Hamilton wins despite penalty in Nurburgring

Not even a drive-through penalty was a barrier to stop Lewis Hamilton in scoring his first GP2 Series victory, which he earned in race one of the third round held this weekend in Nurburgring, Germany. His teammate, Alexandre Premat, and Adam...

Not even a drive-through penalty was a barrier to stop Lewis Hamilton in scoring his first GP2 Series victory, which he earned in race one of the third round held this weekend in Nurburgring, Germany. His teammate, Alexandre Premat, and Adam Carroll joined the winner in the podium ceremony.

Hamilton started from third place in the competition and quickly showed to be a candidate for victory with a strong pace in his Dallara-Renault of ART Grand Prix. "It's a fantastic result for myself, and the team did a great job in the pitstop", commented the race winner.

The British driver suffered a drive-trough penalty as the result of pit-lane speeding during his service stop. However, Hamilton was able to recover leaving Premat behind to claim his first GP2 win after 1h01m26s097 of hard competition at the Nurburgring circuit.

"Unfortunately a small mistake exiting the pits meant the pitlane speed limited was released too early and then I got a drive through, but to get the win after the penalty is fantastic", Hamilton said.

Since the beginning of the season, Hamilton was always right there as a strong candidate for the victory that finally arrived today with an overwhelming performance. "It was inevitable that we would get a win because we knew we had the pace, and it was just a matter of time and we had to be patient and wait for it. And the time has come, and I just hope we can keep this level of performance for the rest of the year", stated the Brit.

French racer Premat ended up 19s642 adrift of his teammate and gave the first one-two finish to the team this year. "This was really nice because it was so long without champagne and podiums! Since Bahrain actually (season close of 2005). I am really grateful, and I really want to push for a win as soon as possible", he mentioned.

Despite the good result, Premat wasn`t so happy with his pit stop strategy in the race. "The middle of the race was so hard because I stopped on the second lap so the tyres were really hard to push on the exits. Lewis did a really good job today, and he was better than me because he changed his tyres later than me", explained the Frenchman as one of the differences for his loss of time to his teammate.

Racing Engineering captured their first podium finish in the hands of Carroll, after a strong fight with Argentinean Jose Maria Lopez, who would finally finished in fourth spot.

Carroll was able to steal third place from Lopez who was suffering with the set-up in the car in the last lap of the competition, giving Carroll his first points in the season after a bad start to the season in Valencia and San Marino.

"The car felt good today, and you can never do anything unless the car feels good and it lets you do it. I just tried to be as consistent and push as hard as I could. I wasn't particularly quick at the start but the balance came good after the pitstop, and I was able to close in on the guys as they were obviously battling hard and their tyres were shot", commented Carroll.

The British racer had to struggle a lot with Lopez, Nelson A. Piquet and Nicolas Lapierre to advance during the race. "At the end, I think it was good to my tyres so once the guys started making mistakes I just put the pressure on them and that was it -- I just went for it," he explained.

Points places were filled by Nicolas Lapierre in fifth, followed by Ernesto Viso, Alexandre Negrao and Hiroki Yoshimoto, who will lead the field in tomorrow's sprint race due to the top eight inverted grid based on today's race results.

Standings leader Piquet didn`t had a happy journey. The Brazilean was fighting for a podium finish when he was forced to retire from the race after his front left tyre delaminated four laps from the end, sending him flying over the gravel trap and into the tyre wall at high speed.

Luckily, he emerged from the crash unscathed, but bitterly disappointed at losing out on earning valuable points, and being forced to start tomorrow's sprint race from 20th on the grid.

"I knew the tyres were wearing badly and it was a big problem, but then I got to the corner and it just blew up and I went off into the wall. I can't believe I lost all the points and now we have to start at the back tomorrow. I should have been on the podium today", commented a dissapointed Piquet.

After all, Piquet still leads in the championship with 27 points, while second place is shared by Lapierre and Hamilton, both with 20. Ernesto Viso, 19; Gianmaria Bruni, 18 and Michael Ammermuller, 16, complete the top six in the positions.

The fight in the teams championship is on fire between Arden International, leader with 36 points, and ART Grand Prix, that made a big jump today and added 33 units. Right behind is Piquet Sports, third with 29.

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Lewis Hamilton , Adam Carroll , Alexandre Funari "Xandy" Negrao , Nicolas Lapierre , Alexandre Prémat , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Michael Ammermüller
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering