Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 series lead with a brilliant third place in the Sunday morning race at Magny-Cours. Following his victory in Saturday's event the Renault Driver Development squad member had to start the second race in eighth...
Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 series lead with a brilliant third place in the Sunday morning race at Magny-Cours.
Following his victory in Saturday's event the Renault Driver Development squad member had to start the second race in eighth place on the reverse grid. He made one position on the first lap, and thereafter put in a storming drive as he passed four cars in spectacular style.
By the time he'd fought his way past them it seemed that second placedHiroshi Yoshimoto was out of touch, but Heikki didn't give up and pushed hard to catch him. He eventually finished the race right on the tail of the Japanese driver, and needed only a lap or two more to secure second place for the Arden team. Heikki now has 52 points, 18 more than nearest challenger Adam Carroll.
After finishing second for DAMS on Saturday, Jose Maria Lopez started the second race in seventh place. He gained some ground on the first lap, but later lost out to Heikki, and dropped back toseventh. However on the 23rd lap he was barged off the track by Alexandre Premat, who braked way too late when he thought he saw a chance to pass. Jose spun into the gravel and was forced to retire. He is currently lying sixth in the championship, on 25 points.
It was good fun! There's always a lot of action going on in the Sunday race. I got a good start, but I was a little bit blocked. I got stuck with a high gear after the first corner, and Jose got meback again. I was seventh after the first lap, and then one-by-one the others just outbraked themselves and I managed to pass them. I was catching Yoshimoto at the end, but the problem is that when you get within half a second it becomes more difficult. Silverstone is next. I've only raced on the GP circuit once, in F3, so I'm not too familiar with it. But the team knows the track really well, so we should have a good base. As for the championship, it's better not to think about it at the moment. It's betterto go race by race. Every weekend on Friday we start from zero and just try to score as many points as we can. There's a long way to go, and we need to keep improving and pushing hard. I'm very happy with the team at the moment, and everybody's done a great job.'
Jose Maria Lopez:
I made a good start and managed to pass some cars in the first corner. After that I had some problems with the brake balance at the beginning of the race, so Heikki and Piccione passed me. After thatthe car wasn't that bad. I had a good pace and I caught Piccione and passed him again. Then Premat arrived with his wheels locked and pushed me out like a kamikaze! He was really far away so I never thought that he would try something. I'm angry about that. I hope we're going to have a good weekend at Silverstone -- I like the track a lot.'