Trident Racing thought it had completed the inaugural GP2 Asia Series with another point score, but had to suffer the blow of seeing one of its drivers removed from the results in Dubai after a technical infringement.

Ho-Pin Tung had battled through the second race of the weekend to claim fifth position at the chequered flag, but a post-race inspection found the right side of the back underpanel was lower than allowed by rules, due to the detachment of two tie-rods.

Despite the fact that the panel was completely regular, and that the deformation was only due to race incidents, the stewards decided to stick to the regulations and exclude Tung from the final classification.

"Today's race ended in an unexpected fashion as, at the end of a great race for the whole team, Ho-Pin Tung was excluded from the final classification," team director Alessandro Alunni Bravi confirmed, "Despite the recognised unintentional nature of the infringement, the stewards decided to uphold their decision, like previously happened at Dubai to Sebastien Buemi. We feel disappointed for not having the deserved recognition of our efforts, but we had another confirmation of our good performance level."

As a consequence of Tung's DSQ, team-mate Harald Schlegelmilch moved up to seventh, the Latvian driver having put together a spectacular comeback from the rear of the field.

Neither driver had managed to break into the points in Friday's first race, the result of a tough practice-qualifying-race schedule that left them with too much to do in the penultimate round.

The timed session proved to be extremely taxing, with Schlegelmilch and Tung clocking the 16th and 17th best times respectively, the Latvian paying the price of a gearbox problem, while Tung had a tough time finding the right time to do his flying lap. The Chinese hope recovered during the race where, thanks to a strategy that left him out longer than his rivals, he led the race before settling for eleventh. Schlegelmilch finished six positions adrift of his team-mate.

"I'm partially satisfied with the results scored [in race one]," Bravi commented, "Our final toll was really conditioned by how we performed in qualifying, because we had a good return in term of lap times during the race.

"The alternative choice of strategy chosen for Ho Pin brought its results, with a five-position improvement from the start. He also was very fast, and able to keep the lead for quite some laps, but, unfortunately, the strategy chosen for Schlegelmilch didn't pay off as much. He was locked in the middle of the pack after stopping as early as lap two."

 

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