Double trouble wrecks Arden's podium hopes
Arden drivers Josef Kral and Jolyon Palmer made a bright start to the penultimate race in the GP2 Asia Series, at Imola, Italy. They ran fourth and sixth during the race's early stages, but their collective speed was swiftly compromised by misfortune. The Czech's progress was hampered by a puncture, which dropped him to 13th place, while his English team-mate slipped to the back of the field after losing time during his scheduled tyre stop. He eventually finished 19th.
"I made a brilliant start and then just sat behind the top three. It is very difficult to pass at Imola, but I was easily able to match their pace. The car felt good, but on the fourth lap my front right tyre punctured and I had to make my way fairly slowly to the pits for my mandatory stop. The team did a good job to change all four tyres quickly, but I struggled after that to generate temperature in the fronts. I picked up another puncture before the end, too, but the tyre was losing air very slowly so I was able to continue, although obviously I was unable to make any progress. It's a real shame because I know we could have obtained a good finish today. I'll do my best to score points in race two, but my main hope is that we have used up most of our bad luck and that we can convert our pace into strong results when the main GP2 Series begins at Istanbul in May."
"That was very frustrating. I made a good start and was sitting very comfortably behind Jules Bianchi. We opted for an early tyre stop, in a bid to gain time on a clear track when I rejoined, but I was unable to select first gear and it took about 20 seconds to fix the problem. In a flash I had slipped from fifth to last -- and we all know Imola is not a circuit that favours overtaking. There wasn't much I could do really, so I just drove patiently and took any opportunities that came my way, but there weren't many. From 19th on the grid, I have it all to do in race two..."