Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) and Sergio Perez (Barwa International Campos Team) both took race wins this week in the first ever Bridgestone-supported GP2 Asia Series night race at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar. Hulkenberg started...
Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) and Sergio Perez (Barwa International Campos Team) both took race wins this week in the first ever Bridgestone-supported GP2 Asia Series night race at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar.
Hulkenberg started the fourth round well, claiming his second consecutive pole position with a time of 1min 35.741seconds. The time was 0.723 seconds faster than Perez who was second quickest, closely followed in third by teammate Vitaly Petrov.
Bridgestone's medium compound GP2 Asia Series slick tyre was used to perfection by Hulkenberg in Friday's 34-lap Feature Race, where he collected his first GP2 Asia win. The German driver initially lost his lead to Mexican Perez off the start line, whilst the race was disrupted following a collision involving Sakon Yamamoto (ART Grand Prix) and Yelmer Buurman (Ocean Racing Technology). Rodolfo Gonzalez (Fisichella Motor Sport International) was also caught in the incident, although fortunately none of the three drivers were injured. Petrov, who held third position from early on, was the first of the top drivers to pit on lap ten, allowing him to pass his Campos teammate after the latter made his own compulsory pitstop on lap 14. Hulkenberg regained the lead following a mid-race sprint and claimed victory over 13 seconds ahead of Perez, whilst Petrov made it two Campos drivers on the podium. Current series leader Kamui Kobayashi finished fourth, with Dams teammate, Jerome d'Ambrosio, finishing fifth.
Saturday's reverse grid Sprint Race saw an all-Arden International Motorsport front row. Campos teammates Perez and Petrov, starting from sixth and seventh respectively, moved rapidly to the front of the grid. Petrov led the opening lap but was overtaken by Perez on lap 2, allowing the Mexican to claim his second win of the season. For the second time this weekend both Campos drivers featured on the podium. Hulkenberg took third position after a close battle with Edoardo Mortara, who finished fourth. Perez set the fastest lap, of 1min 39.527seconds, on lap 22.
Leaving Qatar, Kobayashi continues to lead the drivers' championship on 39 points from Davide Valsecchi on 29. Hulkenberg has made his way up to third on 27 points. Dams lead the teams' championship with 60 points from Campos on 44. ART Grand Prix is third on 34 points. The next round of the GP2 Asia Series is scheduled for April 4-5 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto - Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Series Engineer
"For the first ever GP2 Asia night race we provided all teams and drivers with the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza slick tyre. This specification was a good choice for warm up, which was proved in Thursdays' exciting qualifying session, with the majority of drivers setting faster lap times after the red flag. During the race we were surprised to see most drivers experience understeer which is rare in GP2 Series cars. This led to graining and degradation of the front tyres. We will learn from our experience here in Qatar and apply this knowledge to future product development. Both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez managed their tyres exceptionally well enabling them to post good results this weekend."