Car 9: Oliver Turvey (GBR) - 4th Car 10: Davide Valsecchi (ITA) - 9th STRONG FOURTH FOR TURVEY, VALSECCHI MAKES HIS MARK WITH STELLAR RECOVERY The opening GP2 Series race at the Hungaroring, Budapest, was equal parts sweetness and sorrow ...
Car 9: Oliver Turvey (GBR) - 4th
Car 10: Davide Valsecchi (ITA) - 9th
STRONG FOURTH FOR TURVEY, VALSECCHI MAKES HIS MARK WITH STELLAR RECOVERY
The opening GP2 Series race at the Hungaroring, Budapest, was equal parts sweetness and sorrow for iSport team-mates Davide Valsecchi and Oliver Turvey. Originally second on the grid, Valsecchi stalled at the beginning of the formation lap and had to start from the pit lane. That was the trigger for a spectacular recovery drive that carried him from last to ninth - and also featured one of the afternoon's finest passing manoeuvres, when he dispatched Alberto Valerio around the outside of Turn Two.
It was a chaotic race, with two aborted starts, as many Safety Car interruptions and one red-flag stoppage, and Turvey effectively lined up on pole position when fastest qualifier Sam Bird suffered the same malaise as Valsecchi. He made a poor start, however, and dropped to fifth before fighting back to challenge for a place on the podium. In the end, he missed out by little more than half a second.
"I have had quieter afternoons... When Sam Bird stalled on the line, causing the start to be aborted for a second time, I was stuck behind him and couldn't select first gear. I eventually had to pull away in second and was just in time to be able to reclaim my slot at the front. I had no such problems at the start proper, but I was a little too enthusiastic and ended up using too many revs, which led to excessive wheelspin and the loss of several places. I felt my pace was pretty good once the race settled down, but overtaking is never easy around here. The team made a good call to bring me in early for my tyre stop. We'd hoped that might enable us to vault Giedo van der Garde, but it just put me a little bit nearer to him. I was able to apply a lot of pressure, though, and eventually he made a mistake. After that I closed quite easily on the second-place battle, between Christian Vietoris and Sergio Perez, but this time I was unable to force an error. The result isn't as good as it might have been, but the car has been extremely competitive all weekend - and I take great encouragement from that."
"I'm not sure exactly what happened at the start of the formation lap - it would be frustrating at any circuit, but at somewhere like this it was a complete nightmare. In the circumstances, I'm happy with the way I drove. Ninth is probably the most frustrating place to finish, because you just miss out on a point - and pole position for tomorrow's sprint. In brief, the result does not do the car justice and I will endeavour to make amends tomorrow."