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Drivers reflect on Valencia weekend

A famous victory on Saturday was followed by a crash and a penalty on Sunday for Romain Grosjean, as the GP2 drivers reflect on their weekend's endeavours in round 4 of the 2011 season.
Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde ended up the most consistently successful driver at Valencia, with second place in the feature race and third in the sprint, but it was clear that he felt he had been robbed of victory in the former.

"I think we were very quick today, and we would have won: we have a very good start, and after that I was just controlling the pace because we knew that it would be a long race," he said. "After the pitstop the car was handling even better, and I was very pleased with that and quickly built a gap to 5 seconds, so I had that in the pocket ... But then I heard we had a drive through. I came in, and after that I think it was a very spectacular race!"

The highlight of van der Garde's recovery was his multi-lap battle with Davide Valsecchi that showed that races on the Valencia race track don't have to be dull affairs.

"It was a very good fight because in turn 14 I was quicker than him, but he could close the gap because there were walls and if I chose the right side, the inside, we would have been crashing!," he said, laughing. "But the third time he went straight and I knew, so I took him on the inside and then it was the last lap, so I just took it easy and controlled. We showed today that we are the man!"

"We were I think 2 or 3 seconds behind Grosjean, and I didn't have the pace or the speed to be with them in the second part of the race," said AirAsia's Valsecchi. "When they told me on the radio that van der Garde was behind because he took a drive-thru I tried to push all that I could to make a gap from [Racing Engineering's Dani] Clos, but he was just too fast. When he caught me he used a great technique to overtake me – it happens!"

Romain Grosjean was delighted with the victory in the feature race which followed van der Garde's drive-thru penalty. "I'm really happy with our second victory, which has been a long time coming. I was well on the pace and the team did a really good job to provide me with a competitive car. It's great that we're now back in the lead [of the GP2 championship].

Grosjean was in a rather more downbeat mood after the sprint race on Sunday. "What a frustrating race!," he said "We're really going to have to make a success of our second races despite the principle of the reversed grid."

As far as he was concerned, the accident for which he was penalised was not his fault. "The start went off alright and then the drivers just in front squeezed me and there was nothing I could do," he said, speaking before the news of his ten-place grid penalty to be served at the Silverstone feature race in two week's time. "In corners four/five a mechanical component broke after a driver tagged me from behind at the entry to corner four."

Dams team general manager Loic David confirmed that the spin that put Grosjean out of the sprint race was not a result of the second turn contact. "The contact in corner two was not the cause as he was caught in a sandwich," he explained. "It was after another contact in corner four that he spun in the following one due to a suspension breakage."




Related Pictures

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Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus ART) celebrates his victory on the podium with Luiz Razia (BRA, Team AirAsia and Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Barwa Addax Team). Valencia, June 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Pal Varhaug (NOR, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Pal Varhaug (NOR, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Pal Varhaug (NOR, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Friday 10 April 2015. Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 2 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain. Thursday 9 April 2015. Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.

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