GP2 season starts well for Piquet Sports' Andreas Zuber
The second weekend of the new GP2 Series season started well for Dubai-resident Piquet Sports driver Andreas Zuber, who races under a UAE license.
"I arrived in Turkey with the memory of my points in the first race of the season in Barcelona and memories of my podium for Trident Racing here in 2006 and finishing in the points last season. I was really looking forward to my third race in Istanbul. In the first short half an hour practice session, I was right up at the sharp end and finished second overall, just behind Pantano.
Qualifying took place mid-afternoon under grey skies and on a cool track. Unlike last year it was almost cold - only 15 degrees. It was an exciting session and I managed to get myself onto the front row of the grid. It should have been pole, but second place is still a good position to start the race from. The goal for the race was to just keep it clean and fight hard for the win and bring home plenty more points.
On Saturday the weather was still dry, and there was a faint ray of sun although the temperature had not really improved: only 18 degrees. The first corner was a bit chaotic but everyone managed to keep on the track. Unfortunately I lost one place as Grosjean passed me and I was running a bit uncomfortably in third because Grosjean was losing a bit of oil. I could almost feel Chandhok on my trail, but I could control the situation easily and was waiting for Grosjean to make a mistake. But it did not happen. I was closing on Grosjean and was only 0.3s behind. My car was working really well and the team strategy was to wait for a possible safety car to pit. It was way past mid-race, when it happened. The three top drivers and Alberto Valerio at Durango, who spun 10 laps before the end, were the only ones who had not pitted at this point of the race. The team told me that my team mate had retired, but I did not know why. Meanwhile Alberto's car stopped on the track and the safety car was deployed. Pantano, Grosjean and I were immediately in for our pit stops and with nine more laps to go, Pantano left the pit as first, with Grosjean in second and myself in third.
It was a surprise for us to realize that Valerio's car was still blocking the track. So we were patiently waiting behind the pace car to be able to restart. There were only six laps to go when the track was cleared again and the safety car came back in. I was delayed by back markers at the restart. That prevented me from having a real go at Grosjean. However, on three occasions, I have now picked up the fastest lap, and with Pantano and Grosjean, here I was on the podium of the Turkish GP for the second time of my career and my second podium of the season. It is a great result that brings me to second in the driver's championship (13 points) and also secures a solid third place for Piquet Sports in the team's classification. (15 points)
I started race two from sixth place on Sunday morning. But the race did not bring me the points I wished. First the anti-stall turned itself on much too early and twice before the start. The engineers in the team need to check why. Then at the start, Adrian Valles did not leave me any space and pushed me -- I almost flew off at turn 1 and that was the end of my race. In any case, the safety car was deployed as eight of us were out of the race. What a race: The safety car was out a second time out after Bruno Senna's accident with a dog and we had to leave time for the marshals to catch another dog running wild on the track."