Luiz Razia said patience would be a crucial ally in the first GP2 race of the weekend at Valencia – and the Brazilian’s thoughtful approach enabled him to record an improbable podium finish at the end of a chaotic race.
Starting 11th, Razia made a solid start and moved up to seventh by the opening lap’s end. He remained with the leading pack until making his mandatory tyre stop on lap 12, shortly before the safety car made the first of three appearances. Razia lay fifth prior to the race’s resumption – and that soon became second as drivers ahead tripped over each other at the restart. At that stage long-time leader James Calado (Lotus) had still to pit – the safety car ruined his strategy and cost him an almost certain victory – but Razia had incurred minor wing damage in traffic and was unable to retain his place at the head of chasing queue. Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus) and Marcus Ericsson (iSport) slipped ahead, but Calado’s enforced stop kept Razia in the top three and the Brazilian resisted late pressure from Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) to ensure he stayed there. The chequered flag was shown after 28 of the scheduled 30 laps, the race having reached its maximum time limit.
Life was a little calmer for team-mate Simon Trummer – and almost as productive. From 18th on the grid – the Swiss was given a two-place penalty for impeding another driver during qualifying – Trummer avoided the trouble that plagued the midfield runners and crossed the line in 12th place... although that became 10th after Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) and Johnny Cecotto (Addax) received post-race penalties.
Luiz Razia comments:
“I made a good start and could immediately feel that the car was well balanced, so I was optimistic that I’d be able to make further progress. Felipe Nasr had some kind of problem, so I was able to pass him fairly quickly. The team then did a brilliant job during the tyre stops, which put me fourth, and with Calado still needing to pit I was effectively third. “The final stages of the race were not so easy, unfortunately. I tried to pass Marcus Ericsson at one of the restarts, but clipped his rear wheel and ended up damaging my front wing. The car wasn’t quite as good after that, which is why Esteban Gutierrez and Ericsson were able to pass me. The last few laps were really, really tough, but given what happened yesterday I’m really happy to be third. It’s a brilliant result.”
Simon Trummer comments:
“I got off the line well, but lost three places during the opening lap. Happily, I was able to recover all of them before making my tyre stop. That went well and I was running 14th before the first safety car period, but various incidents enabled me to move up the order before the end. I knew straight away that Cecotto had a penalty, but it was slightly bitter-sweet to be 11th. It was a decent result for me, as a rookie, but at the same time frustrating to be so close to the points without actually scoring. I later learned that I had been promoted to 10th, however, and I hope to do even better tomorrow.”
Source: Arden International