GP2

Hungaroring: Renault race one report

Heikki extends GP2 lead with second in Hungary Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 points lead with a fighting second place in Hungary after he nearly failed to get off the grid. The Renault Driver Development squad member started second with...

Heikki extends GP2 lead with second in Hungary

Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 points lead with a fighting second place in Hungary after he nearly failed to get off the grid.

The Renault Driver Development squad member started second with the Arden entry. He appeared to make a good initial getaway only, for his engine to bog down almost immediately. By the time he got going, in a cloud of tyre smoke, he'd been bumped down to fourth place.

He pitted on lap 14, and when leader Neel Jani came on lap 21 he had got up to second. Jani just managed to get out of the pits in front. Despite piling on the pressure, Heikki couldn't quite get past.

His chance came with a late safety car period. At the restart he dived past into the first corner only to lose out again as he and Jani came out side by side. Heikki found himself edged onto the kerbs, and dropped back to second place. He now has 77 points to the 67 of main title rival Nico Rosberg.

From 15th on the grid Jose Maria Lopez made a good start and was in ninth place by the end of the first lap. After an early stop by the DAMS team he made good progress, and was in fifth place when he spun and hit the wall coming onto the pit straight on lap 30. The incident caused the safety car period mentioned earlier.

Heikki will start seventh on Sunday's reversed grid, while Jose Maria will be 16th

Heikki Kovalainen: "At the start it just got too much grip and the engine bogged down. I put the clutch in again, floored it, and then spun the wheels. It was a bit of a mad panic, and I lost a few places. The first set of tyres were difficult, but then after that the pit stop it was much better, and I was able to fight, but it wasn't enough. When the safety car came out I was determined to take Jani, but I couldn't quite get close enough. I just got past him and I was ahead, but he squeezed me and I had nowhere to go. Second means points, but I want to win races, so I'm not 100% satisfied. Tomorrow I've got to make a better start, and then we'll see. It's difficult to overtake here.'

Jose Maria Lopez: "We had a really bad day with the car on Friday, and it was very difficult. Today we changed everything, and it was better. I think I was doing a great race. At the start I was 15th and then at the end of the first lap I was ninth. I made a good start and had a very good first two corners and passed a lot of cars. After that we did an early pit stop. We changed the rear tyres because of the problem with oversteer yesterday, and it was better on new tyres. But then I started to lose the rear grip, and it became very difficult to drive. I was trying to keep the car on the circuit, but I couldn't. On that lap soon as I went on the power coming onto the straight the car spun. I thought I would maybe do a 360 and recover, but the car went so quickly to the wall I couldn't do anything.'

-renaultf1-

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Heikki Kovalainen , Neel Jani , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams DAMS