The Orange Arrows team's strong performance over the whole weekend continued into this morning's superb warm up session which found Pedro de la Rosa and Jos Verstappen running in the top four for a large part of the session, and ending with Jos...
The Orange Arrows team's strong performance over the whole weekend continued into this morning's superb warm up session which found Pedro de la Rosa and Jos Verstappen running in the top four for a large part of the session, and ending with Jos in 4th and Pedro in 10th. Unfortunately however, this was not the case this afternoon, as the Orange Arrows team experienced what can only be described as a truly gutting race.
The race got off to a very good start for Pedro de la Rosa, who managed to escape unscathed from the carnage of the first corner and move into 4th position by the end of lap one. He then overtook Salo to move into 3rd on lap 3 and held that position behind the two McLarens and infront of Barrichello comfortably until lap 32, when the A21 car suffered a gearbox problem forcing Pedro to retire from the race. Jos unfortunately experienced front wing damage when his car was touched in the scrum at the first corner, so had to pit for a nose cone change which lost him positions and time. A further problem of loss of power with the car then caused Jos to retire on lap 14.
Pedro de la Rosa:
"I think that this was the most incredible opportunity that has just escaped. These sorts of races with accidents like this at the first corner and being right up there, you just have to hang out there and finish the race. But anyway, I feel that we have just seen a lot of points that we were in line to score be taken away from us. We are quick, the car is good and the team are doing a great job, but we have to improve on reliability as finishing so few races is not good enough, particularly when we do have, and have shown that we have the ability to do very well. It was a mess at the first corner and for something like that to happen is quite rare, and I decided to take a risk and use the inside line, powered early and had a tight exit and I was just in the right spot. I have been up in third before but this time I was actually holding the position. I may not have been able to fight off Barrichello until the end but we would have been in fourth for sure as we were on a one stop strategy the same as most other drivers. It felt great being up there behind the McLarens and really holding my own and I just can't say how disappointed I am".
"It was an exciting race and I had a very good start. There was an awful lot going on at the first corner on the first lap and somebody touched my front wing and I knew it was broken so I had to come in. The safety car came out but I stayed out as we thought the race may be red flagged, so I did which was a mistake after all so I had to come in and have the nose cone changed which put a big gap between me and all the rest. The car felt so good all weekend and particularly during the race, so that's one thing we really seem to have got right, and my lap times were good as well. I think here we have lost a lot of points for the team and it is very disappointing about Pedro. In the end I had to stop because I lost power".
Steve Nielsen, Race Team Manager:
"It is just such a shame for the whole team and we are massively disappointed. The race was really going to plan and Pedro was driving superbly and pulling away from Salo in 5th. I don't know if we'd have been able to hold off Barrichello but it's difficult to say. To be let down by a small part breaking is so frustrating, but mainly it's just that everybody has worked so hard and we don't get many races like this one. This is possibly our strongest race this year. The cars and drivers have a lot of potential which is showing so it's hard to accept that we're not delivering".