Car 9: Oliver Turvey (GBR) - 3rd Car 10: Davide Valsecchi (ITA) - 9th THIRD PLACE FOR TURVEY, VALSECCHI THWARTED BY CIRCUMSTANCE Oliver Turvey converted a strong grid position into another podium finish during the opening GP2 Series race at ...
Car 9: Oliver Turvey (GBR) - 3rd
Car 10: Davide Valsecchi (ITA) - 9th
THIRD PLACE FOR TURVEY, VALSECCHI THWARTED BY CIRCUMSTANCE
Oliver Turvey converted a strong grid position into another podium finish during the opening GP2 Series race at Monza - although he was left with a slight feeling of what might have been. The Englishman kept his nose clean during the chaotic opening laps, when the Safety Car was dispatched twice in quick succession, and ran second behind eventual race winner Sam Bird (ART). Turvey rejoined in second after his mandatory pit stop, but on cold tyres was defenceless to fend off Bird's team-mate Jules Bianchi, who had profited from a pit stop when the race was neutralised behind the second Safety Car. Thereafter he ran third to the end.
Team-mate Davide Valsecchi also steered clear of the various accidents to move up to fourth place, but he was then handed a drive-through penalty for short-cutting the second chicane. The stewards ruled that he had gained an advantage by so doing, although the Italian had little choice at the time because he'd had to run wide to avoid an accident.
Oliver Turvey "I perhaps got a bit too much wheelspin at the start, but I was able to hold my position at the first corner and then follow Sam Bird as the race settled down. The car felt pretty good, I was able to keep the gap between us fairly consistent and there was no immediate threat from behind. It was difficult to get into a rhythm at first, with all the accidents and the two Safety Car interruptions, but I was sure we could finish at least second. Tactically, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to make my tyre stop when the second Safety Car appeared - that's when Bianchi stopped, but Davide was already due to pit so I had to stay out. The team did a great job to get me out ahead of Bianchi when I finally came in, but his tyres were well up to temperature and he passed me at the second chicane. After that it was just a case of nursing the car to the finish - but it's nice to know we have a competitive package for tomorrow."
"The race started brilliantly from my perspective, because from 12th I was able to catch the leading group almost straight away. I am amazed, though, that I was given a drive-through penalty. Several cars went off at the second chicane and I simply ran wide to avoid them. I even backed off when I rejoined, to make sure no advantage was gained, but sometimes you just can't win. The penalty ruined my chances of a good result, but our car is clearly well suited to Monza and I will endeavour to end the weekend on a high note tomorrow. It will be hard, but that won't stop me trying."