In a race with changing weather conditions, Heikki Kovalainen has returned to victory in the sprint race of the GP2 Series held in Istanbul Otodrom, Turkey. In the ninth round, Adam Carroll and Nico Rosberg completed the podium positions. The ...
In a race with changing weather conditions, Heikki Kovalainen has returned to victory in the sprint race of the GP2 Series held in Istanbul Otodrom, Turkey. In the ninth round, Adam Carroll and Nico Rosberg completed the podium positions.
The competition had a wet track start that set the future of the show. Heikki Kovalainen, who started in 13th place, took advantage once again with the right pit strategy. When the circuit was drying out, the Finn made the pit stop that became in the key to reach his fourth season victory.
"We thought about the strategy because obviously sometime the track was going to dry out, and then I had a good call from the team to come in, and that obviously won the race for us", commented the winner.
Kovalainen took the lead on lap 18 and left behind both BCN drivers, Hiroki Yoshimoto and Ernesto Viso. They both remained in the race with wet tyres that made them lose the chance for the victory.
"I didn't know that I was racing the two BCN cars, who were obviously still on wets, and I was waiting for the blue flags to come out, and I was thinking 'where are the flags?'", he said, while he added: "But I managed to get past them pretty easily, and my team told me after the race that I was racing with them! But obviously I just drove around them, because I had so much more grip than them, so it was not so difficult. But that was pretty funny!".
The Finn cut a gap of almost 30 seconds in three laps against the BCN guys. It was 16 seconds in two laps and then another 11 seconds that meant the lead was in sight for the Arden driver.
This was Kovalainen's return to victory honour that he had not reached since his win in race one in Magny-Cours. It also was his ninth podium in the series. The last had been in Silverstone with third place in the sprint race.
Adam Carroll had a complicated start as his car stalled in formation lap which made him lose second place in the grid. "You don't want to know what I was thinking!", he said. However the Super Nova driver didn`t give up and would take the result in the end that allowed him to be back on the podium since Nurburgring, when he took second place also in the sprint race.
"We've been out of the points since Magny-Cours, so it's good to be back again and I want to keep continuing and be back up there", Carroll stated.
Rosberg was able to reach the podium from 17th on the grid. Another proven moment of how changing this race was. A good result to close a weekend that started with pole position on Friday and then became complicated with mechanic problems yesterday.
"it was a lot of fun especially when the track was drying out, it was really fun. I had a lot of understeer so it was difficult, but I'm born to drive in the kind of conditions we had today so I was really happy to be third in the end", Rosberg mentioned.
Since his third place in Monaco that Rosberg took, he has always taken at least one podium finish in GP2 weekends. Impressive.
The ART Grand Prix driver is now looking forward to Monza, the next series stop: "I'm feeling good. I'm testing there next week so it will be useful to learn the track, and on the basis of this weekend it should be good," said Rosberg.
Both championship contenders, Kovalainen and Rosberg, added the same number of points in Turkey so the gap remained the same: The Finn leads over the German seven points ahead, 85 to 78. Scott Speed has 59 and is closely followed by yesterday`s winner, Alex Premat, with 53.
ART leads between the teams with 131 points to the 98 of Arden. Super Nova cut some this weekend and has 77, while iSport still in fourth with 61.
On September 3th and 4th, the GP2 action will continue in Monza, Italy. Just be ready.