Jul 29

GP2: Gutiérrez rockets to sprint victory

Mexican claims third win of the season

GP2 - Nathanaël Berthon (Racing Engineering), Esteban Gutiérrez (Lotus GP), Luiz Razia (Arden International)GP2 - Esteban Gutiérrez (Lotus GP)Esteban Gutiérrez dominated this morning’s sprint race in Budapest with a storming drive from pole, leading from lights to flag to claim his third victory of the season and put himself on the top step of the podium ahead of Nathanaël Berthon and series leader Luiz Razia.

The win was set up at the start when Gutiérrez eased away from the grid with Berthon on his rear wing, while behind them Giedo van der Garde slid past Jolyon Palmer at the first turn, and Razia running around the outside of the Briton at turn 2. With James Calado slow off the line, Davide Valsecchi and Max Chilton took advantage of his misfortune to follow the leaders down the road.

Van der Garde and Chilton had to start on the super soft compound after the feature race, while everyone else on the grid was on the medium tyre, and their big question was how long could they make their tyres last. The Dutchman was clearly in preservation mode early on, but with Razia and Palmer all over his rear it would be a tough task indeed to hold onto the podium for 28 laps.

And so it proved, as Razia bided his time until lap 19 and made a clean, clinical move up the inside at turn one to snatch the Dutchman’s position. A couple of laps later and Palmer had a go too, but ran too deep to allow Valsecchi into P5, which he duly converted into P4 on the next lap with a brave move around the outside at turn two with two wheels on the grass and Palmer in his slipstream, along with Stefano Coletti two corners later.

Meanwhile Chilton’s tyres had seen better days too, allowing Calado a simple run through into the points, with van der Garde not fighting the inevitable pass a lap later. Up at the front Gutiérrez sailed on serenely to cross the line 3.5 seconds ahead of Berthon, with Razia a further 12 seconds back. Valsecchi minimised the points loss by finishing fourth ahead of Palmer, who crossed the line with his mirrors full of Calado after a solid late run by the Briton. The final points were only sorted out on the last lap as Felipe Nasr, who had a storming drive from the back of the grid, went to the outside of Coletti at turn one but left the door open for Rio Haryanto to sneak inside and mug both of them, finishing 7th ahead of the Brazilian.

With two more podiums for his collection it was Razia who made the most of his Hungarian weekend, stretching his lead over Valsecchi to 196 points versus 189, although the Lotus pair Gutiérrez and Calado were also smiling on 150 and 132 respectively, ahead of van der Garde on 129 points and Chilton on 124. In the teams’ title race Lotus maintain their top position with 282 points, from DAMS on 258, Arden on 200 and Racing Engineering on 156 points as the paddock heads off for a break ahead of the next round in Spa Francorchamps.

Budapest – Sprint Race
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
Luiz Razia
Arden International
Davide Valsecchi
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
James Calado
Lotus GP
Rio Haryanto
Felipe Nasr
Stefano Coletti
Scuderia Coloni
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
Max Chilton
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Simon Trummer
Arden International
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
Josef Kral
Barwa Addax Team
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
Daniel De Jong
Ricardo Teixeira
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
Giancarlo Serenelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
Not Classified
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International

Fastest Lap : Esteban Gutiérrez (lotus GP) – 1:32.348 on lap 15

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com


DAMS make up ground in Hungary !

The DAMS GP2 team confirmed its return to form at the Hungaroring with a feature race podium for Davide Valsecchi and a fantastic fightback drive by Felipe Nasr in Sunday’s run following mechanical problems during the opening contest. The French squad and its drivers thus enter the summer break on a positive note, remaining fully in contention for both the drivers’ and teams’ championships.

Following productive Friday practice sessions Valsecchi delivered a superb qualifying effort to seal a place on the front row of the grid, lapping just shy of pole position. Nasr would also show impressive pace but was unable to find a clear lap, forcing him to settle for 13th spot.

On a circuit where overtaking is notoriously tricky, Valsecchi enjoyed a great getaway but couldn’t quite overhaul polesitter Max Chilton into turn one. Nevertheless the Italian would show strong pace throughout and, thanks to a flawless strategy and perfectly executed pit stop, came home in second spot to beat title rival Luiz Razia to the flag. Valsecchi would take a total of five points from the Brazilian after sealing the fastest lap of the race.

Meanwhile Nasr made a good start and worked his way up the order to run eighth – a result that would have secured him pole for Sunday’s second race – only for a brake issue to force him into retirement just four laps from the chequered flag.

On Sunday the DAMS drivers would belie the Hungaroring’s reputation as a tough passing circuit with Valsecchi climbing from seventh on the grid to finish just behind Razia in fourth. And, in an even more eye-catching display, Nasr delivered an astonishing performance to storm from 25th at the start to an eighth place finish, the youngster lighting up the race with some stunning overtaking manoeuvres. This would be the perfect tonic for the Brazilian after his frustrating opening race exit.

Jean-Paul Driot, President: “First of all, I’d like to offer my congratulations to both the team and Davide. They’ve been strong all weekend and have kept our title challenge on course. I am also very sorry for Felipe as the brake problem was our fault and, after seeing his pace on Sunday, it’s both disappointing and frustrating. Now we will use the summer break to recharge our batteries knowing one thing for certain: that boy is going to win races soon.”

Davide Valsecchi: “It’s a shame that we couldn’t quite take the win on Saturday, but overall the results this weekend were very positive. I’m glad to have made-up ground after Hockenheim – I owed it to the team – and I will come back even stronger for the final few races of the season.”

Felipe Nasr: “I have mixed feelings about this weekend. The glass half empty approach would be to say that I proved a point, but the glass half full perspective allows me to see Sunday’s race as very promising for the remainder of the season. Everyone makes mistakes but today the team gave me a fantastic car. I hope I can repay them with a victory in the final few rounds of the year.”

Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), 1/2 September.

source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

A superb second for Nathanaël Berthon and Racing Engineering at today’s Sprint Race in Hungary.

The Hungaroring had suffered from heavy overnight rain but, by the time the GP2 cars lined up on the grid for the 28 lap Sprint Race, the skies were blue and the track was dry although the track temperature was much cooler than yesterday at 31°.

As the lights went off Nathanaël Berthon made a good start from second on the grid to slot in behind pole-sitter Gutierrez as the cars braked hard for the first corner. As the cars completed the opening lap Berthon was right on the gearbox of Gutierrez and both cars had opened out a 1.5s gap on Van Der Garde. Over the next few laps the Racing Engineering car continued to battle with the Lotus GP car as the gap back to Van Der Garde remained at 1.5s.

On lap 5 Berthon set the fastest race lap so far with a time of 1:34.214s but Gutierrez responded with a fractionally faster time on the next lap. The battling pair at the front continued to open out a gap on the 3rd placed Caterham Racing car and by lap 8 they were 3.0s ahead. Gutierrez open out a small gap to Berthon but the young Frenchman immediately sped up and stabilised the difference at 1.4s.

By lap 14, half distance, Berthon was just 0.7s behind Gutierrez and 6.6s ahead of Van Der Garde in 3rd. The two leading cars continued to fight at the front of the field with the two men continuing to lap within a few tenths of each other lap after lap whilst continuing to pull away from Van Der Garde.

With just 7 laps remaining Berthon was still just over a second behind Gutierrez and the two men continued to set almost identical lap times at the front of the field. They were now being chased by Razia who had passed Van der Garde but the Arden car was over 11 seconds behind and not a threat.

Running so close to Gutierrez for the entire race began to take its toll on Berthon’s tyres and over the last few laps he was forced to drop away from Gutierrez and he crossed the finishing line 3.5s behind the Lotus GP car in second place after a superb drive.

Fabio Leimer made a good start but lost a place on the opening lap to lay 10th, 0.2s behind Coletti and 0.3s ahead of Haryanto. On lap 4 Leimer lost another position to Haryanto and was now chased by Onidi. The young Swiss driver now found himself involved in a big battle between the cars placed 3rd to 14th with less than 10 seconds between the 12 cars.

By lap 14 Leimer was involved in a very close fight with Calado and Haryanto just ahead and Trummer right behind but the Racing Engineering car ran very wide at one corner dropping Leimer to 15th. Although he continued to battle hard and he was able to pass Leal to move back to 14th, he was only able to gain one more spot to finish 13th.

Although the Hungarian weekend was a little disappointing for Racing Engineering with Fabio Leimer unable to show the speed he has had in recent races, Nathanaël Berthon drove very well in yesterday’s Feature Race and he drove a faultless race today to take 2nd place. The Racing Engineering team now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base for the summer break before racing resumes in one month’s time at Spa.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“Good result from Nathanaël today finishing in P2. He drove a mature race and has shown a very good pace throughout the entire race. The win would have been possible by passing Gutierrez at the start, but Esteban was a worthy winner today. Fabio, on the other hand, struggled today in the middle of the field and was never really in a position to score points. Now we go back to the workshop to properly prepare for the upcoming rounds.”

Fabio Leimer:

“The start was OK, but in the second corner I lost a position again. Then it was a bit like yesterday when the race was a bit boring for me. I committed two little mistakes which made me go off track and cost me a lot of positions. It wasn’t possible after that for me to improve very much.”

Nathanaël Berthon:

“Today is a good day for the team and me. We showed that we had a very good pace and were a long way ahead of the drivers behind. Obviously I wanted to win, but we are not far from that and I am sure it will happen soon. Thanks to all the team, mechanics and engineers for all the work they have done during this weekend.”

source: racing-engineering.com



On a very hot and humid weekend at the Hungaroring, both iSport drivers continued to show their good form of late, with Jolyon Palmer securing 3rd in Friday’s Qualifying session, and Marcus 9th, in what was a very tight contest with the top twenty cars covered by a second.

Qualifying day for iSport drivers

An unfortunate stalling incident for Ericsson on the opening lap of Saturday’s Feature Race saw the driver start from 26th, but a quick recovery saw Ericsson regain positions quickly, crossing the line 18th. Palmer had a reasonable start, but got squeezed out on the opening lap, going from 3rd to 8th, but the flying laps that followed and an excellent pit stop took him to a 6th place finish. Ericsson’s stall put him almost a lap down, but his pace saw him make up 16 seconds on the leaders during the race, so it was another case of what might have been.

Sunday’s Sprint Race saw Ericsson start from 18th, but a fantastic run in the opening lap, resulted in the driver moving up to 13th. Unfortunately Ericsson’s promising progress was short lived, when Onidi caused damage to Ericsson’s No.7 car, causing the Swedish driver to take early retirement. Onidi was later given a 10 place penalty by the stewards. Palmer had a good start from 3rd, but lost a couple of places taking him to 5th. Palmer set his sights on Valsecchi for 4th in the final laps, but the narrow and twisty track made it near impossible to overtake, leaving Palmer in 5th position at the chequred flag.

Paul Jackson – Team Principal

“We were all happy with the pace shown in Hungary and Jolyon looked to be shooting for pole on his last lap of qualifying, but it was not to be, however, both drivers were competitive. Unfortunately Jo got muscled out in the first lap melee and was stuck in traffic with a bit of a stalemate until the pit stop when we were able to make a place thanks to a great pit stop by the crew. Once again Jolyon proved that he is quite comfortable running with the lead bunch and that he is very capable of taking a win when it all comes together. Marcus, by contrast is having such bad luck recently, which is not allowing his speed to show through. His race pace was outstanding but fighting from the back of the field at such a tight track will never allow him to get the result he deserves. Race two and Marcus found even worse luck waiting for him as he was rudely punted off the track, damaging his steering and causing a puncture. Jo also had a similar pattern to race one, losing a couple of places on lap 1 and fighting back through the race.

Overall a decent level of performance but falling short of a great result that we can see is entirely possible. We know that with a trouble free weekend we can score big points with both drivers.”

The iSport team will now take their Summer break, before they return to Spa in Belgium for Round 10, which takes place 31 – 1 September.

source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team


The Hungaroring was the venue for yet another win and fastest lap for the Lotus GP2 team, strengthening the teams overall lead at the top of the championship standings with just three rounds remaining.

Hot and sunny conditions greeted the teams and drivers for the opening day of play on Friday, with James Calado finishing third overall on the hot tarmac while teammate Esteban Gutierrez a little further down the order in ninth as he focused on overall set up.

Qualifying meanwhile was held under changing weather conditions with the session starting on a damp track, however James Calado put in a superb lap to finish second, after holding pole for most of the session. However, a penalty for impeding another driver in practice meant that he actually started the first race from fourth. Esteban Gutierrez meanwhile finished the chaotic session in seventh.

Race one was held under warm and dry conditions and Gutierrez made a great start to take fourth; however after a battle with James Calado and a delayed pit stop, he crossed the line in eight overall, setting up pole position for race two. James Calado on the other hand fought hard to catch the top three and a podium finish, but was forced to settle for fourth overall.

Race two saw a dominating drive from Gutierrez, the Mexican driver leading from lights to flag, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way, to secure his third win of the 2012 season. James Calado also drove a strong race fighting his way through the field to finish sixth overall. Esteban is third in the drivers’ championship on 150 points while James is fourth, just eighteen points behind. Lotus GP continues to lead the team’s championship with 282 points, 24 ahead of their nearest rival with just two rounds remaining.

Esteban Gutierrez: The qualifying session was exciting because it started in the wet and I saved my tyres, waiting for the track to dry a little. The grip was not that great though and I ended up 7th. I had a good start in the first race and I was P4 but we delayed our pit stop and it didn’t pay off in the end. Starting from pole on Sunday, I had a good start and settled into P1. Once again, I tried to save my tyres and to control the race at the same time. I pushed hard when I needed to and I would lift off when I was not under pressure. The team asked me to do the fastest lap and I was happy to do so! The championship is not over, we have to keep this momentum for the next round in Belgium.

James Calado: I had a penalty after the free practice for impeding Nasr, but I still managed to have a good race. I had a good battle with Esteban in race one and was a bit disappointed not to get on the podium, but this track is very hard to overtake on. We have just six races left and I plan to do what I can to help the team secure the 2012 GP2 championship title.

Frederic Vasseur: The performance level of Lotus GP and its two drivers went just like team work, excellent. But a penalty is expensive and we must be exemplary in the last races of the season if Lotus GP wants to maintain its lead in the championship.

source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

  • GP2 Race Two
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Sunday 29th July 2012

Caterham Racing concluded the GP2 Hungarian race weekend with a top ten finish for Giedo van der Garde after a mature drive from the Dutchman in the Hungarian heat.

A fantastic start saw Giedo leap to P3 on the first lap and run third until his super-soft tyres began to suffer in the later stages of the race. Unable to defend his position Giedo had no choice but to allow cars to pass him and finally finished the race P10.

Team mate Rodolfo Gonzalez drove a calm and calculated race to finish P16 having gained an impressive seven places over the 28 lap race, looking after his car and his tyres well until the chequered flag.

Giedo van der Garde (P10 // Best lap1:34.230) “I had a good start today and was up to P3 on the first lap, but after that it was about managing the tyres. I did quite well until ten laps to go when I started to struggle with degradation and in the end P10 was all I could manage. So, we go home today with no points, which is disappointing, but sometimes you have to take a gamble and today it just didn’t work out so well for us. Now we have a break before our next race and we will be working hard to put ourselves in contention for the the remaining races in Spa, Monza and Singapore. There are still a lot of points to be had and the two European tracks are among my favourites so hopefully we can put in some good races at each of them.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez (P16 // Best lap1:34.126) “I am happy to have had an incident free race today – it has been a while so I am very pleased about that and I hope to keep it going in the remaining races. The car felt pretty good this morning. We were able to fight for positions right up until the point when the pace dropped off, about ten laps from the end. We have a summer break now and I will take this time to really think hard about how I want the rest of the season to go. I need to focus on improving in qualifying and keeping out of trouble during the races.”

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “We knew the risks we were taking when we put Giedo on the super-soft tyres today and the gamble nearly paid off. If the rain had come an hour later it could have worked out for us today but despite that Giedo drove very well. It is disappointing not to score any points but the cars ran very well so I am pleased with the crew’s work, and how the drivers have performed. This is a team effort. We win together and we lose together and we will learn from this and move on. There are six more races left this season so we still have a lot to play for.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “We did the best we could with Giedo starting on super-softs. He drove very smoothly and managed to keep up his pace until lap 17 when the tyres began to suffer. By then it wasn’t worth pitting him as he would have finished last so we hung on and he did a great job to finish P10. It all stems from qualifying and the situation we had in the race on Saturday – it was just one of those things this weekend, but overall we are happy with the performance of the cars.

“As for Rodolfo, he drove steadily to hold off a number of cars and he had a good clean race so I am happy for him. We didn’t score any points today but there are still six races left and six more chances to score, so after the break we will come back fighting and push on in Spa, Italy and Singapore.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni


Scuderia Coloni clinched another top ten finish in Budapest: Stefano Coletti ended an hard-fought race in 9th place, while Fabio Onidi took the flag in P24 after a puncture that ruined his performance.

Coletti, who was starting from P10, managed to keep position at the start but right from the very first lap it was evident that his pace was quick enough for to try another great recovery. Before the end of lap 1 he had already passed Leimer for P9, then quickly closing the gap on the drivers ahead. On lap 3 he overtook Calado with a great inside move, and at the first corner of lap 4 he passed also Chilton taking 7th place.

Next to come was Valsecchi, and Coletti needed just one lap to clear the 1”5 gap. Stefano was much quicker than his rival but due to the Italian’s defensive driving it was impossible to find enough room to pass. Stefano completed many laps sticked to Valsecchi’s gearbox looking for a gap and made the most of the fighting in the pack to pass Van der Garde for P6, but then on the last lap he had to cope with tyre issues: so many laps fighting closely with another car stressed the monegasque’s rubber too much, accelerating tyre wear. Coletti managed the situation in the best possible way and took the flag in P9, giving the team the second top ten finish of the weekend.

Fabio Onidi, in the meantime, had a very unlucky race: the Italian dropped one place to P12 at the start but then his pace was very good. Lapping in the low 1’34s as the leaders he was holding position confortably when he was hit by Cecotto on lap 11. Fabio spun and the contact punctured his rear right tyre forcing him to enter the pits. After the pit-stop Onidi’s was quickest on track but he was 24th and one lap down, so his race was absolutely ruined.

Paolo Coloni: “Stefano did a really great race. He pushed a lot in the first laps to recover and then all those laps so close behind Valsecchi were really hard on the tyres, so we were expecting some wear to appear towards the end of the race. It’s a pity because it was a matter of just one lap, we could have been 6th, but it’s racing. We’re also investigating on Stefano’s car because it seems that something bent while taking a kerb, and probably that didn’t help tyre wear too. I’m also very disappointed for Fabio: he was driving well, he was quick and focused and I’m sure that he was going to make up some places later in the race”.

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

GP2 Budapest – Race 2

The long July stint of the 2012 GP2 Series schedule came to an end today at Budapest, after the series’ teams and drivers ran three races in four weeks. The Hungaroring hosted Race 2 of this weekend’s schedule today, and Trident Racing scored a 15th place with Julian Leal and a 20th place with Stéphane Richelmi.

The Trident Racing team and the whole GP2 Series will now go for a deserved break before the closing stages of the 2012 competition. Action will re-start during the first weekend of September at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Julian Leal, 15th

“Today’s race has been really demanding, but in the end I’m happy with how things went. After yesterday’s race we changed the set-up of the car, and the oversteer problems that had plagued my run just disappeared. So I was enabled to lap on some really consistent times although, considering the starting spot, I hadn’t many hopes to nail a top-10 position. We worked well as we identified and solved yesterday’s problems. In the next round at Spa-Francorchamps I hope for a much smoother run since practice”.

Stéphane Richelmi, 20th

“At the first corner, right after the start, I decided to go for the outside lane to avoid the usual trouble on the inside. Unfortunately, the asphalt there was really dirty and I got a lot of trouble to be back on-track, losing some really valuable time. I got in the slipstream of Melker and Gonzalez as I tried to push without wear my tires off, but in the final 8th laps the tire performance progressively faded and made me lose two more positions”.

source: tridentracing.it

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

coming soon

source: teamlazarus.it

Rapax Team


coming soon

source: rapaxteam.com


Arden International, GP2 Series 2012 – Budapest Race Two

Razia excels again, Trummer out of luck

Arden driver Luiz Razia enters the summer break as GP2 Series leader after another fruitful race in Budapest. Sixth on the grid after his third place yesterday, the Brazilian made a tremendous start to move up to fourth and secured another third place once rival Giedo van der Garde’s super-soft tyres began to wilt.

Team-mate Simon Trummer backed up yesterday’s strong showing with another spirited performance. He was lying 12th as he exited the final corner, but a touch from behind caused him to crash as he crossed the line.

Luiz Razia comments:

“This has been a very positive weekend. Having taken a podium finish yesterday I was determined to repeat that performance, to maximise my title chances, and everything ran well. I’m leading the championship, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be taking our feet off the gas. We’ll analyse the data to see what we can do better during the final few races and I won’t be getting much of a break during the summer recess. I’m off to a training camp to make sure I’m in the best possible shape when the campaign resumes at Spa.”

Simon Trummer comments:

“I didn’t get the best of starts today and my rear tyres seemed to suffer once the race settled down. Longevity didn’t seem as good as yesterday, but that might be down the track after overnight rain. Although my race position was respectable, I never felt as though I was able to attack properly and the race finished unfortunately when Canamasas hit me at the final turn and I had quite a sizeable accident. I’m generally pleased with my race pace during the first part of the season, but hope to have qualifying sorted when we resume. That has to be my main focus.”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

Difficult Hungarian weekend for Ocean Racing in GP2

Before even arriving at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest, Ocean Racing Technology’s drivers did not expect it to be easy and this was eventually verified during the course of the week-end. Nigel Melker and Victor Guerin delivered good performances despite the track not translating their efforts into good results. Melker finished both of the weekend’s races in 14th and 17th places while Guerin was 21st and 23rd.

In the first race, Melker made a good start and was getting into a good rhythm, running in fifth before his compulsory pit-stop. However, contact with an opponent made him lose several positions and he was forced to finish the race in 14th position. Meanwhile, Guerin had an excellent start and was doing very competitive lap times. He was sitting in 13th position when Melker, in an attempt to recover positions, touched him and compromised the Brazilian’s race.

In the second race, Melker fought to defend his position, and while he could do this initially, he later fell back several places and completed the race in 17th position while Guerin was 23rd. Melker stressed the importance of this weekend in terms of learning: “Qualifying was difficult because I never got a clean lap. After the first race I was confronted with problems from different cars that limited my result. In the second, I started and ran well but after contact with one of my rivals I lost several positions. This is a circuit where it is almost impossible to overtake and even though I had a good chance near the end, my rear tyre was completely worn. It was not the result we wanted but we learned a lot and are sure that everything will be different at Spa,” he said.

Meanwhile, Guerin did not hide the frustration of the outcome of the first race: “Everything was going quite well. I had a good run and it was looking good and then the touch from Melker forced me to lose positions. 13th seems a fair result. In the second race, on a difficult circuit to overtake, I failed to do any better. I had to make a pit-stop to change tyres and it did not help me climb places. But the car is much better and I think we are becoming more competitive,” said the Brazilian.

The next round of the GP2 Series will take place in Belgium, first weekend of September.

source: oceanracingtech.com


coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk



With high temperatures and a twisty circuit layout the GP2 and GP3 drivers had to look after their tyres at the Hungaroring: the oldest purpose-built facility on the calendar. The P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft were nominated for GP2 at the Hungaroring, with drivers benefitting from two sets of the softer compound and three sets of the harder compound. This was the first real opportunity for the drivers to evaluate both compounds in free practice, without the wet weather that has characterised Friday’s action since the new regulation was introduced at Silverstone.

Englishman Max Chilton started the 37-lap feature race on Saturday from pole for Carlin, using a new set of medium tyres. The four drivers behind him on the grid all began on the supersoft compound, with Giedo van der Garde (Caterham) the next highest placed driver to start the race on the medium compound, from sixth.

Most of the drivers who started on the supersoft came in to switch to the medium tyre after 11 to 13 laps, with Chilton stopping after 13 laps for another set of mediums. This dropped him to seventh, with the six drivers ahead of him yet to stop. As the drivers in front progressively pitted, Chilton was able to regain the lead in the closing stages – having saved time in the pits by changing only the rear tyres. Those who used both compounds were obliged to change all four tyres, which takes around three to four seconds longer.

The GP3 drivers benefitted from Pirelli’s soft compound tyre for the Hungaroring. Lotus driver Aaro Vainio used it to break the circuit’s GP3 lap record during qualifying, but his slow start in Saturday’s race one allowed Antonio Felix da Costa to continue a successful weekend for Carlin and win the race.

Da Costa took another brilliant win on Sunday morning, sealed when he picked exactly the right moment to change onto slicks on a slowly drying track. A downpour before the start of the GP3 sprint race meant that most teams started on wets, although nine drivers towards the back of the grid gambled on slicks from the beginning. Da Costa started from eighth on wets but had worked his way up to fifth when he pitted for slicks on lap eight of 16. Those who remained on wet tyres were lapping up to 10 seconds a lap slower than those on slicks at the end, allowing Da Costa to slice his way through the field and win by 11 seconds.

The GP2 sprint race, which took place immediately afterwards, was held in totally dry conditions. Only two drivers – Chilton and van der Garde – selected supersoft tyres, (having used two sets of mediums in race one) with the rest starting on mediums. Lotus driver Esteban Gutierrez won from reverse pole, while Arden’s Felipe Nasr also did an exceptional job to finish in a points-scoring eighth, having started from last after retiring from the feature race yesterday. The supersoft runners showed very good pace at the start of the 28-lap race, but dropped away towards the end as the tyres degraded.

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “Max Chilton did a fantastic job that centred around tyre strategy on the feature race: snatching pole in the closing seconds by timing his best lap to perfection in the wet and dry qualifying session, and also selecting the most effective strategy to convert pole position to a race win. He undercut a number of his key rivals by stopping before them, and the decision to go with the medium compound for the whole race to save time in the pits – a strategy also selected by van der Garde – was crucial. From then on, he put in a fantastically mature drive to let the strategy come to him, while maintaining enough pace to make sure that nobody could jump in front of him during the pit stops. Da Costa’s spectacular win in the second GP3 race on Sunday was the result of judging the crossover point, where it is faster to move from wets to slicks, completely correctly and reacting instantly. With some drivers choosing to stick with wets – which still resisted well on a completely dry circuit – we saw a huge variety of strategies in play, which is unusual for the GP3 sprint race, but as always selecting the correct one was key to victory. Both championships are doing a fantastic job to prepare the drivers for what they will face next as their careers progress towards the pinnacle of the sport.”

source: pirelli.com


Rapax Team driver Daniël De Jong made a strong return to GP2 Series action at the Hungaroring near Budapest over the weekend, 28th/29th July, with a highly competitive top 15 finish during the first of the event’s two races.

Just a week removed from securing his first on-track podium in the AUTO GP series with Manor MP Motorsport at Curitiba in Brazil, the 20-year-old impressed on his re-appearance in the FIA Formula One World Championship-supporting GP2 Series – only his third career outing in the category.

Starting race one on Saturday afternoon from 25th on the grid after a tough qualifying session, the Karpack, Boix Europe and ECOCUPS-supported Dutchman gained three positions on the opening lap and immediately began to pressurise team-mate Ricardo Teixeira.

With overtaking at the Hungaroring always a challenge, Daniël remained close behind Teixeira until the latter pitted for his mandatory tyre-change stop at the end of the sixth tour. By this point Daniël was into 19th place and as more and more pit-visits were made, he climbed into the top dozen prior to his own stop at the end of lap 12 to change from his Super-Soft compound Pirelli tyres.

Unfortunately rejoining the track back behind Teixeira, Daniël pressed on and instantly set about posting some impressive lap times including a best of 1m33.327 seconds on lap 18, a full 0.3 seconds quicker than race winner Max Chilton’s fastest effort.

Working his way back into the top 20 by lap 25, Daniël managed to get ahead of his team-mate on lap 26 which, coupled with an issue for Julian Leal, moved the Rapax rookie into 18th place. Over the final quarter of the race he continued to make up ground and took the flag on lap 37 inside the top 15 to ensure yet another strong result.

“It was quite an ok race”, said Daniël, “It was really warm, the conditions were tough for sure, and starting from P25 we had a lot of work to do – qualifying didn’t go as we wanted. The GP2 car is a lot harder to drive than the AUTO GP car, the braking is different and you do need to change your style quite a lot so that’s one of the reasons qualifying wasn’t so good, I had to adapt back from AUTO GP.

“My start was ok and I took it quite easy to begin, there were some crashes but I survived all of that and then started to push more. My in-lap to the pits wasn’t so good, and we lost some time in the pits as well, but the rest of the race was really good. The balance of the car was better, I overtook some people and I had the eighth quickest lap too. The second half of the race was good for sure.”

Unfortunately, Sunday morning’s encounter wasn’t as fruitful for the Westmaas-based driver after slipping from the middle order at the start down to 24th on the opening lap. Faced with a very tall order, with overtaking opportunities at a premium, Daniël quickly got into his stride and was back into the top 20 by lap 19.

With a huge five second deficit to make up on his next target, the Dutchman reeled off some superb laps and closed to within just 0.8 seconds of the train ahead with four laps remaining. Pushing hard over the final few miles of racing, Daniël wasn’t quite able to carve open the opportunity he wanted and had to settle for 19th place at the chequered flag.

Next on the racing schedule for Daniël will be his final outing of the year in GP2, the Belgian Grand Prix supporting event at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend 1st/2nd September. From there, he will prepare for the championship finale of the AUTO GP season which will take place at Infineon Raceway in the United States of America on 22nd/23rd September.

source: www.daniel-dejong.nl, www.marc-orme.co.uk