• Sam Bird's GP2 column

'We have the speed to compete with Pastor and Sergio'

Sam Bird
July 30, 2010
Sam Bird had a mixed weekend in Germany © Sutton Images
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As with our British Grand Prix weekend, our pace was again was very strong in Germany. Unfortunately, the result didn't show that and we should be challenging for race wins now.

In qualifying, we were on the wrong end of the weather conditions. As ART boss Fred Vasseur said: "Qualifying was a lottery and we didn't pick the right numbers"

Pretty much everybody spun at one stage or another during the session. When you have a spin in very wet conditions, you become a passive passenger. Unfortunately I aquaplaned off the circuit and clipped a wall and that was that for me. Then with the rain easing and the track drying in the last few minutes, I tumbled down the leader board while watching from the sidelines.

In Saturday's race I got up to 10th after only a few laps and I was challenging for ninth. A finish in 7th or 8th, synonymous with points and a front row start for the sprint race, looked on but I knew I had to make a move quickly because the guy in eighth was getting away from Giedo van der Garde in front of me.

I was going down the inside, and Giedo turned into the corner as if I wasn't there, leaving me no space whatsoever to negotiate the corner, so we touched. He spun, which left him facing the wrong way at the hairpin. Giedo is a good guy. It was just a racing incident in my view. Unfortunately, I got a drive-through penalty, which I thought was a bit harsh, and it resulted in me finishing 14th. But it's the steward's decision and that's final.

Sam Bird came through the field in the sprint race from the back of the grid © Sutton Images
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In race two I charged up to fifth place with a good drive. It was a lot of fun but it would have been more fun fighting for the win. I enjoy these drives through the field, but I really should be fighting for wins with Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez and people like that.

Like in Monaco, I caught up with Pastor and overtook him, so although he is dominating the championship, we certainly have enough to compete with him. We just need to have a weekend where we put it all together and there are no unfortunate incidents.

But I'm still absolutely confident going into Hungary. I've never been there but I like the look and lay-out of the circuit so we'll have to wait and see. But for all the homework I've done to prepare, I actually need to learn the circuit on Friday morning. It'll be a case of more 'care than flare' on the first couple of laps, and then I'll turn it up a bit more towards the end of the session.

It's been fairly flat out between races, to be honest and I've literally gone home, washed all my gear, been to the gym a couple of times and now I'm here. Roll on the race weekend.

www.sambird.com

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