A PODIUM IS A GREAT WAY TO FINISH
Clivio Piccione benefited from his Italian bloodline today and finished 3rd in the final race of the GP2 season at Monza, giving both himself and the British DPR team a much needed lift after a dismal few race weekends. Russian Vitaly Petrov came through from the back of the grid after a bad start to finish in 12th place. Team Principal David Price was delighted with the team's performance this weekend. "It's absolutely what the doctor ordered and I'm really pleased we got a podium before the end of the season and scored points in these two races. Definitely a case of better late than never, I say! Clivio drove a very clever and sensible race, especially when under pressure from Piquet, and Vitaly did a good job after a difficult start."
After making a great start from 16th on the grid in yesterday's sprint race, the Monaco man was up to 11th before experiencing tyre problems early on in the race. He came into the pits before the remainder of the field for a change of all four tyres but that dropped him right near the back of the field. Fortune smiled on DPR for once and the safety car came out after Adam Carroll shed a wheel, allowing Piccione an opportunity to cool his brakes. After pit stops shook up the order, and a number of incidents and accidents befell some of his competitors, Clivio happily made it through to the chequered flag in 7th place which gave him a front row start for today's season-closer.
A happy Clivio explains how his race ran today. "I didn't have a great start whereas the others had a magic start. I then had to hold on and do my own race, and was able to keep at the same pace for most of the time. I could see Piquet coming through from the back and catching me up and he tried to dive down through Turn One a couple of times but couldn't get past. The last time he tried I was lucky to have seen him in my mirrors losing it at the entry of the corner and I had to cut the chicane a bit otherwise he would have taken me off too. After that I pushed as hard as I could and, once Premat had gone off, I had about a six second gap to the others. It was a good race and a big relief to get the podium which is what we were all hoping for. I'm pleased for everyone and everybody is very happy!"
For the 21-year-old Russian, Vitaly Petrov, in only his fourth race weekend in GP2, a 12th place finish today was also a good result. He failed to finish yesterday's feature race due to an overheating engine, which prevented him from not only showing what he was capable of on the track but also of securing himself a better start position for today's sprint race. "I had a difficult start, losing five or six places on the grid, and dropped back to 25th . As far to the back as I could be. I fought through and managed to avoid all the things which happened to other people, and finished the race very close behind Valles. I am disappointed about not finishing yesterday but am very pleased with today. Thank you to DPR for giving me this chance in GP2."