Points for Lopez at Hockenheim Jose Maria Lopez overcame several obstacles on his way to a hard-earned seventh place at Hockenheim. The Renault Driver Development squad member picked up two points, and will start the Sunday sprint race from...
Points for Lopez at Hockenheim
Jose Maria Lopez overcame several obstacles on his way to a hard-earned seventh place at Hockenheim.
The Renault Driver Development squad member picked up two points, and will start the Sunday sprint race from the front row. Meanwhile Lucas di Grassi didn't even get to start after suffering a last minute engine problem.
Jose made life difficult for himself by going off early in qualifying. He got back to the pits and the Super Nova team repaired the car, but when he went out at the end of the session to record a time he had a gearbox problem. He didn't do a flying lap, and thus had to start from the back of the grid.
He made up for that by getting off the line well, only to be punted into a spin at the first corner, which put him to the back once again. He made his compulsory pit stop at the earliest opportunity on the second lap, and with a set of tyres that had to last him the distance, got his head down and began a charge.
He put in some great lap times, and by the time his rivals made their stops he had got up to eighth. The last lap retirement of Nelson Piquet gave him an extra point, but deprived him of pole for Sunday's race!
Lucas had a spin late in qualifying, but his previous lap earned him a promising seventh on the grid. Alas he was not able to take up the position as he suffered engine problems even before the start, and the Durango car was in the pits when the rest of the field took off. He will thus have to start from the back on Sunday.
Jose Maria Lopez: 'I think it was a very good race. We started last so we knew it was going to be difficult to be in the top eight. I'm disappointed about my mistake in qualifying, but in motor sport you always pay for mistakes. I had a very good start, but again somebody hit me! At Silverstone I went wide, so this time I went inside just in case there was a mess at the first corner, and I still got hit. We pitted early and my pace was very good. I had to do all the race with my tyres, so I paid a little bit towards the end. I'm very happy to be on the front row tomorrow.'
Lucas di Grassi: 'In qualifying I had traffic and yellow flags on my first set, and with the second set I had one quick lap and then after I was trying to improve and I spun. It's normal when you're trying to find the limit. Today I did one lap before the grid and I had problems with oil temperature, so I didn't go to the grid. They tried to fix it, but they have to change it for tomorrow. When you start seventh with as much action as there was today you have a good chance to get some good points, so it's very frustrating. If you do the most conservative and responsible race you can finish in the top five.'