ENCOURAGING START FOR GONZALEZ Rising Venezuelan star Rodolfo Gonzalez made a promising start to his GP2 Asia campaign by qualifying his Arden Dallara sixth for the series' opening race at Abu Dhabi. His flawless performance was ...
ENCOURAGING START FOR GONZALEZ
Rising Venezuelan star Rodolfo Gonzalez made a promising start to his GP2 Asia campaign by qualifying his Arden Dallara sixth for the series' opening race at Abu Dhabi. His flawless performance was particularly impressive given the challenging nature of the emirate's new 3.45-mile circuit, which winds its way through the Yas Marina leisure complex and features elevation changes, blind apices and awkward adverse cambers.
Gonzalez's French team-mate Charles Pic was little more than a second shy of iSport driver Davide Valesecchi's pole position time -- but so closely are the leading drivers matched that he will start only 20th.
"This has been a good start to my weekend. I have made huge progress since I first tested a GP2 car and in performance terms the difference is night and day. The track is definitely one of the hardest I have ever driven, with all kinds of different corners following each other in quick succession. It has a bit of everything, with a couple of long straights, some 90-degree turns, a few quick sweeps and a tight hairpin. I'm happy with the work we've done and the Arden engineers have done a great job helping me get up to speed. I am looking forward to the race -- the key will be to get a good start, stay out of trouble and to make sure I don't make a mess of the pit exit right after my mandatory tyre stop. The tunnel that leads back onto the track is potentially very tricky! If I can score some points tomorrow, it will be a positive start and I'd be happy with that."
"This is not an easy track. I have used today's sessions to find my way because I didn't take part in last week's test session. That means I'm a couple of days behind some of the others, but my pace has picked up during the day -- although that's also true of everybody else. We managed to improve the car between practice and qualifying, but things did not go particularly well for me this afternoon and we need to go through the data to help me understand why. Tomorrow, it goes without saying that I will push to my maximum in a bid to be more competitive."