Lotus ART press release
Lotus ART wrapped up the penultimate GP2 Series meeting with two podiums, thanks to two second place finishes by Jules Bianchi on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The French driver moves up to third place in the overall ranking, one point below Giedo Van der Garde. Lotus ART would like to congratulate Romain Grosjean and Dams for their title and hopes to follow in their footsteps in 2012. Qualifying in 3rd and 9th positions on the starting grid respectively in the first race, Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez crossed the finish line in 2nd and 14th places. On Sunday, Jules moved up from 7th position to finish in 2nd place, thus moving from 4th place to 3rd in the overall ranking, one point out from 2nd placed Giedo Van der Garde. At the same time, Esteban fell one spot in the ranking, down to 7th place.
“I had a very good start and I was lucky to be on the right side because it was dryer than the left. Then I tried to stay behind Christian Vietoris. At first he was a bit quicker but I closed the gap. Having said that, there was no way I'd have tried something stupid. I needed this second position, so did Lotus ART, and we secured it. On Sunday, it was the opposite: I decided to go on the outside but it was the wrong choice because I was a bit closed in. I was P8 but I could push and gain a lot of positions. I want to end the season in a good way, but mainly, we have to keep our momentum. It’s important to look at it race by race and not focus too much on the championship. It would be important to finish second, but I don’t think about that. I try my best race by race, try and be quick every time.”
“We had some trouble in qualifying, with the mixed conditions and a some yellow flags. It was a classic decoy and unfortunately I could not avoid it. My start was good on Saturday but I collided with Giedo Van der Garde which cost me some positions. It changed my strategy because when you are behind the aerodynamics change and things did not go our way: the rain came in and because of the low temperature the car switched into the safety mode! Sunday was much better because we found the way to climb up the field. In terms of set-up our strategy was risky but I had nothing to lose and it worked. It's too bad I missed a few points but it was a good experience.”
“This is definitely a very good weekend for Jules. He found the right pace the whole weekend and he did some great overtaking manoeuvres in both races. He is now 3rd in the drivers' championship and our goal is to finish it as a runner-up in Monza in a fortnight. Esteban had some bad luck in qualifying and in the first race, but he recovered well. He was one of the very best on Sunday thanks to some great tyre management and great raw speed. He would have deserved a few points but one must not forget he's a rookie surrounded by 17 drivers who are competing in their second season in the series, at least.”