ART Grand Prix reached the top of the Eifel Mountains here at the Nurburgring this weekend, the third round of the 2006 championship season, when Lewis Hamilton secured the first two GP victories of his career in dominating fashion. This saw him...
ART Grand Prix reached the top of the Eifel Mountains here at the Nurburgring this weekend, the third round of the 2006 championship season, when Lewis Hamilton secured the first two GP victories of his career in dominating fashion. This saw him become the first driver of this years championship to record a double win, and something only fellow ART racer Nico Rosberg had achieved last season, despite a drive through penalty in the first round for pit lane speeding and an eighth place on the grid at the time of the Sunday round.
Meanwhile, teammate Alexandre Premat joined his teammate on the podium with a brilliant second place on Saturday. However his Dallara stalled on the grid at the start of race two the following day and he was forced to start from the pit lane. He secured the best lap time of the race by far but a points finish was out of the question.
Overall this was a fantastic weekend, even if Alex had a degree of bad luck even though he was unquestionably the fastest on the track, as was Lewis. The Nürburgring weekend has now enabled us to get back in the saddle and to find a certain dynamic after a tough start to the season. The first race was exceptional with a rewarding one two after perfectly carried out strategies by the team. Alex's engine was accidentally put into safety mode on the grid of the second race, which caused him to stall. His fastest lap in race however underlines his speed and gives him a good base for the rest of the championship. As for Lewis, he showed that he is a title contender even though this is his first season in this series.
Race 1: Victory, fastest lap of the race
Race 2: Victory
It was a fantastic weekend. The team did a great job again. Hard wok pays off. It is great to have two wins, it is very good for our motivation and gives confidence for the rest of the championship. I will try to do my best to keep up the good work. We lost a bit of time in the qualifying session and were not quick enough to secure pole position but the races went great. It might have looked easy from the outside but it was extremely difficult. There are a lot of very fast drivers in this championship and I had to push hard all the time.
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 18th, fastest lap of the race but no point
The weekend did not go as we had hoped for, but the first race was a true pleasure. I left a bit at the end of race one in order to save the car and tyres because I suffered from some bad understeer and it was necessary for me to secure a beautiful second place on the podium. The positive thing is that the car is very competitive and that from a personal point of view I progressed well since the first few races. The negative side of things is that my engine stalled on the grid of the second race, due to low oil temperature. It was therefore impossible for me to finish in the points, but the best lap of the race - one second faster than everyone else -- was a good consolation prize. Our competitiveness this weekend gives good moral to everyone in the team and I hope that we will do even better in Barcelona.