Romain Grosjean and DAMS continue their winning streak!
The French driver and his team could not have dreamed of a better start to the GP2 season – pole and victory after a very exciting race continuing the run of successes begun in the Asia GP2 Series.
After setting pole yesterday, Grosjean and DAMS have confirmed their leadership status in the main GP2 Series. Victory, though, hung by a thread - or rather a tyre!
The DAMS driver made a great start and opened up a lead in the early stages of the race. The team decided to put only 2 new tyres on Grosjean's car at the obligatory pit stop, while his nearest rival, Sam Bird, changed all four. Grosjean was faced with tyre degradation and had to lift off, and his English rival was on his gearbox as the cars crossed the line. Romain kept a cool head and held on to win the opening race of the 2011 championship.
The team and I have done a lot of work since the Asian GP2 Series to find the right solutions.
Pal Varhaug, the Norwegian rookie with the DAMS team, also drove a good race on his debut on the Istanbul park circuit and pulled off some good passing moves. His efforts were reduced to naught when he had to pit a second time to have a damaged tyre replaced.
Loïc David: General Manager: "Yet another magnificent victory. A big bravo to the whole team for its good strategic choice, and to Romain for the remarkable way he controlled the race. It was a great event but I hope to avoid the cold sweats of the closing laps next time! We want to begin the main series with a victory. We've done so today and we'll do everything to continue in the same vein."
Romain Grosjean: victory
"I'm delighted to start the championship with a victory. The team and I have done a lot of work since the Asian GP2 Series to find the right solutions. It was a very interesting race that helped us to progress. Bravo to everybody and it's up to us to keep up the good work."
Pal Varhaug: p17
"If I look back at my race I can find some reasons to be satisfied. I was on the pace; I was consistent and I passed quite a few cars. It didn't pay off in the end. I'm confident for the next race, even so."
Second race tomorrow (Sunday) 8th May at 11h35 (Turkish time Paris +1 hour)