Podium for Pic, Villa annexes front row for sprint race Today's GP2 Asia Series race didn't yield quite the fruits Arden had anticipated, but the team delivered a strong performance nevertheless -- and there were unforeseen benefits. A ...
Podium for Pic, Villa annexes front row for sprint race
Today's GP2 Asia Series race didn't yield quite the fruits Arden had anticipated, but the team delivered a strong performance nevertheless -- and there were unforeseen benefits. A combination of factors dropped Charles Pic and Javier Villa from second and sixth to third and ninth during the course of the opening lap. Apart from the inevitable fluctuations prompted by the mandatory tyre stops, Pic remained there for the race's duration to add yet another podium finish to an impressive run of recent results. Villa recovered well to finish seventh -- a result that puts him second on the grid for tomorrow morning's sprint race.
"I made a good start initially, but then the clutch slipped and I lost momentum. Davide Valsecchi and Alvaro Parente passed me around the outside at Turn One, but I was able to repass Parente almost immediately. I then pushed hard to pull away from him, and to stay with Valsecchi, but I lost a few seconds during my tyre stop. There was nothing wrong with our strategy, or the team's pit performance, but I got stuck behind Jake Rosenzweig and lost time as I rejoined. I was still close to Valsecchi, but didn't take any risks and gave him plenty of room at Turn One. That meant I was still third, so I carried on as before and tried to put Davide under pressure.
"The Safety Car came out late in the race -- and that was bad news for me. I had been pushing very hard from the start and the heat had blistered my right hand -- it was very painful towards the end of the race, so having to defend was something I really didn't need. I tried to stay with Valsecchi again at the restart, but it simply wasn't possible and I had to settle for third. I'm pleased with my performance, though, and from sixth on the grid I'm sure I can score another good result tomorrow."
"That was a difficult race for me. I lost a few places when I was forced wide during the first-lap scramble. After my pit stop I ran very consistently and was quicker than all but the top three cars.
"Towards the end I had a minor collision with Jules Bianchi -- and that affected my left rear wheel. The last few laps were particularly tough, but I scored a couple of points and have an excellent chance to win tomorrow's final race in this season's GP2 Asia Series. I am sure we have the potential to do it. It has been a difficult weekend so far: we were very quick a fortnight ago in Bahrain, but the new section of the circuit is very bumpy and we have had to compromise our set-up. Still, that gives me some extra data that might be useful in the future."