Second for Lapierre at the Nurburgring Nicolas Lapierre took a superb second place in the Sunday sprint at the Nurburgring, after taking fifth in the main race on Saturday. Meanwhile, Michael Ammermueller did a good job to overcome a grid...
Second for Lapierre at the Nurburgring
Nicolas Lapierre took a superb second place in the Sunday sprint at the Nurburgring, after taking fifth in the main race on Saturday. Meanwhile, Michael Ammermueller did a good job to overcome a grid penalty at the start of the weekend to earn sixth place in the Sunday event. Ironically this was the German's first race on the full 'Ring circuit!
Arden finished the European GP weekend in the lead of the teams' championship, on 42 points. Nicolas is currently third in the drivers' championship, while Michael is sixth.
From eighth Nicolas made a good start and gained a place, before pitting right away on the second lap. By the time everyone else had stopped he got up to fourth. He was demoted two spots when Nelson Piquet forced his way past, and Adam Carroll was also able to sneak by. But Nicolas had the last laugh when the tyre Piquet had locked when passing him ultimately failed, and he went off the road. That pushed Nicolas up to fifth, and ensured that he started the Sunday race from fifth.
Nicolas started the sprint race from fourth on the grid, but gained a spot when Viso failed to get away at the start of the formation lap. He quickly jumped ahead of Negrao to take second, behind Yoshimoto. He found himself stuck behind the Japanese driver for much of the race, which helped Hamilton to catch up and pass them both. Nicolas then finally got by Yoshimoto to claim second, and he remained close to Hamilton to the flag.
On Saturday Michael had to start 22nd after his Imola penalty dropped him from 12th. He made a good start and was soon up to 17th before pitting on the second lap, but he lost some time as the team also had to deal with Nicolas. But thereafter he put in a consistent drive to 10th, despite struggling a little with the balance. On Sunday he benefited from a couple of cars ahead stalling. He ran seventh for a while and got into the points when Negrao ran wide at Turn One, even though the Brazilian chopped back across and gave our man a hefty thump! Bearing in mind he began the weekend with a grid penalty, a point was a useful reward.
Nicolas Lapierre - Saturday: 'The start was quite good, and we had an OK pit stop, but then we lost some time behind Fauzy. I don't know what he was doing. Then I was behind Lopez, but we didn't have enough speed on the straight, so we couldn't overtake him. Then Piquet came back and tried this move that was a bit crazy at the chicane. He came from really too far, and I lost some time there, and Carroll past me too. Then we got back a position when Piquet went off. Fifth is not too bad because he's one of my main rivals in the championship and didn't score any points.' Sunday: 'We had a good start, and then we were stuck behind Yoshimoto, and it was difficult to overtake him. It looked quite easy for Hamilton to pass me and Yoshimoto, but when I was finally able to get past Yoshimoto in the last five laps we were quicker than Lewis. I think we have the same speed as him, but he was just able to pass better and brake a little bit later. The points are not so bad. I'm still third in the championship, a little bit closer to Piquet, but it's not good for me that Lewis scored so much. But at the end of the day we cannot complain about a podium. Barcelona should be good. We had a good winter test there. It's a tough track for the car and the drivers and it should be very exciting.'
Michael Ammermueller - Saturday: 'The position is maybe not too bad, but we had some problems in the pit stop and the car was sliding a lot. But in the end we finished 10th from 22nd. Like I said, not too bad, but it could be better! The start was OK, and I overtook a few people during the race.' Sunday: 'In the end sixth is not so bad considering the 10 places penalty I got for the qualifying. I think we were still not quick enough to go to the podium, but a point is OK. I didn't make any mistakes in the race, so that was good. Negrao went off - I don't know if he wanted to block me, but he came across the straight and touched me on the left side. It damaged the sidepod, but I didn't lose a lot of time with it. I have not raced in Barcelona, but we had two days of testing there in the winter, and I think it should be better for me.'