GP2

Piquet stuns with Nurburgring pole position

With an overwhelming gap of almost half a second to his pursuers, Nelson A. Piquet claimed pole position for race one for the third round of the GP2 Series at the German circuit of Nurburgring. "I never expected pole, especially but such a big...

With an overwhelming gap of almost half a second to his pursuers, Nelson A. Piquet claimed pole position for race one for the third round of the GP2 Series at the German circuit of Nurburgring.

"I never expected pole, especially but such a big margin. It was very good after the bad practice we had this morning because of an engine problem," Piquet said.

In the early practice, the Brazilian suffered an engine failure that allowed him to take just flying laps. "It was our fault, but we didn't get the practice. After no practice and being half a second in front and having some of the cars around me in the championship being further at the back it's very good".

Piquet's lap time in his Piquet Sport GP2 car was 1m40s799, which meant a difference of 0s442 over the DAMS team rookie. "I think I could have been even quicker," he indicated which could cause worry for the rest of the GP2 field.

Second place belonged to rookie French driver Franck Perera for his best result in the series thus far. "I'm really happy and satisfied because we had a really difficult and bad start to the season after a really good winter test, where we were really fast," he commented.

Piquet spoiled Perera's party after the Frenchman looked to have done enough to claim his first GP2 pole position until the dying minutes of the session. "I was on pole for fifteen or twenty minutes, but Nelson made a really good lap and that was that," said Perera about his 1m41s241 early pace setting time.

Perera will try tomorrow to reach his first points in the series. And he wants the big points. "A good start and then points -- big points!" exclaimed the DAMS rookie.

Another rookie, Lewis Hamilton, snatched third place with a Dallara-Renault from the 2005 champion team ART Grand Prix.

"Third again: at least we're consistent! We need to have pole really, so again we need to work harder, and it's just the way qualifying goes really, because it's hard to find a gap and I wasn't able to do that today and I got traffic again. We need to think what is the best way around that, but Piquet was very fast today and it would have been hard to find half a second," commented the Brit.

Hamilton and Hiroki Yoshimoto were protagonists of an incident during the session that Lewis explained: "I spoke to him afterwards and he said "what were you doing?" because I was on my quick lap, he was also on a quick lap but he messed his middle sector up a bit and was beginning to slow down, so I caught him on the straight and he braked so early for the chicane, and I had no choice because I braked late and had to go on the inside".

Hamilton set a laptime of 1m41s325 to grab third fastest over Yoshimoto, who would finally put the BCN car on fourth. Fifth place was for Jose Maria Lopez, fastest in morning practice.

With just one second separating the first 16 drivers and two seconds covering 24 cars, any error will always going to be costly tomorrow in what seems to be another fantastic competition of GP2.

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