An eventful race opened the GP2 Main Series 2011 season today in Istanbul ending bitter sweet for new entrant Team AirAsia.
Both Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi narrowly avoided a huge collision on lap one to drive determined races in each car. Brazilian racer Luiz finished in the same position as he started, in sixth place after a strong performance and superb pit stop by the crew. Davide stormed through to make up ten places early on, but his race was spoiled when he was forced to return to the pits for a second time to fix his damaged front wing - finally finishing sixteenth.
The team collect three points today with one car starting third on the grid in tomorrow's race - looking forward is Team Manager Phill Spencer, Luiz Razia, Davide Valsecchi and Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett.
Team Manager Phill Spencer; "Both cars made a good start, and were lucky not to get tangled up in the big accident that occurred on lap one. Luiz got pushed off track, losing a few places but made a good come back, finishing sixth and collecting some points. It is a shame Davide didn't finish in the points too - he was going strong, but unfortunately damage to his front wing slowed him down and we had to bring him in to fix it. Overall the pit stops were performed well and the communication from all the team was excellent so I am really pleased with how it all went in front of the Formula One bosses. We will now review it all, move on and look forward to tomorrow."
Luiz Razia (Best time 1:42.573 / P6); "I was unlucky at start - I was pushed off the track by Filippi and Bianchi and suddenly I found myself in tenth position, with the potential to have been P4. After the restart my rear tyres felt worn and I dropped two places to P12 so we came into the pits. It was my first pit stop in the Main Series, so I was a bit conservative, but the team did a great job and afterwards the car felt better. I came out and Davide was in front of me, but turn 8 I passed him and put my best lap in. I tried to catch Coletti, but it wasn't enough. Towards the end Clos was struggling and we managed to overtake him and Kral, so for me it was a fun race. It is a great achievement for us all - Tomorrow we will start on the second row, so let's keep our heads up and hopefully we can finish on the podium and collect some more points. Consistency is the key in this series."
Davide Valsecchi (Best time 1:45.382 / P16); "Today has been a little disappointing for me - we started off incredibly fast in the first half of the race gaining ten places - In the second half we were there, but unfortunately we couldn't show our best because of this problem with the front wing. Anyway it will be difficult starting sixteenth tomorrow - as there are no pit stops it will be hard to score any points, but we will try our best and see what we can do."
Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett; "We were looking really good out there today. The start was good for both drivers - the boys did two great pit stops and we managed to jump a few places, so I think we got the maximum from the cars. I am so pleased for Luiz, he was in fighting mode the entire race, right behind Coletti. Davide on the other hand had a difficult race. We will have to watch back to see where he received the damage to his front wing which cost him a likely points finish - but we had no choice but to bring him in, so I feel disappointed for him. Looking ahead to tomorrow we have one car up the front, so hopefully we can get another points finish to round off the weekend. "
-source: team airasia