Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) claimed the 2009 GP2 Series title on Sunday in Monza, after a sensational rookie season. The penultimate round of the ...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report
Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) claimed the 2009 GP2 Series title on Sunday in Monza, after a sensational rookie season. The penultimate round of the Bridgestone-supported championship also provided Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) and Luiz Razia (Party Poker Racing.Com SC) with race wins on Bridgestone's wet and medium dry specification tyres.
The main challenge for the teams and drivers in Monza was managing the heat durability of the tyres during the Friday sessions, and battling with changing track conditions in the wet on Saturday. With varied and extreme weather, tyre management was one of the most important aspects of the weekend.
Saturday's 32 lap feature race was delayed by heavy rain and started behind the safety car, with van der Garde ultimately taking the lead from Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) just two laps before the chequered flag. All drivers, but one, were on Bridgestone's wet specification tyre for the full duration of the race. Petrov finished in second having started on pole, with Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) taking third place. The point for fastest lap went to Edoardo Mortara (Telmex Arden International).
Sunday's 21 lap sprint race was led by Razia throughout, while Hulkenberg and Petrov's positions behind were to decide the championship. Completing the podium, di Grassi took second place with Hulkenberg third. Petrov finished fifth as he was unable to pass Jerome d'Ambrosio (DAMS) in the closing stages, while the final point of the weekend went to Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) for quickest lap.
Hulkenberg is now champion with 90 points in the drivers' standings, while Petrov is second on 68 and di Grassi third with 57. ART Grand Prix leads the teams' championship with 126 points from Barwa Addax Team on 113. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 57. The final round of the 2009 GP2 Series will be held in Portimao, Portugal, on 18-20 September, on Bridgestone's soft compound slick.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"Congratulations to GP2 Series drivers' champion Nico Hulkenberg, it has been an exciting penultimate weekend for GP2. The postponed start of the feature race on Saturday would have interrupted the drivers' concentration, but Giedo van der Garde drove well despite the track conditions. The GP2 drivers showed that wet tyre management is important when the circuit conditions change, as the track dries. At the end of the race, pit stop strategies altered the finishing order, making it a very interesting race for spectators. Degradation of the rear tyres was higher than the fronts and most competitors felt a tendency for the car to oversteer, which is why many drivers only changed the rears. Sunday's race had an entertaining start, the tyres performed well and congratulations to Luiz Razia for his first GP2 win."