GP2 SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP CHAMPIONS!
The ART Grand Prix team concluded the Belgian weekend for the GP2 championship by securing the first ever teams' championship crown in this new series, a title delivered with excellence by their two drivers, Nico Rosberg and Alexandre Premat. The eleventh round of the season did not escape the sudden famous weather changes of the Ardennes, but Alexandre Premat knew how to extract the best from the situation and secure second on the grid in qualifying.
Fastest in free practice, Nico Rosberg was left on the 10th row of the grid for the first race, after an early off track excursion that prevented him from defending his chances on the drying track that was constantly improving. Despite his lower starting position, Nico was in the thick of things in the first race climbing through the field to finish in the three when the chequered flag fell, despite the fact that the racewas interrupted by four safety car periods.
For his part, Alexandre was unable to profit from his excellent start to the race when after taking the lead of the race he was hit by Nelson Piquet and was forced to start from the back of the grid in race two as a result. The Sunday race was wisely red flagged following a violent accident between Yoshimoto and Jani as visibility had reduced to almost zero on the rain soaked track. With finishing in 5th place, Nico consolidated his first place in the drivers' championship and now has a three point lead over Kovalainen.
Frederic Vasseur: We had our highs and lows. Alexandre was strong in qualifying before being forced to out of contention in the first race by the actions of an optimistic competitor, whereas Nico had the opposite fortune: an average position on the grid but an exceptional race which enabled him to take the lead of the championship. He was caught between finishing the race or trying to win, but we advised him to choose the first solution. ART GP are champions and I congratulate all the members on the team for this brilliant result, but we must not forget that there is still more to do so that Nico becomes the first ever GP2 series champion.
Alexandre Premat: Qualifying was good: the track offered more and more grip at the end of the session and it was necessary to be there at the right moment to set a good time, which I succeeded in doing. The first race also started well as I was in position to win, until Piquet turned into me. The second round was bizarre, I couldn't see the track or the cars in front of me and the race director made the best decision by stopping the race, even if it went against me as I had managed to work my way up the field.
Nico Rosberg: For sure this was like walking on water in race 1 but at the end it was the right decision to come in for pit stop very early. I am absolutely happy with the third place after being 11th on the grid, especially as it means the lead in the championship. But we have to stay realistic; being in the lead is a nice fact but nothing more. I still concentrate only on the next races.