Stéphane Richelmi and the Trident Racing team scored a really prestigious podium finish today at the Hockenheim ring in Race 1 of the GP2 Series' German round.
The race took-off with a damp track due to the the rain fallen during Qualifying for Formula 1, and Richelmi decided - together with the team - to put on slick tires. Only two cars started with dry weather tires but it soon emerged as the best possible choice.
Richelmi, who hit second place after seven laps, managed his tires in an optimal way and, after pitting on lap 23, he went back on-track in 5th. At that point, the Monaco-based man successfully passed Van der Garde and Nasr to end up in third.
Julian Leal ended his day in 21st place. After having started the race on wet weather tires, he kept a strong pace at the beginning. Although he managed to climb several spots back, he paid the price of the tire wear and progressively lost ground.
The closing race of the Hockenheim weekend will be starting tomorrow at 10:30 (with live coverage in Italy on RAI2). Richelmi will start from the third row, Leal from the 21st place.
Stéphane Richelmi, 3rd “We took a quick decision in the last few moments before the start. We opted for slick tires and that proved the right choice. It hasn't been easy though. At the start I took-off slowly due to the wheelspin, and in the first few laps it's been really tough to hold control without making mistakes. After just a few corner I realized that the gamble would have paid off. When all the other drivers pitted for slicks on lap 6, I climbed up to second behind Cecotto, who was on the same strategy as me. I kept lapping on some great laptimes and after my stop I was running in 5th. I knew I could perform better than Van der Garde and Nasr, whom I had in front, but I didn't want to take useless risks that could have put the great job done in jeopardy. I think I have managed both passes in the best possible way, and I'm really proud to have made it on the podium also as a reward for the team's work”.
Julian Leal, 21st “The choice to use slick tires was the right one and I haven't been really lucky today. When I put slick tires on after pitting on lap 6, I enjoyed a good race pace. I recovered quickly and scored some great laptimes. Unfortunately, in the closing stages I suffered from an heavy tire wear, my marks got slower, and lost many positions”.
Source: Trident Racing