Our tier 2 travelling circus arrives at Mexico this week for another chapter in this enthralling FPRL season 2. Would our main championship protagonists continue to fight at the front of the field? Who would come up short at this crucial time in the season?
In contrast to Thursday evenings tier 1 race, qualifying remained a dry affair throughout, giving the tier 2 drivers a slightly easier ride than their tier 1 counterparts.
RSF1 Kachow continued his fine form towards the front of the field in qualifying. Taking pole position in the hotly contested Q3 session by just 0.055 seconds from the equally impression Eagle 78x who has been a permanent fixture at the front of the field since joining tier 2.
TricKzPineZ had a fantastic qualifying session coming in at P4 for the Haas team. He was consistently in the groove throughout qualifying and only missed out on P3 by 0.031 seconds.
Speaking of P3 it was one of the main championship contenders sgtraninov who stuck his AlphaTauri on the second row. Having had a quiet session up until Q3, he saved his best lap till last to line up behind the pole sitter for the run down to turn 1. His teammate by comparison, I Biddle X, could only manage P9, one of his worst qualifying performances of the season.
TJM1992 was showing top form throughout practice and the session and recorded his best qualifying of the season picking up a 6th place for Ferrari. After his incident with his team mate GregersUK in the last race, he'll be hoping for a cleaner race this time around.
A big mention to our DavidLOLFace who qualified P13, he was showing some good pace in qualifying, and could be satisfied with a P13 effort starting position, just shy of pipping fan favourite RSF1 Locker to P12.
The start of the race was wet meaning the entire field started on the intermediate tyres. Perhaps this was spotted by the field in Q2, with none of the field opting to try their luck on the mediums as it wouldn't have mattered which tyres they qualified on as it was going to be wet.
It was Revenge ZiLLa in the Alfa Romeo who secured his second win of the season. Perhaps not the punters first choice before the start of the race, he produced an incredibly disciplined drive and took advantage of safety car periods and other drivers penalties to overhaul sgtraninov who finished first on track, but second in the classification.
Third place would be picked up by Eagle 78x who maintained his reputation as a consistent podium finisher, along with an extra fastest lap bonus point, to give Alfa Romeo a massive 41 points in their constructors fight. Rumours among the paddock could imply some full time seats may be available soon, if that is to be true, surely Eagle 78x would be a huge asset to any team looking for a strong constructors finish.
GregersUK would have picked up some 10 points for Ferrari, but his 5 second penalty he picked up in his race against his teammate in Austin dropped him from 5th to 6th, promoting Button 22x a place.
Junnu Vain had an absolutely stellar drive and is my personal driver of the day. After being unable to attend qualifying and starting plum last on the grid, he finished a brilliant P4 for McLaren after making up 15 places from 19th on the grid.
The championship momentum swung the way of sgtraninov in this race though, with I Biddle X failing to score points following multiple incidents for him, meaning he takes a 16 point league to Brazil this week.
As for the retirees, RSF1 Kachow, the man who stuck it on pole, will be disappointed with his DNF this week. Having struggled in the past few races with connectivity issues, it was another interrupted week for him as he classified 16th for Alpine.
Perhaps the biggest talking point during the race was the driving of RobbieParsons who had multiple incidents with various drivers during the race. Will the stewards be taking a look at any of the incidents in question? He's already carrying a 3 seconds penalty from an unserved penalty issued in Japan, he may be sweating until the stewards reports to see if he has avoided accumulating further penalties.
This is what Ferrari driver TJM1992 had to say on his specific incident with RobbieParsons:
'After getting an overtake done cleanly on RobbieParsons into T4, he had a late lunge and made contact with me in T5. This battle continued into T6 where further contact was made with me being pushed wide. On the exit of T6 I had the better exit but unfortunately RobbieParsons clipped my rear which spun me into the wall and resulted in me losing my front wing. I'm not happy about it but I'm keen to know if others share the same opinion as me before commenting further'.
And with that, Mexico has come and gone. Many drivers may be glad to see the back of it on the calendar, but some certainly wished we raced here every week. Next up in tier 2 is Brazil this Friday, with some potential attendances in doubt, how will that have an impact on the closely fought drivers championship? Tune in at 8pm Friday 3rd November to find out.
See you there!