ART Grand Prix left Monaco with their first podium finish of the 2010 GP2 Main Series season after Jules Bianchi finished third in race two around the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo. The weekend started well when Bianchi...
ART Grand Prix left Monaco with their first podium finish of the 2010 GP2 Main Series season after Jules Bianchi finished third in race two around the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo.
The weekend started well when Bianchi qualified sixth in his debut Monaco Grand Prix for the ART GP2 team while teammate Sam Bird secured tenth place on the grid, despite tricky qualifying conditions on a damp track that became faster and faster at the end of the session. Jules made up two places to finish fourth in race one despite being stuck in traffic before his pitstop. Meanwhile, Sam Bird was right up with his teammate at the start, but a problem with a wheel nut during his pitstop put him at the back of the field. Then, after the race he was handed a 25 second time penalty when stewards declared he had cut the chicane, however it didn't change the overall result.
Race two saw several safety car periods and Bianchi drove superbly once again, making a thrilling move on Luiz Razia through Ste Devote to take third after fighting his way past Valerio and Maldonado earlier in the race. Starting 18th on the grid, Bird was also extremely fast and his only mission was to clock the fastest race lap, which he did brilliantly, his second in two meetings. Jules and Sam now find themselves just 6 and 12 points off the lead in the drivers' championship respectively while ART is 3rd in the team's championship, 10 points from the lead. The next round of the season will take place at the Istanbul circuit in Turkey from the 28th to the 30th of May.
Jules Bianchi: "I think that the overall result is very positive, taking into account the fact that we were learning the circuit with a GP2 car and track conditions were sometimes rather difficult to manage, with rain in qualifying and traffic and the safety car during the races. Once again ART Grand Prix gave me a competitive car and it was very important that I secured points in both races to prepare for a good future. Therefore our objective was achieved."
Sam Bird: "The wheels did not turn in my favour in Monaco but I really liked the circuit and I really enjoyed racing, sometimes in extreme situations, in a car set up perfectly thanks to the experience and expertise of ART Grand Prix. The point for fastest race lap is a small reward compared to our efforts and competitiveness, but I know that we have all that we need to aim for victories in Turkey."
Frederic Vasseur: "We expected to suffer a little in Monaco because it is a circuit that can be very complicated when it comes to rookies. Jules and Sam were only in their second race weekend of the GP2 Main Series and certain events complicated this task for them, however they both performed extremely well, both on track and mentally. Jules leaves Monaco with the second best points total while Sam was having an excellent weekend until a problem during his pitstop in race one ruined the rest of his weekend. The season is long but it's promising because ART Grand Prix and its drivers clearly have the potential to race with the front runners."
-source: art gp