MORTARA AND HULKENBERG IN DESERT BATTLE Qatar, Saturday 14th February 2009: GP2 Asia Series rookie Edoardo Mortara finished in fourth place at the Losail International Circuit tonight, after a thrilling battle with Nico Hulkenberg. Edo's...
MORTARA AND HULKENBERG IN DESERT BATTLE
Qatar, Saturday 14th February 2009: GP2 Asia Series rookie Edoardo Mortara finished in fourth place at the Losail International Circuit tonight, after a thrilling battle with Nico Hulkenberg.
Edo's Trust Team Arden car lined up second on the grid, under the circuit's floodlights, for the night-time sprint race. On the dirty side of the track, the Italian faced an immediate disadvantage. He was squeezed at the start by David Valsecchi's Durango, forcing Edo to the far right of the track and across the pitlane exit. As the twin Campos cars swept through to take the lead, Edo successfully fought to defend his line from Valsecchi and Arden team mate Luiz Razia, holding onto third place as Hulkenberg came through to give chase.
Hulkenberg went wide on Lap Two, creating a comfortable gap between he and Edo, but then Edo started to suffer from a lack of front-end grip, causing understeer through the desert circuit's high-speed curves. The pair, who last year fought hard for the Formula 3 Euroseries title, maintained a 0.2 second distance over four laps. Each lap, Hulkenberg tried to pass through Turns One and Two, but Edo took the perfect defensive line. On Lap 15, Hulkenberg got a great exit from the final corner and managed to pass on the inside approaching Turn One.
"After achieving third place on my debut in Bahrain three weeks ago, I was really hoping to step on the podium again this weekend," says Edo, "but it was a good clean fight with Nico. He just proved too fast to hold back, and I'm disappointed about that. I have struggled with my tyres throughout the weekend, particularly in the middle part of this race. Ironically, after Nico got passed, my tyres came back and my laptimes improved significantly. This is my second GP2 event and behind the wheel I am developing in confidence. I didn't make any major mistakes in either this or the feature race yesterday, in which I finished seventh."
Edoardo Mortara is competing in his first season of the GP2 Asia Series, having been the championship runner-up in the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries, and taken second place at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. On his GP2 debut, in Bahrain this year, he finished on the podium and scored the first points of the season for Trust Team Arden. Edoardo was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 12 1987, and holds dual French and Italian nationalities. He races under the Italian flag. His performances earned him the coveted Casco d'Oro for the best Italian driver of 2008.