Razia maintains excellent form in Bahrain
Arden driver Luiz Razia continued his stellar start to the GP2 Series season with a strong run to fourth place in Bahrain today – his fifth points finish in as many starts. As in the previous weekend’s double-header at the same venue, tyre preservation was crucial. Razia qualified sixth and then played a waiting game, his tactical nous paying dividends as he was able to pick off struggling rivals in the race’s later stages.
Team-mate Simon Trummer made solid progress in the wake of a tricky qualifying session that left him 23rd on the grid. After a bright start, the Swiss gained places as the race progressed and eventually moved up to 15th.
Luiz Razia comments:
"We didn’t do too many laps in free practice, because we wanted to save tyres. The session was quite chaotic when I did venture out, because the red flag appeared to allow Jolyon Palmer’s stationary car to be recovered. I managed to get one clear lap, though, which put me third. That’s probably where I should have been in qualifying, too, but on my quickest lap I tripped over a slower car at the final corner.
“I think the team made the right calls in the race. We changed all four tyres at my stop, rather than just the rears, and that gave me the opportunity to pass other cars at the end. My first stint wasn’t great, because the tyres faded quite quickly, but things were much better after the stop. Unfortunately, time lost in the first part of the race cost me the chance of another podium, but we definitely had the pace to finish second or third. I’m really pleased that we have been so strong in every race so far: it underlines what a good job the team is doing and I hope to prove the point again tomorrow.”
Simon Trummer comments:
“Like Luiz, I stayed in the garage for the first half of free practice and didn’t do much running. I bedded in some new pads, but didn’t have much feel for the brakes – and there wasn’t time to make many changes because we had only a 50-minute break before qualifying. The car seemed pretty quick in that session and my best sector times were close to those of Luiz, and even faster on some laps, but I didn’t manage to put them all together at the same time.
“I started the race quite well and decided to pace myself, to nurse the car and see how things unfolded. After my tyre stop everything felt really good and I think my lap times reflected as much. I was 17th when I rejoined, but was able to catch the group ahead quite easily. I then had a minor incident with Brendon Hartley, which left me with a damaged front wing, but I was able to hold my position for the final five laps. I’m pleased with my race pace, but need to work on my qualifying performance. As for tomorrow, I’ll just push as hard as I can and see what happens.”