Front row for Racing Engineering for Sunday's sprint race. Racing Engineering had a challenging feature race at Istanbul Park today, where high temperatures made tyre management the crucial point. Dani Clos, who started seventh on the grid, ...
Front row for Racing Engineering for Sunday's sprint race.
Racing Engineering had a challenging feature race at Istanbul Park today, where high temperatures made tyre management the crucial point. Dani Clos, who started seventh on the grid, suffered from excessive tyre wear and struggled to eighth position, whilst Christian Vietoris, starting from eleventh position, finished seventh and scored his first points of the 2010 GP2 Series. The Racing Engineering drivers will start tomorrow's sprint race from pole position and second on the grid respectively.
The race started under sunny conditions with an air temperature of 26 degrees. Maldonado took the lead at the start, whilst Dani Clos lost a position to Razia. Christian Vietoris had a bad start, but was able to recover quickly. The round of pit stops started surprisingly early, with Dani and another three drivers coming into the pits to pick up new tyres on lap seven. Christian Vietoris made his pit stop on lap nine and by next lap, most drivers had completed their compulsory round of tyre changes. Dani Clos set the fastest lap on lap 10 whilst he was chasing Turvey, who was given a drive through for crossing the track more than once whilst trying to defend his position from the Racing Engineering driver. As the race progressed, the medium compound tyres started to wear excessively and many drivers struggled to keep their positions. Christian Vietoris, after fighting with Ricci for several laps, had a slight collision with him, but managed to continue. Meanwhile, Dani lost a position to Herck as his tyres abandoned him. With two laps to go, Christian overtook Dani, and they finished eighth and ninth.
After the race, the car of Mexican driver Perez, who had finished fourth, was found to be underweight and was disqualified. This means that Christian moves up to seventh position and Dani to eighth. For tomorrow's sprint race, and because of the reverse grid rule, both Racing Engineering drivers will start on the front row, with Dani Clos on pole position and Christian Vietoris second. The race will take place in the morning at 9:25 CET.
Christian Vietoris: "Finally points! It was quite difficult to start scoring. The car felt really good and I had no trouble with my tyres. I was always behind other cars, but when I had a bit of space, it was clear that the speed was there. If I make a good start, I should be able to be on the podium in tomorrow's race. Today's start was a disaster. At the end of lap one I was in 14th position and although I was overtaking some cars, I was in ninth place for most of the time. I tried to overtake Ricci several times, was able to get eighth position for some meters, but then ninth again. One of these maneuvers ended in a collision without really either of us to be blamed, just a racing incident. I could continue and when Dani had problems with his tyres, I was lucky to pass him and finish the race in eighth place."
Dani Clos: "I think we started this weekend off on the wrong foot. In free practice we had an issue that made us lose some time and couldn't test everything we wanted. We have a fast car, but needed a bit more. In qualifying I was hampered by yellow flags and other drivers. The first laps of the race were fine, but I think our set up was too aggressive today and I lost my tyres quickly. It was the same after the tyre change. Right after the change, we were really fast, but towards the end of the race I was fighting to stay on the track and lost pace. Some cars overtook me, but we will work hard now on the set up for tomorrow's race."
Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: "This was a tough race for both our drivers. Christian's start to the race was not good and he lost quite a few positions which were hard to recuperate afterwards. He was fighting against Ricci for several laps and put the Italian under a lot of pressure, but one of his overtaking attempts ended with their cars touching. He dropped back again, but was able to overtake his teammate to finish in eighth. Dani finished the race in ninth, which is not what we expected. He suffered from some oversteer at the beginning of the race, which was better after the tyre change, when he set the fastest lap times of the field. However, his lap times increased towards the end of the race and he dropped from 7th to 9th. In the end it looks like we are having both our boys in the points and an all Racing Engineering front row tomorrow, which I think is a nice reward for the whole team, who have worked hard so far this weekend."