A competitive weekend for Lotus ART in Germany
With another podium for Bianchi
Lotus ART obtained its 4th podium of the GP2 Series season this weekend on the Nürburgring circuit, thanks to Jules Bianchi’s 2nd place finish in the calendar’s second German race.
The French driver drove most of the race despite changing, tricky track conditions that required a mid-race tyre change. Jules lost control in the final corner of the penultimate lap, when one of his wheels hit a wet patch. The previous day, Jules Bianchi had crossed the finish line in 4th position.
Esteban Gutierrez started the first race from the 4th row and was looking forward to fight for a point finish. Unfortunately, he got penalized for an unsafe pit release which cost him time and positions.
On Sunday, Esteban did an amazing job and stormed from the 12th spot of the grid to fifth place. He completed 12 laps on a wet Nurburgring and was one of the first driver to react to a drying track following a damp start and, having pitted for slick tyres he overtook Grosjean thanks to a great team effort during the pit stop. A podium was on the card as Esteban had moved up from 12th to 2nd but he lost a wheel two laps after leaving the pits.
“We had some ups and downs but we can’t complain. We secured 10 points and I gained two positions in the championship. Obviously, I would have liked to win the second race after such a strong Sunday, but I guess it was not my day as the slightest mistake and the only one I made cost me dearly. I locked the rear coming into the chicane and slid a bit, Romain got past me with 6km to go. Filippi hit me in the next corner and I’m lucky the car was not badly damaged. All in all, it is a good weekend, we secured some good points and we have to keep this trend to finish the season on a high.”
“Being consistent in these difficult conditions was very hard. Had I put everything together in qualifying I would have secured the 4th fastest lap time. But I did not, and the race was a bit more difficult than it should have been. I wanted to be conservative in the first race because a contact at the start would have ruined the whole weekend. I had a good start but we made a slight mistake during the pit stop and I got penalized for a risky release during my pit stop. I lost many positions as a consequence and could not do better than 13th. I had a great start on Sunday and was already 5th at the end of the first lap. I kept pushing hard and was in 3rd when we decided to switch to slick tyres. I’m not sure what happened but I lost a rear wheel after a lap and a half, and that was the end of my weekend. The team is doing a great job and I can feel I’m making progress. We have to keep working hard and have clean and smart qualifying sessions and races in Hungary.”
“Jules dominated over 56 of the 57 race laps on the Nürburgring. An error often goes unnoticed in such a complex championship and this one must remain anecdotal with regard to the level of competitiveness demonstrated by Lotus ART. Esteban surprised everyone by being the fastest in the second race. We still don’t know why he lost a wheel. Something, maybe a bit of rubber, probably slipped between the hub carrier when changing the tyres because the nut was on tight and the wheel didn’t come off until after some ten kilometers. Overall, it was a good weekend for Lotus ART, who secured 33 points in the last 6 races, which is the 2nd best total, and just 3 points off Dams. We will have to turn it up in Hungary.”
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