Lopez on the podium at the Nurburgring Renault Driver Development squad member Jose Maria Lopez scored his first GP2 podium of the year with a good drive to third place in the Sunday race at the Nurburgring. Meanwhile fellow RDD man Lucas di...
Lopez on the podium at the Nurburgring
Renault Driver Development squad member Jose Maria Lopez scored his first GP2 podium of the year with a good drive to third place in the Sunday race at the Nurburgring.
Meanwhile fellow RDD man Lucas di Grassi had an eventful race that finished out of the points.
Lopez started his Super Nova car from fifth on the grid, and instantly gained a place when Ernesto Viso failed to get away at the start of the formation lap. At the start he passed Alex Negrao, but lost a spot to Adam Carroll. However, he stayed behind the British driver and passed him in a good move at Turn One at the start of lap 13.
In the closing laps he got by Hiroki Yoshimoto to claim third, crossing the line just 3 secs behind the winner. Having earned fourth place in the Saturday race Jose moves up to eighth in the championship.
From the back half of the grid Lucas had a tough job on his hands and the Durango car inevitably spent much of the race in traffic. He ran 11th for a while, but didn't have the speed to take advantage of the traditional passing spot at the first corner. He didn't give up, although a last lap effort to gain ground ended up costing him places. He admits that the team has yet to get the full potential out of the car.
Jose Maria Lopez (Super Nova): "We thought a lot about yesterday, and we made some changes, and it seemed that the car worked. I struggled a bit with understeer at the beginning, but after half of the race it got better and better. I felt very confident for the first time in a long, long time, and I just pushed, and I was able to pass Carroll. I think we deserve this third place. Maybe second was possible if I hadn't lost some time in the beginning. It's good to go to Barcelona with a good amount of points, especially after a bad weekend in Imola. The main thing here was to score, and if the car keeps going like this, we can do well.'
Lucas di Grassi (Durango): "I had some clutch problems at the start, but some people stalled, so in the end I gained. I was behind other cars for a lot of the race, but I didn't have the pace to pass Glock and Fauzy in the beginning. Then Glock spun, and in the confusion Monfardini passed me, and I was behind him for the rest of the race. On the last lap I tried to overtake him, and I ended up losing two places! But it changes nothing, 11th or 13th. We're just struggling for pace with the car, and we need to work a little bit more to catch up. Barcelona is next. I have never raced there, but in the winter GP2 test we were in the middle of the field most of the time. If we can start at least 10th it will be an improvement.'