Circuit De Catalunya
Lotus ART only sampled the appetizers at the Spanish meeting of the GP2 Series and is leaving Barcelona with a doggy bag of disappointments. After securing a pole position, Jules Bianchi was relegated for not slowing down enough when the yellow flags went up during the first moments of the qualifying session. Eleventh on the starting grid, thirteenth in the first corner after being bumped by Luiz Razia, Jules then moved up to seventh place. He abandoned the second race after a collision with Giedo Van der Garde in the first few meters.
Esteban Gutierrez did not manage to give a repeat performance of his winter tests, where he had clocked the third fastest performance on the Circuit de Catalunya. In sixteenth place following qualifying, the Mexican rookie abandoned the race after being hit by Michael Herck as he was approaching the eight race leaders, which would have put him in an ideal position for the second race. Hit with a ten-place penalty on the starting grid in the second race for having caused an accident, Esteban moved up from 25th place to 12th place on Sunday.
Jules Bianchi: “Auto racing is not always an exact science... I think that we made an excellent team effort to secure this pole position and this first place in qualifying called for a first place race finish. I did not completely let off the gas under the yellow flags but I was in my first flying lap and I was obviously faster than in my flying lap. The law is harsh but it is the law. By moving up to 7th place on Saturday, I hoped to have a good chance at a victory on Sunday but I did not have a great start and Van der Garde pushed my rear wheel while I was getting in place for the first braking. He was in my blind spot and I did not see him coming. There was nothing I could do to avoid the collision. It's pointless to go on about it now; it's better to concentrate on the Monaco races which are fast approaching.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “It was a trouble-free and promising practice but we had a technical problem in qualifying. We solved it. I completed my program but we lacked some speed and I could not do better than P16. I had a good start and the pit stop was great, our race pace was really good but I have to admit I did a mistake while trying to overtake Michael Herck.
His tyres were not in the same condition than mine and he braked late which caught me by surprise. I pushed him off track and got a 10-place penalty for the second race. You have to learn from your mistake and I certainly learnt a lesson this Saturday. On Sunday, the most important thing was to see the chequered flag, which I did. This is still a learning curve and I'm blessed to do it with Lotus ART which is one of the very best team in the field. We have to move on; I can't wait to race in Monaco next weekend.”
Frédéric Vasseur : “Jules Bianchi’s pole position was superb and it is unfortunate that a severe penalty ruined his performance and his whole weekend. As a result, a weekend that was looking good turned into a nightmare. But I am not worried, Lotus ART and our drivers have the potential to aim for the highest step on the podium and that will be our objective in Monaco.”
-source: lotus art