Andreas Zuber makes a string showing with a podium at Hockenheim GP 2 Series
Andreas Zuber, who races under a UAE license for Piquet Sports knows the Hockenheim circuit very well having driven on the 4.574 kilometer long German track two years ago. Andreas had the following comments about his sessions and races:
"This race is very much the start of the second half of the season. Every point counts. From now on it's not enough to accomplish positive results like for instance a fastest lap. At the end of the day, it is necessary to win races and score serious points for the championship.
In the first free session on Friday it was really cool at around 17-18 degrees Centigrade. I was among the top three for part of the Friday free practice morning session (1.23.354) with Romain Grosjean fastest and Giorgio Pantano in second place. After seven laps I came back to the pits and the team made some adjustments in view of qualifying. I finished in fifth place ready for a strong qualifying session in the top three. It was still wet on parts of the track, but the car seemed well tuned for qualifying.
The qualifying session started under blue skies, so I tried to get out on the track immediately. Ten minutes before the end of our session, heavy clouds were closing in over the circuit and the temperature dropped immediately. So despite my efforts there was no chance of improving over Pantano and Grosjean. In any case, I couldn't quite get my car handling the way I wanted, but I tried to perform strongly in this ultra competitive qualifying session. I ended up third and am feeling confident for the race.
It is very competitive here this weekend with the top ten drivers separated by less than a second. We still need to fine tune the car, but the race will be a good fight.
The first 40-lap race was a crazy one and a huge disappointment. I needed a great start but it did not work out because my clutch was burnt and I could not shift gears properly. I lost a few places and was in fourteenth by lap 2. I went into the pits early on lap 6 and rejoined in 22nd.
By lap ten I had climbed back up to 20th and was pushing hard. By lap 18 I was up to eleventh. The track was dry which was an asset, and there were still 20 laps to go. I passed Andy Soucek to take tenth. The car was fantastic. With five laps to go, the weather was threatening and some of the cars started to spin out as the rain started to fall. I was up to fifth position with three laps to go. The heavens then opened up and parts of the track were wet and others dry, some cars were on slicks like me and others on rain tyres. The final few laps proved to be chaotic as drivers struggled to stay on the circuit with the rain that was really strong between the first and the second turn and the conditions were very difficult I had to be careful until the very end of the race but it was just so wet that the brakes did not react and the track was so slippery that I lost the car in the very last lap in the "Sachskurve". Luckily, I did not hurt myself, but it is disappointing after such hard work to control the race.
In the second 27 lap-long race, I was eleventh on the grid and I had a mega good start that I wanted and was in fifth on the second lap. Nothing could stop me. I was third the following lap. The car was very strong and I managed to pass di Grassi as well. Di Grassi passed me again in the next corner, but I finally kept the distance over him and was able to build up a gap. I was second, 1.5s from Karun Chandhok lapping fast. Ten laps before the end I was closing up from Chandhok and only 0.4s was separating us.
Despite my tyres fading, I managed to contain Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean behind me although they were not far from me. As a result we ended three nations on the podium: India, Austria and Brazil. What a relief to be on the podium. Now, I am ranking eighth again in the drivers championship with two points away from Karun in fifth.
For the next venue I like Hungary very much and it is kind of a home track, one hour away from home. So I hope that my good results will continue."