Asia: Sentul: ART round two summary

Wet conditions and chaos saw ART Grand Prix walk away from the Indonesian round of the GP2 Asia series with two fourth placed finishes, both courtesy of Romain Grosjean. After winning both rounds last time out in Bahrain, the Frenchman added...

Wet conditions and chaos saw ART Grand Prix walk away from the Indonesian round of the GP2 Asia series with two fourth placed finishes, both courtesy of Romain Grosjean. After winning both rounds last time out in Bahrain, the Frenchman added another 8 very valuable points to both his and the team's overall tally.

For race one, the dust on the Sentul circuit caused the engine in his car to overheat, leaving him unable to continue his fight for victory, while chaotic conditions in race two left the ART driver with very little grip in his rear tyres. Teammate Stephen Jelley had a disappointing weekend with a disqualification in race one due to the mechanics refuelling his car on the grid. He had finished tenth after starting from the back, the same position he started in for race two after the DQ. Unfortunately, due to the treacherous conditions, he failed to make it to the chequered flag.

The team now looks forward to the next round of the championship that will take place in Malaysia from the 23rd to the 25th of March.

Romain Grosjean: @Race 1: Qualifying: 4th Result: 4th @Race 2: 4th Qualifying: 5th Result: 4th

"There were several differences at Sentul compared to Bahrain: only 30 minutes of free practice and then, and most importantly, the rain, which disturbed the weekend a lot I spun on my first flyer with slick tyres because the track was a bit wet at the beginning of the session. It was a true disappointment because I think that I could have been much higher on the starting grid. The beginning of the first race went rather well as I managed to keep my fourth place, but we lost time during the pit stop. The team was not ready for such an early stop when the first safety car came in. The left rear tyre was still in the box when I came in, my mechanics thought that it was necessary to change all 4 and not just 2 tyres, and the nut on the left back was stuck. I went out again with the bit between my teeth, and I gained several places. However, my engine started to overheat when I attacked Hanley. The problem became so bad that the engine went into safety mode and I had no more than 70% power. Therefore the objective was to rejoin and try and score some points.

The second race was very chaotic with very precarious conditions. After having had an impeccable start to the race thanks to a perfect car, I fought for 3rd place with Pavlovic, but because of the drying track we very quickly destroyed our back tyres. The end of the race was chaotic. Hanley tapped Pavlovic and he turned into me. In the end a driver one lap down spun across the track in the final turn. Senna had to slow down and there were four of us capable of finishing second but I could not do anymore as I had no traction.

We knew that we could not expect to win every race like we did in Dubai, and this weekend is a very enriching experience. We limited the damage and have another 10 points, but there is still more progress to be made, by me and the team."

Stephen Jelley: @Race 1: Qualifying: 25th Result: Disqualified @Race 2: DNF Qualifying: 26th Result: DNF

"Race one, well, we had a penalty from qualifying and had to start at the back of the grid, and we had a gearbox problem at the start which meant we were a little bit late fuelling the car up, and the fuelling machine didn't work quite correctly. So we got out with one minute to go, but the car didn't have enough fuel in it so we put some fuel in it on the grid which is forbidden. Then I started the race and managed to fight through and finished tenth on the grid, which is quite a good effort. I took advantage of one of the safety cars to pit and the strategy and everything was good. The officials threw me out of the race because the team put fuel into the car, which is a bit silly because it gave me no performance advantage.

We had to start at the back again because we got kicked out yesterday. I managed to get up to sixteenth; it was a wet race, pouring with rain. Unfortunately after the safety car, somebody drove into the back of me and that ended my race. I didn't have a very good weekend really. It's been a bit of a strange one because the circuit was in very bad condition, and the race track has been clumping up underneath the car a bit so it feels like driving around in a gravel pit. All the cars have got big holes in the side parts and are falling to bits and my helmet's completely broken, so I don't think we'll be coming back here. But it's been interesting..."

Frederic Vasseur:

"If the aim was to learn all the difficult possible conditions of GP2, the weekend was a success! It's been a nightmare for the drivers between the weather and the track conditions. Therefore it is quite hard to judge the performance of the drivers but it was important that they could show us that they can handle the situation and finish the races in such horrible conditions. Romain did particularly well and scored some valuable points for both championships."

-credit: artgp

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Frederic Vasseur , Romain Grosjean , Stephen Jelley
Teams ART Grand Prix