The third round of the 2009 GP2 Series took place this weekend, with races five and six of the season playing out at the Istanbul Park Circuit in Turkey. Andreas Zuber and Luiz Razia were in action for Fisichella Motor Sport International as the...
The third round of the 2009 GP2 Series took place this weekend, with races five and six of the season playing out at the Istanbul Park Circuit in Turkey. Andreas Zuber and Luiz Razia were in action for Fisichella Motor Sport International as the team aimed to continue its upturn in form, following Zuber's podium last time out in Monaco.
The 5.338km Istanbul Circuit is the only track of the season that runs in an anti-clockwise direction and this has traditionally proved tough on the drivers physically, as well as being an important factor in tyre wear. Free practice and qualifying took place on Friday, with the 34-lap feature race on Saturday and the 23-lap sprint on Sunday.
Andreas Zuber: Started the weekend well, finishing sixth fastest in Friday practice, setting a best lap of 1:36.255 during his 17 laps of testing. This was 0.9s behind session leader Alvaro Parente. Nico Hulkenberg took pole in qualifying with a time of 1:34.404. Andreas began the feature on the third row from sixth position after setting a lap of 1:34.922. He started well, avoiding trouble at the start and powering into a provisional podium position. He completed most of the race in third position but, after suffering a problem with his front right tyre 13 laps from the end, he fell down the order to cross the line in 9th, just missing the points. Sunday's sprint race was hugely disappointing for Andreas after he was forced into the pits on the first lap after Davide Valsecchi ran into him. He lost a substantial amount of time and crossed the line in 19th.
Luiz Razia: Completed 13 laps of practice on Friday morning and set the 14th fastest time with a lap of 1:36.581. In qualifying Luiz set a time of 1:35.806, recording the 20th fastest time. However, he began the feature from 19th after Diego Nunes was handed a grid penalty, moving him one position further forward. In the race, he was progressing steadily until an alternator problem caused his retirement on lap 13. In Sunday's shorter race, he began from 20th, and crossed the line in the same position after the 23 laps.
Round four, comprising races seven and eight of this year's championship, will take place in two weeks time from 19-21 June at Silverstone in the UK.
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal, FMSI: "We have taken positives from the weekend in our qualifying performance and race pace, but it has been very frustrating in terms of results and I hope that we have had all our bad luck for the season now. Yesterday Zuber had a fantastic first part of the race and then we had a very unusual and unexpected problem after the tyre change, which finished the front right tyre. Razia had an alternator problem so it wasn't really our day. Today Zuber was hit through no fault of his own and Razia did not have much chance from starting at the back. This championship is very tough and competitive and so I'm really happy with our pace but we have to get back on the hunt for points in Silverstone later this month."