Sunday, 20 September 2009 10:00
GP2 Series team Race 2 reports and quotes from Portimao - This page of team reports will be updated as the teams create press releases.
Giedo van der Garde (NED) – P7
Diego Nunes (BRA) – P6
iSport nabs a point in season finale.
It was the final race of the 2009 GP2 Series. With the driver and team champions crowned there was an end of term feeling as the rest of the field aimed to finish the season on a high.
It did not disappoint and a huge start line accident between the stalled Vitaly Petrov and Michael Herck brought out the red flag. As the race finally got underway iSport racers Diego Nunes and Giedo van der Garde took a big leap forward after the top six drivers were handed drive through penalties.
The iSport duo have been closely matched all weekend and both crossed the finish line in tandem to take sixth and seventh with Nunes taking the last of the points.
Giedo van der Garde
“I finished seventh. It was not too bad actually we had a good start. It was a good race the car felt nice and quick so it went pretty well. I started from the back of the grid and finished seventh so it was a good result”.
“I did a good start but in the second corner I had a problem, I was pushed out of the track. I won three positions on the start and then I lost four on the second corner. Then we had the red flag, and after the red flag I passed two guys and six guys got penalised so I managed to finish sixth and Giedo seventh so it was good, I got a point”.
Dani Clos scores his first points and podium!
Fat Burner Racing Engineering finished the 2009 GP2 season on a high after its driver Dani Clos, finished third in today's sprint race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Lucas id Grassi, on the other hand, had the misfortune of being handed a drive through at the beginning of the race which ended his chances to score another great result.
After completing two warm up laps, drivers and cars took their places on the grid to start the last race of the 2009 season. But when the lights went off at the Portuguese track, a heavy accident between Herck and Petrov, whose car had stalled on the grid, red flagged the race for over 20 minutes. Once the track was cleared of all the debris, the safety car lead the field with Lucas, who had started six, running in third. Dani, who had lost one place to Valsecchi, was in 10th. At the end of the second lap, the safety car left the track slowly and created certain confusion among the drivers. Lucas, who for some unknown reason had the car's front lift briefly, lost a place to Kobayashi, but a couple of laps later he regained the lost position. Dani, meanwhile was overtaken by Villa and Pérez. Villa, knowing he had passed the Fat Burner Racing Engineering under yellow flags, quickly gave the place back, contrary to the Mexican, who was later penalized with 25 second and handed third to Dani.
Things turned for the worse for Lucas when he was handed a drive through, along with five other drivers, as a consequence of the confusion with the exit of the safety car at the restart. This unfortunate turn of events pushed the Brazilian driver back to 17th place. This favored his teammate who was now running in fourth and starting a good fight with Villa for third, while holding back the attacks of Parente. Though the Spanish driver was not able to pass his countryman, he managed to keep the Portuguese at bay and cross the line in fourth position (although later had third when Perez, who finished second, was penalized), scoring his first points in GP2. Lucas, on the other hand, could do nothing to finish in the points and had to settle for 15th.
At the start I lost one place and I was behind Valsecchi. I believe I could have passed him, but then there was an accident and when the race restarted behind the safety car, two drivers overtook me. These two drivers were Pérez and Villa. Villa knew he had done some wrong, so he gave me back my place, but Pérez did not. I think this has been a complicated race as there was a lot of tyre wear. I had Parente pressuring me during most of the race, but I was able to hold my place. Though today I have scored my first points in the GP2 championship, I am not really happy as I should have finished third, but I guess this is the way things go in racing. Although, Pérez, now with a 25 second penalty, has handed me a podium finish.
I believe that this season I was not able to show what I am capable of. During the first races I had always some kind of problem and then I had to start the sprint races from the back. Maybe the races were good, as I was overtaking often, but the truth is that it was not good enough since I was not scoring points. Now I hope to be stronger for next year and that everything goes well.
Lucas Di Grassi:
I had a good start to the race, improving three positions. Everything was going fine until the safety car left the track. In my opinion, what happened was a safety car mistake that cost the entire top of the field their respective positions, as we were all penalized with drive throughs. At the restart, my car actually lifted a bit, and this allowed Kobayashi to overtake me, but I quickly gained back third place. We lost an easy podium here. It is incredible that we lost third position in the teams championship, now, sadly, we are forth.
Alfonso de Orleáns-Borbón, Team President:
Fantastic job everybody! Pitty about the drive through handed to Lucas, but wonderful firsts points for Dani. I would also like to take the time to congratulate everyone in the team for their fantastic work they have done this season. Now we have to improve on this results next year.
Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) was officially crowned the 2009 GP2 Series Drivers’ Champion in Portimao earning himself the Bridgestone Prize of US$100,000.
Although he clinched the drivers’ title at the previous round in Monza, Hulkenberg strengthened his position at the top of the championship standings by winning the GP2 feature race in Portugal, with Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) taking victory on Sunday.
In Saturday’s shortened 37 lap race, Hulkenberg stole the limelight, with Filippi finishing second and Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) taking third. Pole sitter Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) finished fourth, with Filippi claiming the point for the quickest time.
Sunday’s re-started 24 lap sprint race gave Filippi his first win of the season and his teammate Javier Villa second place, with Dani Clos (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) in third. Filippi claimed another point for fastest lap.
Hulkenberg is now the fifth champion of the Bridgestone backed GP2 Series. Since the beginning of the 2009 season there have been eleven different race winners, Hulkenberg taking the most victories with a total of five race wins.
Bridgestone’s medium, soft and super soft GP2 dry slicks have provided entertaining racing as a result of softer compounds being allocated at the majority of circuits for 2009.
Hulkenberg finished the season on 100 points, ahead of Petrov on 75. In third was di Grassi with 63 points. This year the Teams’ Championship went to ART Grand Prix on 136, with Barwa Addax Team taking second with 122 and Super Nova Racing third on 67.
Quote from Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport
“Once again, this season’s GP2 Series has been fantastically exciting! Race after race we have seen thrilling and close battles demonstrating what an ideal training ground for young drivers this series is. Indeed, we have already seen one driver step up from GP2 to Formula One this year. Bridgestone is proud to have played a role in supporting GP2. In choosing softer compounds at several of the rounds in 2009 we have further challenged the drivers and teams but hope this will stand them in good stead for the future. Finally, I am delighted to congratulate Nico Hulkenberg on becoming the 2009 GP2 Drivers’ Champion and, in so doing, claiming the Bridgestone Prize for US$100,000. Congratulations also to ART Grand Prix on taking the Teams’ Championship.”
Quote from Chris Tandy – Bridgestone Motorsport Senior Engineer
“The selection of the soft compound was correct for Portugal and the tyre offered the performance and challenge requested by the GP2 organisers, without compromising safety parameters. Wear rate was influential on the car balance particularly for those drivers who chose to pit early in race one, those who did not were rewarded with consistency. Under the temperatures in Sunday’s race the tyre performed within its operating window, creating an exciting finale to the season.”
Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
Saturday race 23C 26C-25C Partly Cloudy
Sunday race 24C-27C 32C-37C Sunny
This weekend, the DAMS team raced in the tenth and final round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the new Portimao circuit in the Algarve in Portugal. The team was determined to score a good result and end the season on a high note. It seemed destined for a place on the podium until a race incident prevented it from finishing the year with a flourish.
And yet the weekend didn't get off to a bad start. Kamui Kobayashi qualified in eighteenth place for race 1 and the team decided on an aggressive strategy, which enabled him to pick off his rivals one by one and finish in seventh place. This quickly became sixth when another driver was disqualified. Jérôme d'Ambrosio was less fortunate on Saturday. He started from eleventh spot on the grid and was aiming for points until a collision led to his retirement early on.
Today, Kamui started from third on the grid for race 2 and he was aiming for the podium. Unfortunately, after the race was neutralized the first 6 drivers were penalized by Race Control for jumping the start when the green light was given. He had to observe a drive through, fell down the time sheets and saw the flag in nineteenth place. Jérôme, who started from twenty second on the grid, could not hope for very much as today's race was too short to enable him to gain a lot of positions barring major incidents: he finished tenth.
And so the curtain has fallen on the 2009 GP2 Series, the fifth in which DAMS has raced since its inauguration. The French squad finished sixth in the teams' championship, which was not a bad result overall, but did not reflect either its potential or its ambitions at the start of the season.
Eric Boullier, Team Manager:
The final race was an apt reflection of our 2009 championship campaign: real potential, the possibility to fight at the front but a disappointing result due to unfavourable circumstances. It's frustrating as we thought we'd put our bad luck behind us. Jérôme and Kamui have what it takes to shine in this championship, and I'd like to congratulate them both on their professionalism. They put the team first before their own personal interests. A big thanks to the whole race team as well as all those working in our Le Mans base. We'll be title contenders in 2010, I'm sure of that!”
11th on the grid for Race 1, rtd/22nd on the grid for Race 2, 10th at the finish.
9th in the drivers' championship
“My position on the grid for race 1 wasn't fantastic but it gave me the possibility of scoring points and starting at the front today. Unfortunately, my hopes went up in smoke when I was hit early on in the race yesterday. But I'll have good memories of this season during which I've made a lot of progress in my approach to racing, my fitness and my driving. I'd like to thank DAMS and Gravity for helping me to show what I'm capable of this year.”
18th on the grid for Race 1, 6th at the finish/3rd on the grid for Race 2, 19th at the finish.
16th in the drivers' championship
“There's no way I can be satisfied with my final result as my aim, after winning the Asian GP2 title, was to win the championship in the main 2009 Series. Things just didn't go our way. I made a few mistakes and did not achieve my aim. It's a pity, but my motivation is still intact. I know my qualities and those of the team, which I'd like to thank very warmly for a new season together, and I'll do better next year.”
VITALY PETROV, EMBESTIDO. LOS JUECES PENALIZAN A LOS SEIS PRIMEROS CUANDO DAVIDE VALSECCHI IBA LANZADO AL PODIO.
AUTENTICA MALA FORTUNA PARA BARWA ADDAX TEAM.
En la tarde de hoy se ha disputado la segunda carrera de las GP2 Series en Portimao con un autentico cúmulo de circunstancia desafortunadas sobre los pilotos de Barwa Addax Team pues Vitaly Petrov fue brutalmente embestido en la parrilla de salida tras fallar su salida y los comisarios penalizaron a los seis primeros de la prueba cuando Davide Valsecchi marchaba cómodamente en segunda posición.
No se podía empezar la prueba con peor fortuna pues tras dos intentos de salida fallidos, Vitaly Petrov se quedó clavado en la siguiente, cuando ocupaba la cuarta posición de la parrilla de salida. Todos los pilotos, de mejor o peor manera, pudieron evitarle excepto el último de la parrilla que, por tanto era el que más rápido marchaba a esa altura de recta. La mala suerte hizo que este piloto alcanzara por detrás violentamente al vehiculo de Vitaly. Se pasaron unos instantes de intranquilidad porque el accidente aparentaba ser de gravedad pero finalmente los pilotos no sufrieron importantes daños físicos, por lo menos que se conozcan hasta el momento, tras ser atendidos por los servicios médicos de la organización. Aquí terminó la prueba para el piloto ruso pero podemos estar contentos con que no sucediera nada peor para su integridad física.
El accidente propició un safety car e inmediatamente una bandera roja que suspendía la prueba. Esta se reanudó con el coche de seguridad abriendo pista. Guiados por el líder de la prueba se dio la salida lanzada. Davide Valsecchi, que había realizado una muy buena salida que le permitió mantener su segunda posición de salida, mantuvo nuevamente la segunda posición. Entonces los comisarios decidieron penalizar con un drive through a los seis primeros de la carrera por adelantar al safety car en su retirada por el carril de deceleración del pit lane. No se discute la aplicación de la norma pero es difícil juzgar la responsabilidad del cuarto piloto, por ejemplo, cuando en ocasiones le coge la aceleración dos o tres curvas antes del paso de meta por lo que en raras ocasiones puede medir a la distancia a la que se encuentra el safety car.
Así pues, Davide Valsecchi que estaba haciendo una magnifica carrera manteniendo con solvencia la segunda posición, se encontró de repente sin la posibilidad de subirse por fin a un podio y sin los puntos que iba a aportar a Barwa Addax Team después de haberlo intentado en tantas ocasiones. Es una pena pues estamos convencidos que ya se lo había ganado, especialmente en este fin de semana en el que estaban haciendo un trabajo fantástico. Baste decir que, sin que nadie le regalara nada, ha terminado la carrera por delante de los líderes de la temporada como Hulkenberg, Di Grassi, Maldonado, etc
Vitaly Petrov, finaliza la temporada en segunda posición. Entendemos que singularmente merecida pues ha demostrado una calidad como piloto y persona excepcional. Merecedora de llegar a lo más alto del automovilismo tras superar todo tipo de adversidades como puede ser los siete fallos mecánicos en los motores que se le asignaron, el accidente de un piloto delante suya que le arrebató la victoria en Monza, un rigurosísimo drive through cuando marchaba líder de otra carrera, la brutal infección que ha sufrido este final de temporada, etc En fin, solo queremos poner en valor la temporada que ha realizado con Barwa Addax Team y que realmente se merece, cuando menos, el subcampeonato.
Romain Grosjean, termina finalmente en cuarta posición el campeonato sin correr en las últimas ocho carreras por lo que a Barwa Addax Team, le vuelve a ocurrir algo parecido a lo que le sucedió con Lucas Di Grassi en la temporada anterior en la que terminó tercero sin haber podido disputar las seis primeras carreras.
Segunda posición que también consigue Barwa Addax Team. Merecidamente, sin duda, al tener que pelear con el handicap de perder a uno de sus pilotos titulares poco después de mitad de temporada y sufrir todos los infortunios mencionados anteriormente. Aunque Alejandro Agag, Team principal del equipo, debe de terminar contento. No solo por este segundo puesto alcanzado en circunstancias tan adversas, por ser el único equipo que ha subido ya a otro piloto a la Formula 1 durante la temporada, y además ha colocado a dos de sus pilotos entre los cuatro mejores clasificados del final del campeonato. En este último sentido el equipo que mejor resultado ha logrado.
VITALY PETROV, SHUNTED. THE STEWARDS SANCTION FIRST SIX DRIVERS WHEN DAVIDE VALSECCHI WAS ON HIS WAY TO PODIUM FINISH.
BAD LUCK STRIKES BARWA ADDAX TEAM.
The second GP2 race took place this afternoon at the Portuguese circuit of Portimao, with the Barwa Addax Team drivers both involved in unfortunate incidents. Vitaly Petrov failed to get away at the start and was brutally shunted by one of the back markers, while Davide Valsecchi, along with the other first six drivers, was sanctioned with a drive through for having overtaken the Safety Car, when the Italian driver was running well in second position.
Things could not have got off to a worse start, particularly after Vitaly Petrov failed to get off the line from the fourth position he started from on the starting grid. With the Russian driver waving frantically, the others drivers avoided crashing into him, except for the last placed driver who didn’t see the stricken car and hit him violently in the back, leaving debris all over the circuit and prompting a red flag period. There were a few moments of anguish because the shunt had been serious, with Petrov being hit at high speed, but luckily for all concerned neither driver involved was seriously injured after the medical teams had sent the drivers to be checked. The Russian driver’s race finished before it had really started but the most important thing is that he managed to walk away a bit sore and shaken but nothing else.
The accident meant that the Safety Car came out on track, immediately followed by the red flag, as the marshalls cleared the track. The safety car then led the field around for one lap before setting them free. With the leader guiding his rivals he got too keen to get off to a flying start and overtook the safety car, taking Davide Valsecchi and another four drivers with him. The Italian driver had made a good start and had held on to his second position at the start. It was then that the stewards handed all six drivers a drive through penalty. It’s difficult to argue with the decision with the rule book in hand, but it is hard on the fourth placed driver, for instance, because he probably couldn’t even judge where the safety car was as he came round the home straight turn.
As a consequence, Davide Valsecchi who was driving a great race, holding on to second place, was left with no chance of finishing on the winning rostrum and once more, he was unable to provide Barwa Addax Team with the points he had worked so hard for in recent races. It’s a real shame but because he really deserved a break, particularly this weekend after working really well with the team. Nevertheless, despite this latest tale of woe he has finished the last race of the season ahead of illustrious rivals, such as Hulkenburg, Di Grassi, Maldonado, etc
Vitaly Petrov has finished the season as runner up in the driver’s championship. He has had a fantastic season and totally deserves his second position. He is climbing ever closer to the top of world motor racing after having had to overcome various setbacks throughout the season, including seven engine failures, the accident of a car in front which ruined his chances of winning in Monza, a doubtful drive through when he was leading another race, the terrible infection he suffered in his elbow towards the end of the season etc. To sum up, his season with the Barwa Addax Team has been one of true grit and courage and he is worthy of his runners up position.
Romain Grosjean, finishes fourth overall in the drivers rankings, without having even driven for the Barwa Addax Team in the last eight races. Something similar happened last season when Lucas Di Grassi finished third overall, having missed six races.
Barwa Addax Team also finish runners up in the team championship. They had to overcome the handicap of losing one of their drivers halfway through the season, as well as all the other previously mentioned mishaps. However Team Principal Alejandro Agag has reasons to feel satisfied. Not only did his team finish runners up this season, despite adversities, but they were also the only team who released a driver to Formula 1 during the season.
Furthermore, they have placed two drivers in the top four positions in the final overall rankings of the driver’s championship, the only team to do so.
PartyPokerRacing.com Scuderia Coloni
Fresh from celebrating Luiz Razia’s victory last weekend in Monza, PartyPokerRacing.com Scuderia Coloni had another action packed race weekend, with the GP2 team at the season finale of the 2009 GP2 Series at Portimão in Portugal.
The Euroseries 3000 team had its second outing in as many weeks as racing took place at Vallelunga and wrapped up the teams’ title at the Italian circuit.
GP2 Series (Portimao, Portugal)
The final round of this year’s championship headlined at a brand new track for the series, the Portimão circuit in the Algarve area of Portugal. Regulars Andreas Zuber and Luiz Razia drove for the team. As a change to the normal schedule, drivers benefited from two free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.
Strong practice sessions, finishing 11th in practice one with a lap of 1:52.941 and fourth fastest in second practice with a time of 1:33.942. Lined up on the sixth row of the grid for the feature race after setting a time of 1:31.673 in qualifying and finishing 12th in the session. He raced well on Saturday to pick up the final point for finishing eighth and secured pole position for Sunday’s sprint race. It was a chaotic start to the race, with a red flag, delayed start and a safety car. Although Andreas began superbly, easily maintaining his lead, a mix up with the safety car saw him incur a drive through penalty and he finished the race in 12th position.
Finished 14th in first practice, setting a best time of 1:53.588 and 21st in the second session with a lap of 1:36.430. He set the 16th fastest time in qualifying with a time of 1:32.140 to line up on the eighth row for Saturday’s race and then moved through the field to finish 10th. Beginning from the fifth row on Sunday he crossed the line in 17th place.
Euroseries 3000 (Vallelunga, Italy)
The fifth round of the championship took place at Vallelunga in Italy, with PartyPokerRacing.com Scuderia Coloni fielding three cars for Fabio Onidi, Marco Bonanomi and Rodolfo Gonzalez. The team celebrated two race wins, courtesy of Bonanomi and Onidi, and wrapped up the teams championship with a round still to go.
Qualified third for race one and raced through the field to take the win and briefly pass his team-mate for the lead in the drivers’ title battle. Finished sixth in Sunday’s race.
Started from the second row for the first race after qualifying fourth and gained a spot through the race to finish on the podium in third. He then went on to win the second race of the weekend to maintain his lead in the drivers’ championship.
Lined up on the third row from sixth for race one and finished in eighth position. Had a much better second race to finish on the podium in second.
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal:
“We are obviously very disappointed with Andreas’s GP2 result today as we were flying and would have won the race by a big margin. It’s a penalty that we had to accept unfortunately although I hope that people take notice of what happened with the safety car and look into that. The team did a fantastic job all weekend and we had a car that was just super fast. Luiz had an unfortunate time today as he had a touch with Nunes and had to drive the whole race with bent suspension. It was happier over in Euro 3000, we had wins from Marco and Fabio. Fabio is still leading the drivers’ table and the team won the teams’ title today so it was a good weekend for us there.”
Drive through penalty spoils Zuber' s pole at Portimao
Free practice 1 - 1.52.941 - 11th
Free practice 2 - 1.35.833 - 6th
Qualifying - 1.31.673 - 12th
Race 1 - 8th place
Race 2 - 12th place
Dubai resident Andreas Zuber, who races under a UAE licence with FMSI was on pole for race 2 at Portimao. The second race was full of mishaps with an accident at the start as Vitaly Petrov stalled and was hit by Michael Herck, causing a second start and a safety car for the start of race two. Later a very slow safety car proved to be a problem for a number of drivers causing Zuber to lose the advantage of leading from pole.
As the safety car came back in after the accident there was a long wait in the pits for the drivers. After that when the track was reopened, there was a lot of action behind Andreas who was leading the field with Davide Valsecchi, Lucas di Grassi and Kamui Kobayashi behind him. With 1.33.072 Andreas Zuber scored a fastest lap.
Andreas knew that he had to be fast to save his position as Kobayashi, Filippi, di Grassi and Huelkenberg were fighting behind him. Later Zuber and several others could not control their speed behind a very slow safety car and were accused of having overtaken it on the front straight. A drive through penalty was imposed on several drivers including Zuber and he rejoined in15th place.
With 12 minutes left Zuber finished in 12th place. He commented, "I arrived at Portimao very happy that the Algarve track would be new to all of us and we'd have a level playing field. The track is interesting. I was quick right from the start of qualifying and consistently bringing my time down as the track improved too. But I only made it to 12the place, just 0.8s off the pace. Later race 1 was interrupted by two pace cars. Following a number of penalties, I am pleased to have scored one point after qualifying in the top 12 in Portimao and to have finished in 8th. I am pleased with the performance because with the reversed grid, I started race two from pole. I was entirely focused on race two aiming at scoring more points for our last race of the season.
I wanted to finish the season on a high note. But then the stewards decided that we had all overtaken the safety car on the front straight. After me, Huelkenberg, Valsecchi, di Grassi, Kobayasi, and Maldonado had to go in for a drive through penalty. So with 15 laps to go, I had no chance of finishing in the points today despite a few overtaking moves including on Razia, Nunes, and Chandock. A pity because I had a good weekend overall, and my car was really strong. It is also a pity that a perfect day did not end with perfection. I would have liked to dedicate the points to my team and engineers who have taken such good care of me for my fourth GP2 season. We have had high moments as well as lows like in Spa when our team was mistaken for another one and our truck and cars confiscated, but we spent a fantastic year together, earned 21 points, and enjoyed both my and my team mate's podiums together. I want to thank everyone: mechanics, team management and engineers for a great season 2009 together."
Penalised Perez deprived of podium.
The 2009 GP2 Series ended in confusion today at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão. The race initially had to be red flagged because of a startline accident and it took almost an hour to clear the debris.
The event restarted behind the Safety Car, but the six leading drivers were then given drive through penalties for overtaking it prematurely.
That elevated Telmex Arden star Sergio Perez to an unexpected second place, which he held to the flag, but he was later given a 25s penalty for overtaking when yellow warning flags were showing.
The stewards’ decision dropped him to 12th. Team-mate Edoardo Mortara finished ninth on the road and was promoted to eighth because of Perez’s misdemeanour.
“This has been a really bad weekend – even worse than Monza – and I’m happy that it’s over. I had a difficult race and was struggling because the car had bent steering. In the circumstances, I just did the best I could.”
“I’m happy with my maiden GP2 season and would like to thank the team for its efforts. We had a bit of luck in today’s race – initially, at least – but we were quick, too. I didn’t overtake deliberately under the yellow flag, obviously, and it’s a pity to lose out after ending the campaign on what I thought was a high note. Things have generally gone well in the second half of the year and I hope to race with Arden again in 2010. Whatever happens, though, I would like to wish the team all the best for the future.”
Super Nova Racing
Super Nova are celebrating today, following a tremendous 1-2 result in Portugal and regaining the third place title in the teams’ championship in the process!
Rounding the season off on a real high, Luca stormed through, passing several cars, including championship winner Nico Hulkenburg and Kamui Kobayashi in a swift manoeuvre.
The Italian drove a faultless race, taking a point for fastest lap, to win in style, with team mate Javier Villa joining him on the podium.
After this afternoons’ race in Portimao was suspended following an accident on the grid, the race finally got underway, under a safety car. As racing resumed, the first six cars overtook the safety car as it came in, resulting in drive through penalties for all of them. This cleared the way for Luca to take and maintain the lead, until the chequered flag.
The chase for third in the teams’ championship was decided in the final moments, as Javier Villa fought for second place from thirteenth on the grid.
The team were finally rewarded this title when Sergio Perez (who was 2nd) was penalised 25 seconds for overtaking under safety car conditions, promoting Javier to second place and the team equalling points with Fat Burner Racing Engineering on 67points.
With more points finishes than the Spanish team, Super Nova happily takes third in the Teams 2009 Championship!
Luca Filippi – Car 14 – P1
Championship Standing: 5th / 40pts
“I’m so happy! I really wanted to win a race this season, and after yesterday I knew it could be difficult. But I got a good first few laps and overtook four cars with some nice moves! We were fighting for this result, and it’s only fair! We have finished the season with a P1-P2 result and 16 points! Fantastic!”
Javier Villa – Car 15 – P2
Championship Standing: 10th / 27pts
“Well it wasn’t an easy race, starting from thirteenth but we got a good start and also got lucky with the safety car. We had some good moments this season, and some unlucky times when we’ve lost out, so it is very good to have a podium finish to end the season!”
David Sears – Team Principal
“What a fantastic result for the whole Super Nova team today! Luca Filippi’s efforts were rewarded with his first win of the season! Both he and Javier Villa drove superb races to bring home a 1-2 finish, and end the season on a real high note! It’s been a tough season, so it is great for the entire team to be rewarded third in the championship!”
Davide Rigon, 9th
Ricardo Teixeira, 21st
Trident Racing closed its 2009 GP2 Main Series season at Portimao, Algarve, with a 9th and 21st spot on Race 2. Davide Rigon was slowed by a technical problem at the start, as he ended lap 1 in 19th before cruising back to 9th.
In the closing stages, the Italian was the fastest man on track, confirming a top notch potential that could have definitely brought him to a points finish with a less troubled day.
Ricardo Teixeira was even less lucky. The Angolan driver suffered from brake issues in the formation lap, and was forced to come back to the pits. He took off with an one lap gap but brought the car to the end. Trident Racing won't stop working with the end of a long and tough GP2 Series season.
The team will be entering the first collective testing session of the 2009-2010 schedule at Jerez. The team will announce the names of the drivers taking part in the three days soon.
“I had a good start, but after moving to 1st and 2nd gear the engine stalled and I lost positions. This episode really conditioned my day because the car itself was really performing. I found myself in the closing pack but I recovered well. In the final stages, after moving on D'Ambrosio I lapped on some really consistent lap times, confirming the great potential we had today.”
"My chances to score a good result actually ended before the race, as a brake issue blocked my rear caliper, causing a fire principle. My mechanics did a true miracle, allowing me to take the track one lap after the start. I tried to push, but my racecar was unstable under braking, due to the earlier problems I assume. Since the gap was almost impossible to close, I decided not to take any risk."
Ocean Racing Technology
Ocean Racing Technology concludes debut season on a positive note, Parente 4th in Algarve.
Ocean Racing Technology concluded its debut season in the GP2 Main Series with a brilliant performance by Álvaro Parente, who was 17th at the start of the race and crossed the line in 4th.
Deprived of the point and 8th place, which would have secured him pole position for race two, following an accident in the first round, the Portuguese driver did the very best he could given the potential of his car on Sunday afternoon, but despite his brilliant run, Álvaro regrets not making it to the podium for the spectators in Portimão.
"I tried my very best to get onto the podium but I needed just a little more. I made up more than ten places and therefore it is an excellent result in itself, which is a nice reward for the team after the disappointment of the first race. The beginning of race was very chaotic but it went very well after that. I am a little disappointed not to give the team a more positive conclusion to the weekend but our first season in the championship has been extremely positive. We won a race and gained the respect of the other teams, which were already well established in the championship," observed Parente.
Meanwhile, team-mate Karun Chandhok regretted that he was unable to fight for a points scoring position. Starting from the bottom of the grid, the Indian driver finished Sunday's race in 13th place, a result which does not really reflect his true worth.
"It was a very difficult and very frustrating weekend during which we didn't really have much chance. It is not the first time this season, it was often a little necessary that luck was on our side so that we obtained a very good performance, but minor problems in qualifying can compromise your entire weekend. This is racing, but our results do not reflect our true potential and that hurts."
With a victory at Spa, recorded by Álvaro Parente, and several podiums, Ocean Racing Technology became one of the leading teams in the GP2 Main Series.
The team directed by Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes, built on the basis of the former BCN team, had to build itself up as quickly as possible.
However, it was always powerful and very often mixed in with the fight for victory. Several incidents which were out of their control compromised the performances of their drivers, but Álvaro Parente finished the championship in 8th place and the team was classified 9th just 2 points shy of 5th place.
In 2010, Ocean Racing Technology hopes to be able to make use of the experience of this first season to constantly fight with the top teams in the championship, which is the best feeder series for Formula 1.
ART Grand Prix
ART Grand Prix secured yet another victory in what has been an extremely competitive GP2 Main Series in 2009 with Nico Hülkenberg notching up his fifth win of the season in the final feature race of the year at the Portimao circuit on Saturday. This result saw the team secure the championship to top off an exceptional season for the French based squad.
Although Nico was disappointed to narrowly miss out on the final pole position of the season, the German racer stormed through when it counted in race one and finished on the top step of the rostrum.
Meanwhile, team-mate Pastor Maldonado, who qualified in eighth place, was soon up into P6 and fighting strongly for a top points finish, however he suffered brake problems in the second half of the first race and flat spotted his tyres. Things then became even worse for the Venezuelan driver and he lost several positions by the time the race came to a close.
In race two both drivers were points contenders when the safety car was called out after the Petrov/Herck accident. However, when it was time for the safety car to come in, it went slowly into the pits and the top six runners were trapped and had no choice but to overtake it before it made it into pit lane. As a result, all six were handed a drive through penalty ending any hope of a decent result.
I wasn't happy about not getting the final pole position of the season but I caught up in the race. I made a good start and stayed calm behind Petrov because I knew we were faster and that our time would come. I dove into the pit lane a little earlier than expected, it was short notice but it worked perfectly. The pit stop was top notch and I had a very good out lap. Once in command I pushed hard to open a gap. It was great to win the last feature race of the year and I have to thank ART Grand Prix for this because once again they gave me a great car.
We looked for a good set-up all weekend long. In qualifying, I came back into the pits to make two adjustments and the car behaviour was better with new tyres, but I was not entirely happy with it. The next adjustments did not go in the right direction: the grip was bad and I had some braking problems. I made a good start and I was 6th after my pit stop. I came out of the pits as fast as possible to try and get past Rodriguez but it made things worse as I locked the wheels and the problem became even worse with heavily used tyres.
It was a great weekend which sums up an exceptional season. ART Grand Prix is champion and Nico was fabulous in the first race, pushing hard when it was needed or being patient when it was better to do so. Pastor's tyres were destroyed in the second part of the race; up to this point, he had the potential to bring home a very good result. On Sunday, the race of the top 6 was ruined by a drive through penalty and it is a shame to end up the season on such a weird note.
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