GP2

Portimao: Andreas Zuber race one report

Zuber is set up in pole for race 2 after action packed Portimao race 1 Free practice 1 - 1.52.941 - 11th Free practice 2 - 1.35.833 - 6th Qualifying - 1.31.673 - P12 Saturday, September 19, 2009 - Just like during the Monza weekend...

Zuber is set up in pole for race 2 after action packed Portimao race 1

Free practice 1 - 1.52.941 - 11th
Free practice 2 - 1.35.833 - 6th
Qualifying - 1.31.673 - P12

Saturday, September 19, 2009 - Just like during the Monza weekend rain where wet conditions were back for race 1 in Portimao Some portions of the track were saturated. It was not a major problem for Dubai resident Andreas Zuber racing under a UAE licence with FMSI who took to the track on slick tires.

A safety car period interrupted the first laps of the race that was quite action packed. Five drivers were out (Cecotto, Mortara, Chandhok, D'Ambrosio and Valerio) and yellow flags made the rest of the race complicated for the remaining 19 drivers. Andreas Zuber had a good pit strategy and was one of the first drivers to stop after about 20 minutes. He rejoined the race in 16th place and was consistently lapping, progressing up the order to eventually finish in the top ten.

"I arrived at Portimao very happy because the Algarve track would be new to all of us and we'd have a level playing field," said Zuber. "The track is interesting. But I was surprised that it was wet on Friday for the first practice session. Later it dried a bit for the second session. That was better for our times. The qualifying session started in sunny conditions. I was quick right from the start and consistently bringing my time down as the track improved too. But I only made it to 12th position, just 0.8s off the pace.

Race one started by looking like it was going to be on the wet side. I left with slicks though. Later the race was interrupted by two pace car sessions. I had a good start for race 1. Then the race was disrupted with the first pace car. And despite the fact that many slow corners offer overtaking spots I did not do a lot of overtaking. In fact I am pleased to have scored one point after qualifying in the top 12 in Portimao and finish in 8th.

I was ninth as the safety car was deployed again after an accident between Perez and Parente at turn 2. There were 12 laps left at the restart of the race led by Nico Huelkenberg. Everyone was really nervous and aggressive ahead of me; it was the right moment to be prudent. It was a tough final few laps and I was fighting with Davide Valsecchi for 8th, but then Kobayashi overtook me with five laps to go. With four laps to go I overtook Maldonado. I am pleased with the performance because with the reversed grid, I will leave from pole which I am really pleased about for the team. I am entirely focused on race two to score more points for our last race of the season tomorrow. It would be a nice way to finish the season on a high note."

-credit: andreas-zuber.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Andreas Zuber , Davide Valsecchi