Although after their win in Monaco a fortnight ago ART Grand Prix didn't make it onto the podium in Turkey this weekend, the French GP2 team did secure some very valuable world championship points after strong performances from both drivers, ...
Although after their win in Monaco a fortnight ago ART Grand Prix didn't make it onto the podium in Turkey this weekend, the French GP2 team did secure some very valuable world championship points after strong performances from both drivers, enabling them to gain positions in both the team and driver's championships. Nico Huelkenberg secured his maiden pole position in the championship, however due to changed track conditions from one day to another, the German driver was unable to fend off the charge from Petrov at the end of the second lap of the first race. Despite his hardest efforts, Nico dropped to fifth place.
In race two he started from fourth and finished in the same position after fighting tooth and nail with his teammate, Pastor Maldonado. Pastor meanwhile, suffered a mechanical problem in qualifying and was forced to start race one from thirteenth on the grid. He was extremely fast throughout the event and after a brilliant run climbed up through the field to finish in the points, right behind his teammate, the same position he finished in race two after a strong battle with the German. After the third round ART GP is second in the teams championship with Pastor Maldonado fourth and Nico Huelkenberg fifth in the drivers' standings. Now it's on to Silverstone where the aim will be to make a return to the rostrum!
Nico Huelkenberg: "I like Istanbul Park, it's flowing and quick and it has a good mix of corners, it is really nice to drive here. All the more when you're on pole position! It felt really good to be the polesitter on my third attempt. We managed the traffic much better than during the previous events. My lap was clear, the team gave me a really strong car and I played my part. Starting from pole position I was obviously aiming for a better result than a fifth place but the car behaviour was really different than the day before and I could not possibly secure a better result. We added some points to our tally, twice, and that's the positive side of it. We will keep pushing hard to come back on the podium in Silverstone."
Pastor Maldonado: "With this race weekend format, when you have a mechanical gremlin in qualifying, like I did in Istanbul, both your races are seriously compromised. But I never gave up. I fought hard and I clocked fast lap times and I climbed back into the points twice, which is a very good thing. When you can't win you have to aim for big points, it was my aim and I fulfilled it."
Frederic Vasseur: "The taste of a victory is always sweet and after our win and double podium in Monaco we certainly hoped for better in Istanbul, but there are a lot of reasons to be positive. Firstly Nico secured his first pole position and is getting better and better each time. Pastor was extremely fast too. We scored points 10 times in 12 starts, we are well placed in both championships, we are reliable and constant and these qualities are essential in this championship. We now have to take it to the next step and find a way to be as competitive during the entire weekend as we are in qualifying."