Asia: Abu Dhabi: Arden race one report

DESERT PROMISE UNFULFILLED The result -- 14th place for Rodolfo Gonzalez and a retirement for Charles Pic -- might have painted a gloomy picture for Arden International after the opening round of the GP2 Asia Series in Abu Dhabi, but this was a...

DESERT PROMISE UNFULFILLED

The result -- 14th place for Rodolfo Gonzalez and a retirement for Charles Pic -- might have painted a gloomy picture for Arden International after the opening round of the GP2 Asia Series in Abu Dhabi, but this was a tale of unfulfilled promise.

From sixth on the grid, Gonzalez ran fifth during the race's early stages. He then made his mandatory tyre stop before the first of two Safety Car interruptions... and that cost him two places when drivers behind capitalised on the race's neutralisation. Unfortunately, however, he was then given a pit speeding penalty, served immediately after the restart, and that dropped him down the order. Throughout the 33 laps, however, his lap times were encouragingly competitive.

His team-mate Charles Pic made a brilliant start, but the stewards adjudged it a little too brilliant and gave him a drive-through penalty for setting off too soon. He subsequently ran steadily in the lower midfield, just ahead of his team-mate, until the two cars collided and Charles was forced to retire with five laps to go.

Rodolfo:

"It is a real shame, because I was expecting to finish in the top eight -- and I would have been satisfied with that. It was a chaotic race, with two safety cars and, obviously, the pit speeding penalty was regrettable. It was my mistake -- I hit the limiter too late on my way in. Still, I did a good job in qualifying and set a quick pace was good during the second half of the race. I aim to do a good job tomorrow and stay out of trouble. I want to showcase the positive things we've achieved so far this weekend."

Charles:

"It's a shame to get a result like this today, because I think we chose the right strategy but my jump-start penalty compromised our chances. I'm not sure why the problem occurred -- the car crept forward as soon as I touched the throttle, so tomorrow I will put my foot on the brake, too! After that I was stuck in traffic for the whole race. I tried to pass people, but it was really difficult and I couldn't find a solution. Then I had the incident with Rodolfo. I didn't see him in the corner and we touched, which ended my race. I found out more about both car and circuit today, but they were not the best conditions in which to learn. It was a combination of pressure, focusing on the car, trying to improve my driving and attempting to overtake -- all at the same time. My pit stop went well, though...

"For tomorrow's sprint race I will try to get a good start, now I know how, and then endeavour to be faster than I was today. We will look at the data, improve the car for tomorrow and focus on being more competitive."

-credit: arden

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Rodolfo Gonzalez , Charles Pic