GP2

Nurburgring: Alexandre Premat weekend report

QUALIFICATIONS : NOT TOO BAD BUT THE RACE WILL BE TOUGH... Alexandre Prémat qualified sixth for the first race on Saturday at the Nürburgring. "I spent much of the session with a best lap of 1m41.807s but towards the end of qualifying I...

QUALIFICATIONS : NOT TOO BAD BUT THE RACE WILL BE TOUGH...

Alexandre Prémat qualified sixth for the first race on Saturday at the Nürburgring.

"I spent much of the session with a best lap of 1m41.807s but towards the end of qualifying I found some extra speed in the car and improved my time to 1m41.476s. I'll start the race tomorrow just behind Lopez who was just 0.005s faster than me. The important thing is that we're in the top six and the car is competitive."

"The circuit is very dirty and slippery. It's been difficult to get any real grip but I'm sure that will improve as the weekend goes on. The field is very close and there's less than a second separating the top sixteen drivers. It will be a very competitive race tomorrow but I'm confident we can fight our way through to the front and go for the win."

RACE 1 : MY FIRST PODIUM 2006 !

Friday, 05 May 2006 - What a relief! I'm so happy to have got my first podium of the season at Nurburgring today. The race was quite difficult and a long 35 laps. I started from fifth on the third row of the grid and had to get a good start to have a chance of winning. I got away well and we decided with the engineers to get our pit stop out the way as early as possible. The strategy had its plus points and its negatives the main negative being that the tyres would be difficult to handle towards the end of the race so I ended up having to be quite cautious.

At the start Nelson Piquet had a bad start and I passed him easily and we made up another position when Perera went off. That let my team mate Lewis Hamilton (GB) Art Grand Prix Hamilton free into the lead and although he got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane he still managed to get past me and win the race at that point my tyres were struggling for grip.

I had to be sensible and not risk retiring so I kept calm and brought the car home in second. Our one-two finish brings our team to second in the championship with 33 points. Tomorrow is another race and I'm determined to go one better and win.

RACE 2 : TOUGH RACE AFTER AN OVERNIGHT ENGINE CHANGE...

My podium yesterday meant I started today's race from seventh on the grid and my team-mate was just behind me in eighth. After yesterday's race the mechanics decided to change my engine overnight so I was not only struggling because of the tyres but also because my engine was down on power. I had a serious problem starting the warm up lap and the car just did not move. The oil temperature had only reached 68 degrees instead of 70 and the censors on the car blocked.

So I had to start the race from the back of the grid with Viso and Gommendy who had a similar problem. 24 laps does not give you much time to fight through the entire field but after the second lap I was already 21st but then I had a lonely drive behind Jason Tahinci for most of the race and it was impossible for me to finish higher than eighteenth. It was frustrating because I had the pace to win the race and set the fastest lap of 1m40.983s. At least, Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium and my Art Grand Prix Team is now only three points behind the leader of the Championship."

Friendly, and see you soon!

ALEXANDRE

-premat.fr-

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Series GP2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Jason Tahinci , Alexandre Prémat