GP2 »

di Grassi on top step at last


Fat Burner Racing Engineering's Lucas di Grassi belatedly claimed the first victory of what many imagined to be a dominant season as the GP2 Series rolled on to its third round at Istanbul Park at the weekend.

Stepping from third overall in the 2008 standings into the seat vacated by champion Giorgio Pantano, the Brazilian was hotly tipped to take the team to successive titles, but has had to endure a difficult start to the 2009 campaign, with just a handful of points to show from the first four races in Barcelona and Monaco. Things didn't appear to getting much better in Turkey after a troubled qualifying session left di Grassi 13th on the grid.

Knowing that he would have to take risks on the fast and flowing circuit if he was to make up places, get into the points and secure a decent starting slot for Sunday's sprint event, the Brazilian - having already benefited to the tune of one place due to post-qualifying penalties elsewhere - made a good start and capitalised on Karun Chandhok stalling on the grid to edge his way up the order.

Having kept away from any possible incident at the first corner, he appeared ready to fight his way into the points when, as has been the case, misfortune struck and
he lost his front wing after contact with Alberto Valerio at the last corner of the lap. With the pit-stop window not opening for another five laps, the Brazilian lost further positions after pressing on with a lack of front downforce, dropping back to 20th before he could take on a new nose without penalty.

Despite having received an efficient pit-stop, di Grassi nevertheless rejoined in last position but, crucially, did not over-drive in his bid to make up the lost ground. Instead, lap after lap, he picked off places through a combination of passing, retirements and a safety car period, before eventually getting within touching distance of the top ten. Setting consistent lap times despite the age of his tyres, the Brazilian then put Davide Rigon under mounting pressure, finally passing the rookie and, shortly afterwards, veteran Andi Zuber, to claim ninth at the flag.

The frustration at missing the points, and Sunday pole, by a single position did not last long either for, when Giedo van der Garde was handed a post-race penalty, di Grassi moved to eighth, giving him the advantage he needed for race two.

"The start was good, but the opening lap of the race was really bad," the Brazilian acknowledged afterwards, "I touched with Valerio in the last corner of lap one and lost the car's front wing. Because the mandatory pit-stop can only be done from lap six on, I stayed out for five laps without the front wing, losing positions.

"After the pit-stop, I had dropped back to last and, when the safety car was deployed, I was running in 20th place, but then I pushed a lot and was able to overtake several cars. During the last lap alone, I passed two - Rigon and Zuber - in the last corner, which allowed me to finish the race in eighth position."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) wins in Turkey   [pic credit: GP2]
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR, Rapax) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Friday 25 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) elebrate at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at the Hungaroring, Hungary 2014 GP3 Series Round 5. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) wins at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.