GP2 Podium for Reigning British F3 Champion at Silverstone
DRIVER NEWS: On the day that Lewis Hamilton scored his first British Grand Prix pole position, fellow British single-seater star Mike Conway also delighted his home fans by standing on the Silverstone podium after a pulsating drive to second place in the GP2 Feature Race.
Starting from second on the grid for Super Nova International after his best qualifying performance of the year, Conway came agonisingly close to passing race leader, and pole position starter, Andi Zuber when he rejoined from his pitstop. The Silverstone crowd was on its feet as he raced wheel-to-wheel with Zuber from the pit exit to the ultra-high-speed Becketts sequence, but Zuber just held on.
Mike didn't settle for second, however, and hounded Zuber around the fast sweeps of Silverstone. He stayed right on his tail for the next lap, trying to pressurise the Austrian into a mistake, but a chance to pass never arose.
With eight points on offer for second place, Mike finally decided to ease his pace and conserve his car to the finish, but while staying close enough to pounce should Zuber hit trouble.
"I'm pretty happy to finish second," said Mike, "but I still wanted to win!
Especially after I heard the cheer for Lewis earlier in the day. I was preparing my helmet visor tear-offs when I heard the huge roar, and knew he had taken pole.
"He did a fantastic job, and then it was my turn. It was a great feeling to stand on the podium, as many fans had stayed on to watch our race too."
Mike's Super Nova team thought he had done enough after he set a superb out-lap from his pitstop, but there were just fractions of a second in it as he rejoined behind Zuber.
"When I saw we weren't going to get him out of the pits, I thought I might get a run on the Hangar Straight into Stowe corner, but I just wasn't close enough," said Mike. "I pushed very hard after that, to see if I could find a way past, but he seemed to have a little bit in his pocket.
"I kept the pressure on for as long as a could, but I wasn't about to try anything stupid, and feel I learnt something about where he was slightly quicker. It shows we have some work to do to make our car even faster. Some of the corners I was quicker, but he was faster in others."
The GP2 series is the final stepping stone on a drivers path to Formula One, and with the races taking place at the Grands Prix, is a showcase of their talents in front of their peers and the F1 paddock.
Conway is reigning British F3 champion and graduated to the GP2 series for this season. He has already shown that he has front running pace and the fighting spirit needed to challenge for championship points in the Series, although a little bad luck has dogged his performance in a few of the races.
Another championship points haul on Sunday morning was the reward for another solid performance from Conway, finishing 5th after starting 7th on the grid. The next GP2 round is at the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on July 21/22.