As the true champion that he is -- since yesterday -- Nico Rosberg became today in the first-ever driver to win both GP2 races of the weekend, as he swept his rivals in the sprint competition on the Bahrain International Circuit. "This is just...
As the true champion that he is -- since yesterday -- Nico Rosberg became today in the first-ever driver to win both GP2 races of the weekend, as he swept his rivals in the sprint competition on the Bahrain International Circuit.
"This is just a great way to finish off this weekend and this season. I can't quite believe it. The car was perfect this afternoon, as it has been all season", the new champion said.
Venezuelan Ernesto Viso and Rosberg's teammamte, Alex Premat, filled the podium in the series season finale.
Rosberg started from eighth place, thanks to the first-race victory that had secured him the inaugural GP2 championship. With his car set up for less downforce -- and more top speed -- he quickly started to advance through the field, pushing hard in his Dallara-Renault.
"It was undoubtedly the best race of my career," Rosberg said at the finish. "Because the championship was already decided yesterday, I was very calm and relaxed before the race. I went into the race ready to take some risks if I needed to. And that made passign easier!"
Viso, who started the race from the pole position, held the lead until the pace of the Finnish-German champion left him in second place at halfway trough the race, as Rosberg pulled past him on the 13th lap.
"It was a difficult race, but it's great to get another podium -- my third in four races", stated venezuela's great hope in racing.
"I think people can see the potential we've had this year, and its nice to have a good result at the end of the championship. Nico was great today. He was really fast. I just couldn't keep him behind me".
In the he had to fight with the other ART Grand Prix boy, as Premat pushed, looking for second place in his aim of catching third place in the standings, but it was impossible to break Viso's line.
It was a great way of close a season that was complicated for Viso and the BCN team, who are looking forward for next season with better eyes.
In spite of closing a fantastic year with another podium, Premat wanted to get third place in final championship positions.
"This season has been fantastic, and I have really enjoyed working with the team and with Nico. But today is bitter-sweet. I really wanted to get third place in the championship and I lost it by half a point. That's difficult to take. But overall I look back on a great season."
Scott Speed secured third place in the championship with Premat behind viso and two points thanks to the fastest lap in the race.
Heikki Kovalainen spun off on lap one and retired closing a sad weekend for the Finn, in which he lost the title in the first race and retired from the second.
The final standings have Rosberg with 120 points followed by Kovalainen with 105. Speed ended just half a point ahead of Premat, 67.5 to 67; Adam Carroll took fifth with 53 and Giorgio Pantano sixth with 49.
Neel Jani, Nelson A. Piquet, Jose Maria Lopez and Gianmaria Bruni completed top ten places in the first GP2 series season.
ART Grand Prix comfortably won the teams' championship with 187 over the 126 of Arden. Super Nova was the third of the season with 102.
GP2 won't have a vacation as the teams will return to action in October with tests at Paul Ricard, where they will be able to start looking their drivers for 2006 season.