GP2

Istanbul: Racing Engineering qualifying report

The Fat Burner Racing Engineering team arrived in Turkey with high hopes for the third round of the 2009 GP2 season. However, luck was definitely not on the Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers' side during the first day at Istanbul Park. While...

The Fat Burner Racing Engineering team arrived in Turkey with high hopes for the third round of the 2009 GP2 season. However, luck was definitely not on the Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers' side during the first day at Istanbul Park.

While Lucas Di Grassi set the sixth fastest time in free practice, Dani Clos was disappointed finishing the session in 26th place. Early in the session, the young Spaniard spun off the track and was not able to gain further experience, his main objective before qualifying, at the Turkish track. Later on, Dani was additionally handed a ten place grid position penalty for failing to heed the marshal's instructions after his spin.

The opening stages of Friday's qualifying session in Turkey saw a lot of action on the track and this hampered both Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers' attempts to complete a clear lap, which could have placed them in a good position for Saturday's feature race at Istanbul Park.

Lucas was running well on his first set of tyres and was in the top 5 when he entered the pits for his new set of tyres. Rejoining the session, the Brazilian was in 10th place and immediately started to improve his sector times. However, on his flying lap, another car was dramatically slowing down in front of the Fat Burner Racing Engineering driver in the last sector and he not only saw his top 3 position on the grid disappear, but couldn't avoid a slight touch. During the remaining minutes of the session many drivers decided to enter into the pits and finish the session early as yellow flags caused by Petrov and Maldonado made any lap time improvements impossible. Lucas finished Friday's qualifying session in 14th position.

Dani, on the other hand, saw his options for a good grid position destroyed before the qualifying session even started as he was handed over a 10 position grid penalty. Having missed a good bit of the morning session, the Spanish rookie needed to adapt to the Turkish race track during qualifying and also struggled to find a gap allowing him to set a faster lap time. Dani finished the qualifying in 22nd position.

Lucas Di Grassi: Everything was really fine and went as planned until we put the last set of tyres. We would have easily been in the top 3 but when I was on my fastest lap, another car blocked me in the last sector. This car not only blocked me but it also slowed me down a lot and we even touched a bit. So I lost the lap and therefore qualifying ended really bad for us as after that there were yellow flags until the end of the session. Now we have to work something out for tomorrow.

Dani Clos: I definitely lacked kilometers and therefore in qualifying I had to kind of make up the time I didn't run in free practice. Additionally, I have the 10 grid positions penalty from the morning session, when I spun on Turn 1. The options towards tomorrow's race are rather limited. Now we have to find the best strategy for Saturday's feature race.

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, team's Principal: Seems like we continue without the necessary luck at the moment. Dani got a penalty for free practice, which already destroyed his qualifying session before it even started. Lucas, on the other hand, was on his fastest lap and on the way to a top position, when another car slowed him down unnecessarily. As a consequence his flying lap was destroyed and he will have to start tomorrow's race from a disappointing 14th position. What makes me feel confident though is the fact that both driver find their cars really competitive; thanks to all our boys for that. We have to get back to work now and see how we can make the best out of this situation. It won't be easy.

-credit: re

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering