Asia: Sepang: ART weekend summary

ART Grand Prix left the Sepang circuit in Malaysia with their driver Romain Grosjean adding another podium finish to his scorecard after taking second place in race two and as such retaining the lead in the drivers' championship with thirty five...

ART Grand Prix left the Sepang circuit in Malaysia with their driver Romain Grosjean adding another podium finish to his scorecard after taking second place in race two and as such retaining the lead in the drivers' championship with thirty five points to his credit while the team also retain their lead with 35 points, five ahead of second placed Barwa International Campos Team.

Unfortunately, Stephen Jelley was still unable to open his 2008 scorecard after being hit from behind in race one, an incident that saw his car sustain significant damage. As such, playing catch up in race two was virtually impossible.

It wasn't an easy weekend for the team with extremely difficult race conditions. Race one saw a wet and dry track while race two saw drivers suffer with high temperatures and humidity in race 2.

Romain Grosjean:

"I screwed it up at the start of race 1. I stalled and it was a big disappointment after our great qualifying result. We did not change the set up when it rains, thinking it would dry out later. I was P21 behind the safety car and climbed up to P4 fighting with Petrov. But leaving the pits the tires were cold and the line was still a bit humid and I needed a couple of laps to get the tires into temperature. But then Tahinci came across and hit my front end. Ending up P9 was frustrating but on the other hand I clocked the fastest lap and it gave me the opportunity to do another exciting race on Sunday when I overtook 7 drivers to secure my 3rd podium of the season. I learnt a lot during the Malaysian weekend, I know what I must not do at the start and it will be useful for the rest of the year. Our level of performance was fantastic, so was the team work, and that's very good for the future. There are still for races to go and even if we are still on a learning phase, we now have to see the big picture and think of the winning the championship. Let's go to Bahrain, have a less exotic race and another win!"

Stephen Jelley:

"I got a very good start and went from fourteenth to fighting for sixth by the fourth corner, but unfortunately the car in front of me spun, so I had to take avoiding action and I nearly spun myself, but the car behind me crashed into the back of me, taking out the steering and suspension so the steering wheel wasn't straight. I managed to keep going, but it started to rain. The red flag came out because there was a big accident and the race was stopped, so everyone swapped to rain tyres. The steering was still out, and because it was slippery, it was even harder. I was under a lot of pressure from the car behind me and locked up a back wheel after braking into turn fifteen, and left the track and unfortunately ended up in the gravel, and that was the end of my race one! Race two started unfortunately quite near the back because of the problem in race one, I started in P20. I got a bad start and dropped down to last place and spent the race fighting to get back, and eventually ended in P18. It was an interesting race, very hot, but unfortunately, well, P18! It was a good learning experience, and the track is a very good track and Malaysia is a very nice country!"

Frederic Vasseur:

"Let's forget about the negative side of the weekend because the positive one was terrific. Our performance level reached a high in Sepang which is certainly not the easiest circuit of the calendar. Romain was brilliant in qualifying, opening a gap of more than 0.7 second. He was as fast in race and in the end he scored more points than most of his main rivals. We just had some mishaps where we expected to experience some and in a way it's good to have them before the European championship which will be our main target. All in all our performance and work are very good for the moral of the team."

-credit: art

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