Kovalainen carries GP2 points lead into summer break Heikki Kovalainen leads the GP2 championship as it heads into its June summer break while the Grand Prix circus is in North America. The Renault Driver Development squad member won Saturday's...
Kovalainen carries GP2 points lead into summer break
Heikki Kovalainen leads the GP2 championship as it heads into its June summer break while the Grand Prix circus is in North America. The Renault Driver Development squad member won Saturday's race at the Nurburgring, but was forced to retire from Sunday's event after a spectacular crash involving both his Arden team mate Nicolas Lapierre and fellow RDD man Jose Maria Lopez.
DAMS driver Lopez touched Lapierre under braking for the first corner at the start of the second lap, sending the French driver into the side of Heikki's car. The Finn got going again and made it back to the pits, but was unable to continue because of the damage he had sustained. Lopez resumed after a pit stop for a new rear wing, and eventually finished 14th. After the race he and Heikki accepted that it was a racing incident.
Heikki Kovalainen: 'We had a little bit of a disadvantage to the other guys at the start. Some people put new tyres on the grid, but we scrubbed them a little bit to avoid graining. They had a couple of laps where it really worked well, and that's why I was struggling. I had a good start and I had a good run through the first couple of corners, then it was a bit difficult, and I let Rosberg and Pantano through. I didn't expect Nicolas at all! I didn't even look in the mirrors, and then just 'bang.' I saw him and I was pretty upset, but then I saw the video and realised it wasn't his fault. Nicolas was sorry, but what can he do? It's good to be leading the championship still, and Saturday was a good race. It's better to forget Sunday as soon as possible, and look forward to the next round. The main thing is we look strong in the races. I think we're going to have a good year ahead of us.'
Jose MariaLopez: 'I knew today I had to score some points. We made some changes to the car, and I did a good start and passed four or five cars. When I went on to the straight I went behind Lapierre and took the slipstream. Even before braking he moved a little bit and I touched his wheel. I started to brake, and it was already too late. I was pushing, he was pushing me, it happened. I'm not the kind of guy who does these things. I've been racing a lot and I never had contact with another car! I already spoke with Heikki, and it's no problem. After the stop we just went to see how the car was, and I had a good pace. It was important to do the whole race and learn something. It's been a bad weekend for me, but so far this year has been good. I won a race and had a second place, and I've scored some good points.'