THE DRIVERS OF BARWA CAMPOS TEAM CLEAN UP IN BARCELONA WITH A SPECTACULAR ONE-TWO. ROMAIN GROSJEAN 1ST AND VITALY PETROV 2ND. The season could not have got off to a better start for the Spanish team Barwa Campos Team in the GP2 Series 2009.
THE DRIVERS OF BARWA CAMPOS TEAM CLEAN UP IN BARCELONA WITH A SPECTACULAR ONE-TWO.
ROMAIN GROSJEAN 1ST AND VITALY PETROV 2ND.
The season could not have got off to a better start for the Spanish team Barwa Campos Team in the GP2 Series 2009. Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov dominated the race from start to finish, leaving their rivals a long way behind. It is difficult to find superlatives to describe this performance.
At four o'clock this afternoon the first race of the new season got under way with Grosjean and Petrov leading from the start. They set such a fast early pace that nobody was able to keep up with them. At the halfway point both drivers conserved their lead, which by then had increased to 10 seconds over the rest of the field. This advantage was lost with only five laps to go when the safety car was forced to come out onto the track after an accident, but once battle resumed the Barwa Campos Team drivers were able to pull away again, demonstrating a tremendous superiority over the rest.
Romain, who had started from pole position, made sure there were no surprises at the start and comfortably got to the first corner to lead from the front. He came in to the pits for his compulsory tyre change on lap 16, and when he got back on to the track he was lying 8th. Within just a few laps he was dominating the race once more. Other rivals made their pit stop later and some were affected by traffic and drivers who were clearly holding them up. It was patently clear that the team's race rhythm was far superior to the rest and even the Safety Car, with just a few laps to go, was unable to spoil a glorious day. Grosjean demonstrated today that he was absolutely unbeatable, winning without having been challenged in any part of the race.
Vitaly also deserves a special mention. After a great start he attacked Di Grassi on the first corner, keeping the outside line in such way that he was able to cut inside at the second turn and take 2nd place. He was the only driver able to keep up with his team mate's pace, as the team showed an almost insulting dominance. He came in to the pits for his tyre change on lap 18 and came back out behind Grosjean. After the Safety Car incident Petrov had the responsibility of pulling away from the peloton of drivers behind him, and he did so with the greatest of ease. The Russian has clearly staked his claim as serious title contender.
The championship has started with Romain Grosjean dominating the drivers ranking, with a maximum possible 13 points, having achieved pole position, fastest lap time and race victory. Vitaly Petrov lies second overall with 8 points and in the team championship Barwa Campos Team is way out in front, after having picked up a maximum of 21 points from its two drivers.
Romain Grosjean: "I hadn't made a start in 8 months but it wasn't bad. I was really pleased to see Vitaly in second place. I tried to build a lead from the start but I didn't want to damage the tyres. I was surprised that nobody could keep up with us. The pit stop strategy worked very well. The car performed really well. I have to say that the team has done a great job. The rear tyres worked well at least better than the front ones, so there is still room for improvement. Nevertheless we are very satisfied with this start to the season".
Vitaly Petrov: "I made a good start even though I had problem with the clutch. On the first corner I had the opportunity to attack Di Grassi and I took advantage and got it right. I tried to keep up with Romain but I didn't want to damage my tyres. In the early phase of the race I was studying the performance of the car and after the tyre change I started to improve on my times, lap after lap until I got to the point where I decided not to take any risks. As I wasn't sure how long the tyres would last, I was very cautious throughout the whole race".