Ocean Racing Technology secures points at Abu Dhabi
Antonio Felix da Costa just misses out on the podium
Antonio Felix da Costa's start behind the wheel of an Ocean Racing Technology GP2 car, for the GP2 series exhibition race this weekend in Abu Dhabi could not have been more brilliant. The Portuguese driver started from 15th position on the starting grid in the first race and made several remarkable overtaking manoeuvres, which enabled him to finish in a dazzling 7th place.
Antonio Felix was very satisfied with his race and the work of the crew, without which his pit stop and progress would not have been as incisive. "The red flag during qualifying did not help me qualify better but I knew that I could make good progress during the race. I was a bit anxious at the start, I had to face all these new things, like the pit stop and tyre management. Everything went perfectly, and overall we were very fast and at the end we even put pressure on 6th place."
Meanwhile, his team mate Nicolas Marroc made a great advance from 26th position on the starting grid, to finish 14th. "I was comfortable during the race, despite the drawback of having to start from the back of the pack. I improved lap after lap and I was really competitive at the end. I got the best out of my two sets of tyres and the pit stop went well."
Despite starting from 2nd position on the grid in the second race, Antonio Felix da Costa saw his hopes of a podium dashed after receiving a drive-through penalty. The Portuguese driver finished the second Abu Dhabi race in 13th place. At the end of his first weekend of competition in the GP2 Series, Antonio Felix da Costa was both satisfied with what he demonstrated on track, but also disappointed with having lost his chance to climb the podium. "I am disappointed with what happened. I was making good progress and had good race management. Unfortunately, I went off the track slightly and it made me fall into third place. After that, I felt the pressure from a pursuer and to defend my position, I took a bit of a shortcut. That earned me a penalty and ruined my race," declared the Portuguese driver.
Nicolas Marroc was also sanctioned with a penalty in the second race and did not manage to finish in the top 10 like he was hoping to. He crossed the finish line on the Yas Marina circuit in 22nd. "I made an error at the start and I was penalized for moving too soon. After that, I could just give it my all and I think I made good progress and did a good job, even if it is not reflected in the overall standings. I would like to thank Ocean for the chance they gave me to discover the GP2 Series races," the French driver declared.
Tiago Monteiro and José Guedes are satisfied with the performances of both drivers and the work of the technical crew: "Both drivers were competitive. Antonio demonstrated great maturity in driving a race on the attack, without errors or exaggeration, but always taking opportunities that he managed to make. In addition to the great progress that enabled him to secure points in his first GP2 Series race, he deserved to start from the front row. We would have liked to see Antonio on the podium in the second race because he made a great performance all weekend and he deserved it. We have no doubt about his professionalism and his performance. Nicolas was able to overcome the handicap of starting from the last position on the grid by managing a great comeback. The balanced set-up that the engineers came up with for this race, combined with a good strategy and the work of the mechanics in the pit stop, enabled us to obtain good results," declared the Portuguese team's managers.