will leave him 21 laps on harder compound in the final stint.
On lap 40, D’Alessandro, who in the meantime was able to gain positions till P6, also stops for his last pit.
After the final round of pitstops, Greco is 5th (but with older tyres due to his early stop) and D’Alessandro in 11th, after another hardware problem which costed him almost 10 seconds again.
D’Alessandro immediately overtakes Valeriano for P10 and starts to hunt Manousakis for P9.
Around lap 52 Greco’s tyres start to give him serious grip problems, so that Simoncic starts to see the tail of the NetRex car.
Only 3 laps later, on lap 55 (with only two missing), the slovenian manages to overtakes Greco for P5 and Kiss takes advantages of the fight, overtaking the NetRex driver as well. That puts Greco in 7th.
In the meantime Manousakis soft tyres seem to go in deep crysis and D’Alessandro, who was around 6 seconds behind, manages to reach the greek driver in just two laps, that allowing him to gain one position (9th) on the final lap.
We heard D’Alessandro right after the GP:
“I feel realy sad, without that technical problem i would have won that race, my first WC race. Probably I had the best pace on the grid similar to Jeroen and that makes me even more sad. My qualify was realy good, i matched my pb, but Patel and Kiss did 2 awesome laps. I hope that this unlucky period will finish”.
After his tough race, David Greco added:
“Considering the amount of testing I could put in, I’d say I can be quite satisfied with my race and with the final position, despite it could have been a 5th place. We showed a very good base, considering Michele’s pace and I feel really confident for Spain”.
Netx GP will be Spanish GP already in the next week-end.