Ocean Racing Technology press release
Ocean Racing Technology makes progress throughout the first GP2 Series meeting
This weekend in Malaysia, Ocean Racing Technology took part in the GP2 Series season opener. Nigel Melker and Jon Lancaster rubbed elbows with the competition in a championship that is hotter than ever this season.
From the start of the weekend, the Portuguese team focused its work on the two races, which was reflected in the qualifying results: Melker and Lancaster qualified in 19th and 20th positions respectively, but only used one set of new tyres, while their competitors used two. Still, the difference with the best times was minimal. Both drivers then concentrated on the start, which they had to make the most of in order to get a chance to secure points.
Despite an effective race strategy, the first race was packed with new developments and setbacks. Nigel Melker received a stop and go penalty for an error committed by his crew, which did not leave the starting grid on time. Jon Lancaster, for his part, saw his race ended in the first lap after a contact with another car. Despite everything, Melker was able to finish his race in 16th place. In the second race, the British driver finished 14th, and the Dutch driver finished 17th.
"The end of qualifying did not go as we expected, but we were optimistic and we had good hopes of finishing in the top 8 in the first race. But I was penalized in the first race, and in the second it was impossible for me to do better. There is still the satisfaction of knowing that we made strong progress, but we are aware that we have to do better in qualifying," declared Nigel Melker, who had the third fastest lap in the third race.
Jon Lancaster could not hide his disappointment at having his first race ruined in the first lap. "We had a good start and we thought we would be able to finish eighth, despite starting very far back on the grid. But a competitor ruined my first race and I regret not getting a chance to go further. For the second race, we learned a lot and we know exactly what to do for the coming meetings. We are going to focus our work on the next races in Bahrain and, with a few modifications to our strategy, I am sure that we will be able to do better."
Tiago Monteiro, who followed his team's work in the field, is optimistic for the coming races: "We have worked a lot, and this weekend was tough. We have drawn a few important conclusions that will help us for what comes next. This year, the championship is at a very high level. All the drivers have a very similar rhythm; the gaps are so small that a little detail can make the difference. Both our drivers did a good job, which unfortunately it is not reflected in their results, but they are motivated for the next meeting."
The next GP2 Series races will be held April 20-22 in Bahrain.