28 June 2011
Drivers reflect on Valencia weekend
Grosjean's team mate Pal Varhaug was penalised the day before for contact with Fairuz Fauzy, and had to battle from 23rd place on the grid to a tenth place finish in the sprint race. "It's a pity I started from so far back. I nursed my tyres in the opening laps and that was a big help in the last ten," he said, but then saw the bright side of the experience. "I overtook six cars, which shows how much I've progressed. I have to score points in the next event. Roll on Silverstone!”
The sprint race was the first GP2 series win for 19-year-old Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez for Lotus ART. "It's a very good result for us, a very good step from what we did at the previous events," he said. "We finally achieved it, and this is something that personally and inside the team makes us very motivated, because the way it's working is going in the right direction ... But we have to be realistic: it's only one win, it's only one event, and we have to keep getting points and to improve."
Valsecchi's AirAsia team mate Luiz Razia finished second in Sunday's race and admitted that he had been expecting Gutierrez' tyres to go off in the final laps and give him a chance to catch up and fight for the win - but it never happened.
"Yeah, I was expecting him to run out of tyres," he said. "With ten laps to go I said maybe now he'll start to go back, but his pace today was really good: I was really impressed because yesterday he was quite slow and we overtook him with 3 laps, but today he was strong from the beginning to the end, so congratulations to him."
And van der Garde finished in third place in the race, declaring: "I'm very pleased about the weekend [overall]: yesterday of course was not perfect, I should have won it but anyway the speed was there, the car was really fast yesterday. Today I struggled a bit at end of the race with the rear tyres.
"But anyway I'm very happy, it was a great race again today with some good overtaking and a reasonable start, and the [GP2 championship] competitors were more or less out, so I was pleased."
He agreed that the sort of consistency he had shown in Valencia was the key to winning titles. "Absolutely. You have to be there every time, even if you don't have the best car or you do have the best car, you have to be there every time," he insisted. "That's the key to this competition, because the opposition is so hard."
When it comes to consistency, the less said the better about the weekends of three of van der Garde's main rivals - his team mate Charles Pic, iSport's Sam Bird and Lotus ART's Jules Bianchi - the better.
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