GP2

Istanbul: Renault race one report

GP2 Points for Lopez in Turkey Jose Maria Lopez picked up some useful points in Istanbul with sixth place in Saturday's GP2 race. However, a strategic error under a safety car cost the Renault Driver Development squad member a potential ...

GP2 Points for Lopez in Turkey

Jose Maria Lopez picked up some useful points in Istanbul with sixth place in Saturday's GP2 race. However, a strategic error under a safety car cost the Renault Driver Development squad member a potential podium.

Jose Maria Lopez picked up some useful points in Istanbul with sixth place in Saturday's GP2 race. However, a strategic error under a safety car cost the Renault Driver Development squad member a potential podium. Meanwhile it was a difficult afternoon for series leader Heikki Kovalainen, who was handicapped by a misfire for most of the race.

Lopez was happier with the DAMS car than he has been for several races, and showed his ability to learn a new track by qualifying third. He held on to that position at the start, but along with the two drivers in front of him he failed to pit when a safety car came out on the second lap. Most of the other drivers did come in, and it was obvious that those who hadn't stopped would be gobbled up by the pack when they finally pitted.

Problems for Nick Rosberg promoted Jose to second, and then luckily a second safety car later in the race provided a degree of damage limitation. Jose dropped only to eighth place after his stop, and gained two more spots before the flag.

Heikki had a difficult qualifying session with the Arden entry, and was 12th at the end of the first lap. Unlike Jose, he joined the dash into the pits when the safety car came out. He gained a couple of places during the stops, but soon found himself struggling with the engine. He lost ground while he tried to solve the problem, but was able to recover 10th by the end. However, he was very happy with the car and is confident that he can break into the top six in Sunday's race. Title rival Rosberg also failed to score, so Heikki still has a five point lead.

Jose Maria Lopez: "I was waiting for the team to tell me to pit. I wanted to pit because I saw the safety car, but I didn't know if the team was ready. It was possible to come in, but in the heat of the moment, it's not easy. The car was difficult to drive, but I did some good laps, and I was keeping the gap to Scott Speed. After the pit stop maybe the second set of tyre wasn't good, because the car was really oversteering, so I didn't want to push and make a mistake. I was slowing down in the places that the car was really difficult. I'm third on the grid for Sunday, so if I have a start like I had today, it's possible to get in front. The team has been working very hard, and I'm very proud of them. We just need to improve the car a little bit in the races.'

Heikki Kovalainen: "After the pit stop the car started misfiring every time I put full throttle, and after the safety car we started losing ground straight away. I tried to hang in there and carry on, and it was getting worse and worse. On one lap several people got past me, because I was switching it off and switching it back on again trying to re-set it, but the misfire carried on and I couldn't even get top gear on the straight. Apart from that today the car was very, very good, probably the best race car I've had this year. In the corners the car was excellent, and I was absolutely on the limit. If we can solve the engine problem we can get up there tomorrow. I'm going to go for it!'

-renaultf1-

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Scott Speed , Heikki Kovalainen , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams DAMS