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Drivers reflect on Nurburgring fortunes

Romain Grosjean and Luca Filippi had most reason to be delighted with their weekend's work. It was more mixed for Charles Pic, while Jules Bianchi was kicking himself for a costly late mistake.
Two podiums in two days for championship leader Romain Grosjean have consolidated the Dams driver's hold on the 2011 GP2 Series title, while similar success for Luca Filippi was all the more remarkable given that it came just days after he departed Super Nova and switched to the Coloni team.

"For the championship it's a good result and we're a little bit higher," said Grosjean. "Now we will try to keep our advantage, and maybe increase it a little," he said, adding that next on the agenda was to "think about pole position and winning in Budapest!"

Grosjean's strong performances in this year's GP2 events have certainly caught the eye of Renault F1 team boss Eric Boullier, who agreed that Grosjean was definitely a candidate for a race seat in 2012 if Robert Kubica is unable to return to the team. "We are working hard to get Grosjean [into F1], as France needs a good F1 driver," Boullier said at the weekend.

Grosjean amassed 12pts in total with third place in the Saturday feature race and his sprint race win on Sunday. That extended his lead in the series to 18pts over Giedo van der Garde, who finished sixth in the feature race but then crashed out early in the sprint race after tangling with Dani Clos.

Charles Pic looked set to take advantage of the Dutch driver's problems, but fell foul to a penalty for crossing the pit lane blend line as he came out from changing to slick tyres.

"The stewards, in what was a rigorous decision given the conditions, decided to penalise him for crossing a white line at the pit lane exit," complained the Barwa Addax team in a press release. "With the team looking for some kind of explanation for the penalty they delayed informing the driver and as he hadn't passed through pit lane within the time stipulated, he was black flagged and disqualified. Yet another stroke of bad luck for Charles who had overcome adverse circumstances during the race only to be penalised later."

"The championship I will take race by race," Pic said philosophically. "Try to be there all the time and make as many good results as I can, and we will see at the end."

Instead it was Luca Filippi and Jules Bianchi who broke through after stuttering first halves to their 2011 season, with Bianchi joining Pic, Sam Bird and Davide Valsecchi in a tight fight for third place, the four drivers now comprising a pack in the lower 30s in the points. Filippi is just 6ts off this fight, having amassed 15pts in a single weekend in Germany.

"It was perfect, I'm very happy!" said Filippi of his weekend's work. "It was very important for us because you could see how much it meant for the boys: you could see it in their eyes, and I am so proud and happy that I could present this to them."




Related Pictures

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Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team). Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) and Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) are the top three in qualifying at the Nurburgring. July 2011. [Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) celebrates his race victory on the podium with Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team). [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) celebrates his race victory on the podium. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory on the podium. Nurburgring sprint race - July 2011. [Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory on the podium with Jules Bianchi (FRA,Lotus ART) and Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni). Nurburgring sprint race - July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Thursday 27 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 28 November 2014. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 28 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 28 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 28 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) leads Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) and Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) at the start of the sprint race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 23 November 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Colleti (MON, Racing Engineering), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) and Arthur Pic (FRE, Campos Racing) celebrate on the podium after the sprint race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 23 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates after the sprint race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 23 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) at the start of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 22 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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