Zuber sets his sights on a better race at Spa than in Valencia The 25-turn, 5,440km brand new Valencia street circuit is one of the attractions of the year for Andreas Zuber who races under a UAE license for Piquet Sports. After four...
Zuber sets his sights on a better race at Spa than in Valencia
The 25-turn, 5,440km brand new Valencia street circuit is one of the attractions of the year for Andreas Zuber who races under a UAE license for Piquet Sports.
After four podiums so far this year, Andreas was optimistic about tackling the new Valencia street track for the second time in his career: "I know the track even if I never raced here before. It is rather atypical for a town circuit since it is very quick, unlike Monte Carlo where one sticks to the guardrails, so to say. But that is fine by me since my reputation is for speed and more speed", explains Zuber.
"The first GP2 Series Free Practice was delayed in order to pay our respects to the victims of the plane crash in Madrid that killed 153 people and Fernando Alonso, Francisco Camps, the president of the local region around Valencia had asked Bernie Ecclestone to observe the official mourning for the European Grand Prix in order to match the three days of nationwide mourning in Spain that began yesterday. Right away, it looked like we had an excellent pace with the fastest first sector time and the quickest first lap. It was like in a computer game with the times falling with each lap. I was fastest on my eighth lap until the session was red flagged following Iaconelli's accident.
During the short practice session, I covered 14 laps kept improving my pace. I thought I was going to finish the session in front, 0.022 seconds ahead of my teammate. Unfortunately Pantano's last lap stopped the clocks at 1:47.340, half a second quicker than his nearest rivals pushing me down to fourth after I had battled for the fastest lap for most of the session. It was tight but a good omen for upcoming qualifying session since the car balance was good even though a few details needed improvement.
A red flag disturbed the first qualifying session on this track almost right away, as Kobayashi crashed at turn 5. There was a lot of traffic taking part in qualifying but eventually I made it to fifth during my only really clear lap during the session. Everyone is so close here; it's important to keep calm and avoid any unnecessary accidents. I am happy to be in the top-five The overall good team work at Piquet Sports was top notch as engineers and mechanics did a good job able to place our two cars in the top five.
For the first, 34-lap race I had a good start despite Bruno Senna dashing ahead of me and kept a sixth position on the first lap. But the safety car came out right away after the first lap with four cars out of the race, some hitting the barrier. It was a bit of shame because we had the quickest car all weekend and our engineers had done a great job. I had the car to win the race.
Anyway, the regulations are clear so we could not go back to the pits early enough to complete the compulsory pit stops. The pit stop session started on lap 7. With the team we decided that I should come in on lap 10. I rejoined in ninth place with seven drivers ahead of me that had not pitted. The fastest lap was soon mine! When the pit stops were over, I was sixth fastest and had established a regular pace. I was trying to catch Bruno Senna back when I made my first mistake of the year! On lap 25, I lost the car at turn 14 and hit the concrete wall. There was nothing I could do.
I started the 23-lap sprint race in 18th. The car was perfect on the warm up lap and everything was looking good. I made a great start, possibly the best start of the entire season. But then I came alongside Herck's car and he closed the door by mistake and my left front wheel got damaged as a result. I stopped at turn 3 not being able to add any points this weekend to the 32 I have earned this season that brings me to seventh in the drivers' classification and Piquet Sports is fourth with 67 points.
Let's look ahead at the Spa race in Belgium. Last year, I was quicker than Timo Glock and the race should be a good one for us."