The weekend in Barcelona, for the second round of the GP2 series championship got off to a bad start for the ART GP team, but there are many reasons to be pleased. Hit with a transmission problem, Nico Rosberg did not take part in Friday's only...
The weekend in Barcelona, for the second round of the GP2 series championship got off to a bad start for the ART GP team, but there are many reasons to be pleased. Hit with a transmission problem, Nico Rosberg did not take part in Friday's only free session, and Alexandre Premat was not able to get the right setup for the Circuit de Catalunya.
Qualifying 10th and 14th respectively, Nico and Alexandre both came back nicely to make it into the Top 10, just outside the points. Nico had a great showing, having the best lap time and getting two extra points for the ART GP team.
The second session of the weekend allowed Nico to move up to 4th place and at the foot of the podium, while Alexandre, whose car was understeering, ended up going off the track. Alexandre and Nico are now in 8th and 9th place in the championship, with a respective 7 and 6 points and the team ART Grand Prix are 5th in the Team's championship with 13 points.
Frederic Vasseur: The feeling was down at the end of the weekend in Barcelona. We showed a very good level of performance, but we must fix certain issues in order to put everything into place and to secure the points we deserve with regard to our competitiveness.
Nico Rosberg: We encountered a series of problems this weekend, starting with a free sessionthat I could not take part in due to mechanical problems, and on top of that I had a high fever which held me back the first few days. But we have to look on the positive side because it is important and hopeful: a fastest lap time in race 1 and a good comeback in race 2, which should have ended on the podium. I was 6th after a few hundred meters, but then I lost several places because of engine problems in the first lap. We are fast, I work really well with our engineer Steeve, and the few points we got are encouraging. We have to work more to get everything in place, and I am sure that when we do we will be really strong and on the podium.
Alexandre Premat: The weekend was rather difficult for me. We did not manage to find the perfect set-up and my chances to do well in the race were compromised at the end of the qualifications. We gambled by using a low downforce set-up for the first race, in order to have a better chance come back from the 14th position on the grid, hoping to be able to overtake more easily in the long straight. This did not work out as planned and so we added more downforce for the second race. I had graining on my front tires at the beginning of race 2, and I then found myself stuck behind Fauzy, who was impossible to overtake and made us lose a lot of time. I had understeering at the exit of the last curve; I put a wheel in the gravel and spun out, to end my race in the pit wall. I am disappointed, but on a positive side, the car and the team are competitive. We need to work and work, and adjust on certain details to be on front, we have the potential to do so.