ART GP's hopes for a win at the new Valencia street circuit were dashed by former driver Luca Filippi on Sunday, the Italian taking Romain Grosjean out of race two. The two were fighting for the lead and after the ART GP driver got past in the...
ART GP's hopes for a win at the new Valencia street circuit were dashed by former driver Luca Filippi on Sunday, the Italian taking Romain Grosjean out of race two. The two were fighting for the lead and after the ART GP driver got past in the final turn, Filippi attempted to fight back and pushed the Frenchman into the wall in the process, leaving Romain to return to the pits on foot.
Filippi was later penalized for the incident. Romain had a nice and fair fight with Pastor Maldonado on day one, the two men fighting for P3. Unfortunately, braking problems meant Romain lost the battle in the latter stages, only to reclaim third thanks to Giorgio Pantano's bad luck.
Meanwhile, Teammate Sakon Yamamoto had an even worse weekend failing to finish either race through no fault of his own. The Japanese racer was stuck in traffic during qualifying and was then hit from behind in race 1 before an electronic gremlin put a halt to his race. On Sunday, Sakon was on his way to fighting for points when his clutch gave out after just 5 laps.
Position on grid: 18th @ Result: DNF
Position on grid: 19th
"It was a tough weekend for me really. The lap times were not so bad and I had a good pace during the race but in qualifying, my fastest lap was hampered by the traffic in the last sector. I was P4 after sector 1 & 2 but I lost 8 or 9 tenths in the last one. With a clear lap I would have ended up P6 or something and both races would have been very different for me and the team! In race 1, my start was OK but other drivers hit me from behind, on the left side of the car. I lost the rear wing and I had to come back into the pits where the team did a great job in fixing it, but I then a problem with the ECU and the engine was gone and it was the end of my race. I had a very good start on Sunday and I could push hard. I saw the chance of getting into the points because the car was very good and I had good pace. But after 5 laps I had a clutch problem and it was the end of my weekend."
Position on grid: 4th
Position on grid: 6th
"Free practices went OK as we were P8 ,just 1 tenth of a second shy of the 2nd fastest time in a session where we needed to learn the track and where we never push hard. In qualifying, Valles refused to let me through and I lost quite a lot of time but P4 was not too bad. The beginning of race 1 was very good but I was quickly caught out by brake problems. We had a good fight with Pastor and the 2nd time I did not expect him to overtake me but it's true I braked very early. Once P4 I had nothing to fear and I just stayed calm trying to bring the car home without making mistakes. I had luck when Pantano ran out of fuel on the last lap, I was able to climb on the podium. The next day I had a great start and I fought with Di Grassi, whom I could quickly overtake. I connected with Filippi and I understood he was ready to do everything to keep the lead as soon as I attacked him for, however, it should have been everything but pushing me into the wall so that he had the chance to get the lead back!"
Frederic Vasseur "It is the 4th win we have missed out on after Hockenheim, Barcelona and Magny-Cours and it is very frustrating when we know what our level of performance is. Romain's start to the race was ideal but Filippi obviously decided he would not win. As the TV images show, Filippi never thought of actually taking the first turn, but just forced Romain out of the race. It is the weak way to do things but we could not hope for anything else from this driver. Sakon did not know anything about Valencia. Contrary to most of the other drivers he has not raced here and did not use the simulator. But he was very competitive and deserved better results."
-credit: art gp