Catalunya: Arden race one report

Six in the city -- Mortara gets off to points-scoring start in Barcelona Telmex Arden International drivers Sergio Perez and Edoardo Mortara suffered contrasting fortunes in the opening round of the 2009 GP2 Series at Barcelona's Circuit de ...

Six in the city -- Mortara gets off to points-scoring start in Barcelona

Telmex Arden International drivers Sergio Perez and Edoardo Mortara suffered contrasting fortunes in the opening round of the 2009 GP2 Series at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. They ran 12th and 14th in the tightly packed midfield during the race's early stages, but the team brought both men in for early tyre changes in a bid to give them the opportunity to run at a faster pace on a clear track. The tactic worked perfectly for Mortara, who emerged in sixth place once rivals had completed their mandatory pit stops. He became engaged in a fierce duel with several other drivers as the race drew to a close -- and the pressure intensified in the wake of a late safety car period. Edoardo drove faultlessly, however, to hold his position and score three points on his debut in the main GP2 Series.

The early stop was less fruitful for Perez. A faulty jack delayed his tyre change -- and he was then given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. That dropped him to the tail of the field, but he ultimately recovered to finish 14th.

Edoardo:

"It was a pretty good race and an excellent way to start the season. Things were very crowded through the first couple of corners and I was forced to run wide, which cost me both time and a couple of positions. That was frustrating, so I pushed hard and managed to recover a few places. The team called me in for an early stop, which was really well executed and gave me about five laps in clean air -- I think that was the right strategy.

"Towards the end I was stuck behind Lucas di Grassi and pushing really hard to overtake, but it simply wasn't possible. Pastor Maldonado passed me amid all the chaos and then Alvaro Parente pushed di Grassi onto the grass at Turn Three, which finally allowed me to move ahead. The main thing was to start the campaign on a positive note, with a points finish, and that's really satisfying. Tomorrow I start from third on the grid, so I'm hoping for more points -- and preferably a podium finish."

Sergio:

"That was a really unlucky race. My tyre stop was disappointing... and then I was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. After those setbacks I couldn't really do anything. I was in good shape at the beginning -- the tyres were OK, the car was good and then felt even better on my second set of tyres. In ordinary circumstances I think I could have finished in the top five, so it's a shame I didn't get that opportunity. I hope circumstances will be a little favourable tomorrow. It will be hard to score points, but that's my target."

-credit: arden

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Alvaro Parente , Lucas di Grassi , Sergio Perez , Edoardo Mortara
Teams Arden International