Hungaroring: ART Grand Prix weekend summary

After securing his first pole position of the GP2 Europe series, things were looking strong for Romain Grosjean and the ART Grand Prix team, however lady bad luck struck again, and he was forced to leave the Hungaroring empty handed, but new ...

After securing his first pole position of the GP2 Europe series, things were looking strong for Romain Grosjean and the ART Grand Prix team, however lady bad luck struck again, and he was forced to leave the Hungaroring empty handed, but new teammate Sakon Yamamoto gave the team a reason to smile anyway by finishing fourth in only his second weekend with the team.

Romain had a bad start in race one due to a puncture that occurred due to debris on the circuit and as a result he dropped all the way back to fifth place by the second corner. Things went from bad to worse when he collided with Giorgio Pantano as the series leader attempted to pass. Romain was forced back to the pits for a new tyre, but it was too early for his mandatory pitstop and therefore he eventually finished fifteenth. Whilst securing the fastest lap, it was after his second stop and no points were awarded. However, race officials deemed him guilty of causing an avoidable collision and he was sent back ten places for race two, where he eventually finished 12th.

After starting twelfth in race one, teammate Yamamoto had an off track excursion after catching up to the action behind his teammate, who was slowly making his way back to the pits with a puncture, and was knocked off track by another driver, losing several positions before working his way back to tenth. The following day was more fruitful with a strong drive that saw him cross the line in fourth place.

Sakon Yamamoto
Race 1 Position on grid: 12th
Result: 10th
Race 2 Position on grid: 10th
Result: 4th
Position in the championship: 22nd, 3 points

"I must stay it was a good weekend in the end. Obviously I could not be satisfied with 12th spot on the grid and I knew I could do better, but I struggled a bit with the set-up of the car. I had a good start in race 1 but someone braked hard ahead of me when we caught up to Romain, who had a puncture, and I had no choice but to go off track. It was a shame really because I lost 5 positions and to get them back is not easy on the Hungaroring! But I managed to enter the top 10 which was my aim for the second race. I had a very good start on Sunday. The car has improved a lot between Saturday and Sunday and I could push; I was behind Senna all the time and I was hoping he'd make a mistake, because I was losing too much downforce when I was closing up on him and I had no chance to attack. To finish fourth and score some points is definitively a good thing for me and for the team. But I know we can do much better and it will be my aim in Valencia."

Romain Grosjean
Race 1 Position on grid: Pole position
Result: 17th
Race 2 Position on grid: 25th
Result: 12th
Position in championship: 4th, 36 points

"One says the luck is evenly distributed over the duration of a championship but I think I have had more than my share! Everything went very well in GP2 Asia, I guess it is a form of compensation. I have wanted to secure a pole position for awhile now and everything looked good after I secured it on a track where overtaking is not easy. I had a tough start really, maybe because the tyre was already deflated? I tried to attack Senna in turn 2 but I felt I had no grip and no stability. I tried to stay on track until the pit stop window opened but I was losing 12 seconds per lap and the tyre kept deflating. The day after I was on full attack mode with the aim of showing that we can overtake on the Hungaroring. I made a couple of mistake but I made it in the top 12. We were the fastest this weekend but mathematically wise it was extremely negative. It's tough because we still had a chance to catch up and fight for the championship. We need to keep up the good work and aim for pole positions and wins; I have only won one out of five that were within my grasp. This is frustrating, but we know what our potential is and there's nothing to be ashamed of. I have to set my sights on 3rd in the championship, which would not be that bad given the circumstances and the fact that this is my first year in the series."

Frederic Vasseur

"First pole position for Romain in the European Series and first points for Sakon, those are the positive aspects of Hungarian weekend but in the end it was another disappointment. Both Romain and Sakon were very competitive on the Hungaroring. There's no need to ask ourselves too many questions about our level of performance, which was once again very high. We need to work and to try to go forward and the wheel will turn someday."

-credit: art

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Sakon Yamamoto , Frederic Vasseur , Romain Grosjean
Teams ART Grand Prix