GP2

Hockenheimring: Racing Engineering race 1 report

Great charge for Dani Clos and Racing Engineering at Hockenheim Racing Engineering saw both sides of the coin in today's feature race at Hockenheim. Dani Clos, who started from sixth position on the grid, had a difficult race which was...

Great charge for Dani Clos and Racing Engineering at Hockenheim

Racing Engineering saw both sides of the coin in today's feature race at Hockenheim. Dani Clos, who started from sixth position on the grid, had a difficult race which was highlighted by the charge he led later in the race, in order to finish in fourth position, only four tenths from another podium. Local hero Christian Vietoris, who started fourteenth on the grid, saw himself behind a slowing Grosjean into turn 1 and couldn't avoid the impact, which ended the German's race on the first lap.

The rain gave the competitors a break today at Hockenheim, and the GP2 field faced a long feature race, scheduled for 38 laps, on a dry track. Dani, starting from 6th position, was able to maintain his place at the start and during the opening laps of the race. His team mate, German rookie Christian Vietoris, had a more cautious get away from 14th position, but safely made it to turn one, where he was surprised by an unusually slow Grosjean. Christian was unable to do anything to avoid a collision with the French driver. A damaged front suspension resulted in the Racing Engineering driver's retirement from the race.

During the early stages of the race, Dani Clos fought for fifth position, which he took in lap 3. The following lap, the Spanish driver went wide at turn 7, losing a place to Bianchi. But Dani was able to reduce the distance to the French driver very quickly again. Both came in for their pit stop in lap 8 and, after a trouble free tyre change, exited the pits in the same order.

Dani Clos then started to get the best out of his tyres, and quickly passed Ericsson on lap eleven and closed in on Bianchi again, who was stuck behind Arabadzhiev, who was late in pitting. The three were running together when, on lap twenty-two, the Bulgarian went wide and both Bianchi and Dani overtook him. But, there was already quite a gap to the drivers ahead of them because of being held up. Half a lap later, the Spaniard from Racing Engineering pulled a master move on the French driver, to gain another position. He was then in in fourth and more than eight seconds behind Pic, who was running in third.

At this point, Dani started a spectacular drive, lapping consistently and significantly quicker than his rivals, to distance himself from Bianchi and close in on Pic. In the course of his recovery, he set the provisional fastest lap of the race, and was consistently over half a second a lap quicker than his predecessor. In the end, Maldonado won the race and Dani finished just four tenths of a second short of a podium finish.

The reverse grid rule has Dani starting tomorrow's sprint race from fifth position on the grid. Christian, on the other hand, will start the sprint race at the end of the field after his early retirement from Saturday's race. The start is scheduled for 10:35 CET.

Dani Clos: "I had a pretty good start and was quite aggressive. Starting from 6th is a bit of a gamble, but I managed to keep my position and quickly found a good rhythm. I then passed drivers and made some really nice moves. Towards the end of the race we were really quick and I went for the fastest lap. But Bianchi took it away from me in the second to last lap. I tried to fight back and had some fastest sector times on the last lap, but just before the finish line I caught Pic, who slowed me down. I am happy and looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Christian Vietoris: "I was behind Grosjean in corner 1. We were already accelerating again when he was all of the sudden slower in front of me. I really don't know if he just got slower or had some other problem, but I had no chance to even react anymore. It's a real pity. Our bad luck started during the last minutes of yesterday's qualifying and continued today. We know we are fast and can be on top, but there always seems to be someone or something not allowing me to get great results."

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, President of Racing Engineering: "It's a pity about Christian. I think he would have had a fantastic race. But at least Dani made up for it and showed everyone what he is capable of doing. Everyone in the team did a good job today, especially during the pit stop. Now we need to get ready for tomorrow's race."

-source: racing engineering

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Christian Vietoris , Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering