ART Grand Prix left the Valencia circuit on Sunday afternoon with another pole, their 6th win of the season and two podium finishes to their credit, all courtesy of Nico Hulkenberg. After taking another scorching pole on Friday, the German driver...
ART Grand Prix left the Valencia circuit on Sunday afternoon with another pole, their 6th win of the season and two podium finishes to their credit, all courtesy of Nico Hulkenberg. After taking another scorching pole on Friday, the German driver topped it off with a second place in race one and a win in race two, his fourth race victory of the 2009 season. He also secured fastest lap in both events. Meanwhile, teammate Pastor Maldonado didn't feel as well in qualifying as he did in practice and a problem with the floor of his car prevented him from securing a point in the first race and starting the second one in pole position. Instead he was forced to line up in last position. Street track expert Pastor was one of the fastest drivers on Sunday and his 8th position was a good achievement in itself but unfortunately insufficient to secure any points. As a result of this weekend, Nico Hulkenberg extended his lead in the drivers' championship and he is now twenty points ahead of Vitaly Petrov. Meanwhile ART Grand Prix also extended their lead in the teams championship as the countdown to next month's season finale continues.
Nico Hulkenberg: "Pole position was not that easy to grab but the car felt great thanks to the team's hard work. I felt comfortable and confident, the circuit has a good rhythm and I just went for it. It was really hot in the race and my slight mistake in the first turn cost me dearly when I was a bit too optimistic under braking because it was definitely not easy to follow another car the whole race without missing a line here and there. I got past Perez but after that basically I was stuck behind Petrov. He did not make any mistakes and I did not want to take any silly risks because it was really not easy to overtake on this circuit. At least I could do the fastest lap which allowed me, along with pole position, to get more points than Petrov in the first race. In the second race, I took the inside line and that was a good move. I was already P3 at the end of the first lap and from then on I made sure I did not makeany mistakes. This fourth win was really pleasant and I want to thank each and every member of ART Grand Prix. 20 points is a nice gap but there are still 60 points left and the championship is certainly not over. We will go to Spa with the will to win."
Pastor Maldonado: "Coming to Valencia my goal was crystal clear; I had to secure some big points in order to stay in the loop for the title hunt. I like this circuit, which has some long straights and slow corners, a bit like Monaco where I feel at home and where I won several races. I was optimistic thanks the adjustments we made in anticipation of Valencia and Spa and the practice session went really well. But I had some difficulties in qualifying and I could not reiterate my 3rd position of the morning. Still, I was confident for the rest of the weekend. I was counting on a good start and on a long and difficult race, just what I like, to progress but this floor problem ruined the races. I will have to catch up with no delay and as soon as the next weekend in Spa."
Frederic Vasseur: "With pole position, the win, the 2nd place and two fastest laps in race for Nico we weren't that far from the perfect weekend but an incident due to a collision between Pastor and another driver caused the car to be in breach of the technical regulations. It is a shame because without this incident that compromised both his races I'm sure Pastor would have been able to show he is always great on a street circuit. Having said that, the review of the weekend is positive for ART Grand Prix as our level of performance was excellent and as we widen the gap with our rivals in both championship."