The penultimate round of the 2012 GP2 Championship season, held at the super-fast circuit of Monza in Italy, didnt go as well as LotusGP had hoped with the team experiencing their hardest weekend of the season, taking just two points courtesy of a ninth placed finish from Esteban Gutiérrez in race one.
A tough race followed a tough qualifying for both drivers with Esteban starting and finishing in ninth place after a glitch with the car saw him lose the hard fought positions he had gained. Race two was over before it really began when contact with another driver upset the handling of his car, sending him off track and out of the race.
For teammate James Calado, it was a disappointing weekend that saw him bow out of the championship battle after he failed to secure points in either race.
James Calado and Esteban Gutiérrez are third and fourth in the drivers championship with 160 and 152 points respectively while Lotus GP slipped back to second in the teams championship by two points with one round remaining.
The team now looks ahead to the final round of the 2012 season in Singapore in 2 weeks time where the aim will be to take victory in the race and the teams championship battle. Esteban Gutiérrez: It was not an ideal weekend, even though the team and I had the potential to do much better, and to keep our chances alive in the championship.
I gained several positions at the start of the feature race but my engine cut off in turn 3 and I lost a lot of positions in a blink of an eye. The engine came back to life afterwards and I did my best to catch up but it was far from easy as we did not have enough speed in the straights.
A car hit me in the first few kilometers of the sprint race and the balance of my car was upside down. Coming into the Parabolica, I locked up and went off track. We now have some work to do to be sure we can finish the season on a high in Singapore. James Calado: It was one of our worst weekends and it was an extremely disappointing one.
Firstly, because it does not reflect our true potential and secondly because we can no longer fight for the championship. We had our share of problems all weekend long and we could not fix all of them, despite a great team effort. I had hard times in the turns and was a sitting duck on the straights.
We have to move on and to get back to our level of performance for the finale in Singapore in a fortnight where I will aim for the win. Frédéric Vasseur: It was our hardest weekend of the season, we did not get it right set-up wise, Esteban and James had their misfortune and the conclusion is we paid the price.
We have lost our first position in the teams' championship and it's up to us to get back on track and to make things right in Singapore. I have no doubt, no fear as I know the team and its drivers have the potential to get back on track and to fight for wins in a fortnight.
Source: Lotus GP