Frustration for RDD boys in Imola GP2 race Renault Driver Development squad members Jose Maria Lopez and Lucas di Grassi both endured a Saturday to forget at Imola as early retirements ruined their races and also ensured that they will start...
Frustration for RDD boys in Imola GP2 race
Renault Driver Development squad members Jose Maria Lopez and Lucas di Grassi both endured a Saturday to forget at Imola as early retirements ruined their races and also ensured that they will start near the back on Sunday.
Jose had a very disappointing -- and short -- afternoon with the Super Nova entry. He did a great job in qualifying to take second place, and might even have earned pole had he not encountered yellow flags on a quicker lap.
However he had a hydraulic problem from the start which meant he did not get away well, and also was unable to defend his position later round the first lap. He was forced to park at the track side opposite the pits after completing just one lap. He will now have to start from 25th on the grid on Sunday.
Lucas suffered clutch problems in qualifying that restricted the Imola rookie to 21st, and he suffered even more when a minor technical irregularity saw the Durango car put to the back of the grid. He made a good start and had begun to make progress when he went off and clipped a barrier on the eighth lap. He will start Sunday's sprint race from 23rd.
Jose Maria Lopez (Super Nova): 'There's not much to say really! At the start something happened with the clutch. I arrived at the first corner and the car didn't shift down, so I got passed by Yoshimoto. Then it was OK for a few corners, and when I arrived at the last corner I braked and something happened with the hydraulic pressure, and I didn't have the gearbox and I didn't have the clutch. Piquet was very close to me, and he pushed me a little bit before I could get onto the grass. You can't imagine how disappointing it is, because we were really competitive in qualifying, and I lost pole because of a yellow flag. At the end of the day we came out with nothing, and I think it's a little bit optimistic to think about finishing in the top six tomorrow, because here it's difficult to pass. But I can try to get fastest lap!'
Lucas di Grassi (Durango): 'In qualifying one pipe of the engine was throwing oil on the clutch, and we had this problem all through the session. We were losing a lot of time on the straight with the gearchange, and there was nothing we could do about it. Then after qualifying I was disqualified because the 'skirt' on the side of the car was not made by Dallara, so I went to the back. It was a small mistake by the team, but I agree that the regulations are the regulations, and they have to be followed. After the start it was going well, and I was up to 12th. I was pushing really hard. I did a small mistake, and we have to check whether it was a gearbox problem or not. But I went a little bit too wide in one corner, so that was the end of the race. I just touched the wall with the wheel. It was a shame because many people went out and didn't finish, so I think if we stayed on track we could have had a good race. It's going to be tough again on Sunday, starting from the back. I think the balance will be all right, so we'll just go for it.'