Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 series lead with a fine third place in the Sunday race at Silverstone, leaving him with a healthy advantage as the championship reached the half way mark. Having finished the Saturday event in second place, the...
Heikki Kovalainen extended his GP2 series lead with a fine third place in the Sunday race at Silverstone, leaving him with a healthy advantage as the championship reached the half way mark.
Having finished the Saturday event in second place, the Renault Driver Development squad member started the second race in seventh place. He lost a place to his Arden team mate Nicolas Lapierre at the start, but soon re-passed him and finished the first lap in seventh place. He gained another spot on lap 4, and was up to fifth by lap 5 and fourth on lap 9.
A brief safety car period closed the field up and gave Heikki a chance to catch those ahead. After the green flag flew he got up to third place, and sat on the tail of Scott Speed for he rest of the race. Crucially he remained ahead of nearest title rival, Nico Rosberg. Heikki now leads Rosberg by 64 points to 44 in the championship battle.
Jose Maria Lopez suffered from bad luck when he was struck by gearbox and engine problems before the start, so he was unable to make the grid with the DAMS car. He lies sixth in the championship at the half way mark, on 25 points.
Heikki Kovalainen: 'I thought my start was OK, but my team mate must have had a blinding start, and he got me round the outside. I was a bit cautious at the first corner. I tried to overtake him through Becketts, but then I got him at Stowe, so that was good. Then I moved forward again, and guy by guy I picked them up. I was close to Scott Speed a couple of times, but not close enough to really try. I couldn't really do anything, but I'm happy with third. It's good to extend the lead again, so it's not so bad. I've never been to Hockenheim, but it should be OK. I hadn't seen the Nurburgring and Monaco after all!'
Jose Maria Lopez: 'I was having some gearbox problems going out of the pits, it was taking too much time to change and going into neutral. So on the grid they had to lift the car to start the engine in first. I did the formation lap and I started to see a problem with the oil pressure. They said come to the pits if you can, but when I arrived at the last corner, the engine broke. I'm quite disappointed because we didn't score any points here. Yesterday the car wasn't what we expected, so we're still trying to get the best out of the car. I hope we do it for the next race, and then we can maybe have a good end to the championship.'