GP2

Valencia SC: ART Grand Prix event summary

ART Grand Prix secured two podium finishes in Valencia Spain this weekend, bringing their 2010 GP2 series tally to four overall. As a result the French based squad is third in the teams' championship while their drivers sit on the sixth and...

ART Grand Prix secured two podium finishes in Valencia Spain this weekend, bringing their 2010 GP2 series tally to four overall. As a result the French based squad is third in the teams' championship while their drivers sit on the sixth and seventh rungs of the drivers ladder. Jules Bianchi qualified on the second row of the grid in Valencia and led the way for the ART Grand Prix team to secure a double podium finish. Teammate Sam Bird, who started tenth, had a brilliant race to finish third, right behind the Frenchman.

Unfortunately race two didn't yield the same results with Bird suffering a clutch problem at the start and Bianchi becoming an innocent victim of another driver's error. The focus now turns to the next round that will take place at the newly redeveloped Silverstone circuit in two weeks time.

Jules Bianchi: "It's the first time this season that everything's gone well from qualifying to the end of the first race and that's a great satisfaction because it helps build confidence and to work on the future. I had a good start and when the safety car came back to the pits I dove up the inside of Maldonado to overtake him because I knew we had the right to do so after the safety car line and that we didn't have to wait to get past the start/finish line. Shortly after that I got past Perez but then I had a problem with the brake distribution and Maldonado caught me up. I was able to push hard after my pit stop but my tyres started to suffer when Maldonado's tyres were in better shape and I decided to back off and secure 2nd position. The next day, Vietoris brutally hit me from behind and most likely prevented me getting some points. This kind of behaviour is disappointing and penalizes other drivers, it's a shame."

Sam Bird: "We have to take some satisfaction from the podium on Saturday and for being very competitive once again. I want to thank my team for a good job throughout the weekend and in particular for an excellent pit stop. On Sunday, I was unable to select first gear for the start of the formation lap. I tried to shift up repeatedly but I just had a box full of neutrals. I got pushed into pit lane and still had the same problem, but after the team push-started me I was finally able to select a gear and I rejoined at the back of the pack. After that, it was just a case of keeping my head down and fighting my way up the order."

Frederic Vasseur: "Jules and Sam were extremely competitive all weekend long and that's the main thing. They made some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres, the pit stops were neat thanks to the good job done by the crew and it was a well deserved double podium. Unfortunately, Sam had a clutch issue on the formation lap of the second race but his drive was superb and he fought back swiftly and cleverly. We can't say the same for some other drivers and Jules was the innocent victim of one of them at the start of the second race. The first half of the season is not over yet and I'm confident with our quality, both at on an individual and collective level, which we can aim for wins on a regular basis."

-source: art gp

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Sam Bird , Frederic Vasseur , Jules Bianchi
Teams ART Grand Prix