Edoardo Mortara was delighted to upstage Formula 3 rival and fellow GP2 Asia debutant Nico Hulkenberg after claiming a podium finish in the latest round of the championship at Bahrain.
The Italian secured a last minute deal to step into the vacant seat at Arden International, but immediately made his presence felt during free practice and qualifying to place the car a strong fourth on the grid.
With Euroseries title winner Nico Hulkenberg grabbing the headlines on Thuesday with his pole position, Mortara stole most of the limelight on race day when he battled his way to third place having resisted the late attentions of the German following the pit stops.
Still wearing his Volkswagen-sponsored overalls from Formula 3, Mortara was relieved to overcome a hand clutch start and a pit stop for the first time.
“I have to say that I am really happy with the result of today and with our general performance since yesterday. We did pretty good practice and qualifications. We showed some speed and today I was quite worried with some particular things for me, especially the start with the hand clutch or the pitstop… But, we did a really, really good job.
“At the start, I could pass Jérôme and I was quite surprised because he moved a little bit and then stopped. I had to avoid him and got on the dirty part of the track. It could have resulted into a disaster, but it went well and then I could make the race.
“I was really struggling in the first laps. Then the balance of the car was not so good. The beginning was difficult, but then it was good again so I passed Nico in the pitstop. Arden and I have had the perfect weekend so far.”