Mahindra within touching distance

June 6, 2011

Danny Webb (20, from England) was knocked down and out of the race before even reaching the second corner. Team-mate Marcel Schrötter (18, from Germany) was radically slowed by the same incident, and spent the rest of the race trying to regain ground. He finished 16th, just one place out of the points.

It was a huge disappointment for the Mahindra team, the only one on the grid to make its own engine and motorcycle, after a weekend that had shown growing strength.

The race started on a drying track but with damp patches after more rain overnight and in the morning. Some other riders chose wet tyres, but both Mahindra riders chose treadless slicks, which turned out to be the right choice as the sun broke through by race end.

Webb had qualified 14th and was confident of a good result. Instead he had a lonely walk back to the pits. Schrötter was 20th on the grid, but had already made up several places when he was dropped back again, finishing the first lap 21st. He climbed through to 15th, but grip problems meant he had lost one crucial place by the end, missing the last championship point.

But the team could take many positives from the enhanced performance and reliability of the new engine, in its fifth race. With the next race in just one week, at Silverstone in England, hopes remain high and confidence continues to grow.