Gearbox problem robs Di Grassi at Monza Lucas di Grassi lost a chance to regain the GP2 Championship lead Lucas di Grassi lost a chance to regain the GP2 Championship lead after a gearbox problem struck him with less than two laps of the...
Gearbox problem robs Di Grassi at Monza
Lucas di Grassi lost a chance to regain the GP2 Championship lead
Lucas di Grassi lost a chance to regain the GP2 Championship lead after a gearbox problem struck him with less than two laps of the Saturday race at Monza still to run. In an instant the Renault Driver Development squad member dropped from second to 14th place, and thus he failed to score any points.
Prospects looked good after qualifying, when Lucas put the ART car in second place, while his title rival Timo Glock was down in eighth. Lucas got away well and held second throughout the race, behind only Giorgio Pantano.
However at the start of the penultimate lap he had a downshift problem going into the first chicane. He had survived a glitch at the previous chicane, but this time he was left to coast through the corner in neutral.
He brought the car to a halt on the grass and that allowed him to select first and get away again, but by then most of the depleted field had already swarmed past. He was classified 14th, and will thus start the Sunday race from that position.
Lucas lost eight points, while his problem also gifted Glock another two, as the German moved up from fourth to third. Overnight Glock leads on 72 points, while Lucas still has 64.
'The gearbox broke and I couldn't downshift two laps to the end when I was running second. As soon as I shifted down I was in neutral, and when I exited the chicane I was still in neutral, and I couldn't find any gears. It had happened in the previous chicane, but I got through.
'I had to stop the car for the gears to be selected, and then I could go on again. If it had finished like it was two laps from the end, I was going to be in the lead by one point. So for me it was a good race, and I was running easy, until we had the problem.
'It was a shame, but when that happens you have to keep the team motivated, because there's still 40 points to go. So tomorrow we'll try to get some points and see what I can do.'