Bamber scores valuable points for MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara in race 1 at Shanghai Race 1 - Alex Yoong (18) - 14th Earl Bamber (19) - 6th (3 points) Malaysian Alex Yoong and New Zealand rookie Earl Bamber finished the 34-lap first race of the season...
Bamber scores valuable points for MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara in race 1 at Shanghai
Race 1 -
Alex Yoong (18) - 14th
Earl Bamber (19) - 6th (3 points)
Malaysian Alex Yoong and New Zealand rookie Earl Bamber finished the 34-lap first race of the season in thirteenth and sixth places respectively. Bamber's sixth place brings the team three valuable points.
It was an exciting first race interrupted with two safety car periods. Earl Bamber was the best-placed rookie with no previous experience in GP2 Asia or with ground-effect cars. Tomorrow as the grid in GP2 Asia is reversed, Bamber will start from third. Alex Yoong also had a strong race climbing from 23rd on the grid to finish fourteenth.
Rookie Earl Bamber had a strong start and came through from ninth to sixth and explained: "I had an interesting start and found myself a bit in a sandwich between two experienced drivers, Valesechhi and Filippi. I lost one position and gained it again in the first corner after going wide. I was fighting with Petrov. That put me back very soon in sixth place behind strong drivers. I was able to keep behind me Jerome d'Ambrosio that I had passed at the start. I was maintaining the pace and lapping consistently. We had decided as part of the team's strategy not to complete our pit stop in the first laps of the race. We waited until the safety car was deployed. My pit stop went rather smoothly but because of the safety car I gained nothing and lost nothing. I rejoined as the safety car was still controlling the race before the tenth lap. As part of my first experience driving under a safety car, I found it hard to keep the temperature in the tires during the five laps that the safety car was out. The safety car came out another time nine laps before the end and the same problem with cooling tyres was a worry. Overall my first race in GP2 Asia was really good fun. I had a good pit stop and do not feel tired although it was one of my longest races ever."
Alex Yoong commented: "I arrived at Shanghai very motivated. Of course, I was disappointed with my qualifying result. But I did a good race. I am much happier with the car. My race worked well in the second half of the race as the brake balance was in correct position. Now, I feel that with the team I can bring the car in the right direction. I suppose I was also a bit rusty. I was progressing all the time and climbed through the field. It was a good fight and hopefully we can get more of a reward in race two."
Peter Thompson, Team founder commented: "Earl Bamber had a strong race to climb from ninth on the grid to sixth and take three valuable points for our team on his debut. Alex Yoong also drove well, climbing his way up the order. The team has shown it is very competitive in race conditions and we're looking forward to consolidating our strong first race result in the second outing tomorrow."
Firhat Yuri Bin dato Mokhzani, Team Director commented: "It was a strong show from our rookie as Earl Bamber fought with more experienced drivers to bring his car home in the points. Alex Yoong also did well to fight through the field. Well done to our team for this result and lets see what tomorrow's second race."