Despite an early contact, Esteban reaches a point in Bahrain
After a difficult qualifying session, Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez finished 10th in the Feature race of the GP2 Series´ round 3, which took place at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Gutierrez started from 13th on the grid, but a contact at the start of the race damaged his front wing, making him fall down to place 21 and forcing him to make his mandatory pit stop earlier than planned.
“It was a difficult day because there was a lot of traffic in qualifying, and in a category as competitive as this is, a small problem can have a big effect on your performance, we knew we were not as bad as it looked but that obviously was not the result we were looking for.
“During the race we were trying to gain a few positions, from the start and with a good strategy, which was really working for us and we were happy with the balance of the car and with every other aspect really”, expressed the driver.
Team Lotus GP quickly replaced the damaged front wing and Esteban rejoined the race and started gaining positions to eventually finish 11th, however, the Mexican moved up one more place to finish 10th after DAMS driver Felipe Nasr was penalized for disobeying a yellow flag; he had finished 7th but fell down to 11th after the penalty.
“A contact on the first corner greatly affected us as I did five laps with the damaged wing and had to stop to change it, taking more time than usual, and with that I lost several places.
“We finished eleventh and I just learned that some drivers were penalized and that we are officially tenth, reaching the final point. In the end, this is not the way we want to earn points but at least we are still gaining points and that has a value to us”, he added.
Esteban remains third in the standings with 46 points. Davide Valsecchi won the race and is first with 97 points, followed by Luiz Razia, with 69.
“There are a few positives; I am happy with the balance of the car and the tire performance as compared to last weekend and that is something really good; maybe this day was far from ideal but I think we must have the ability to accept things and just move on because it is a long season”, he said.
Lotus GP driver will be looking to climb up the field during the Sprint race that is scheduled for this Saturday at the same circuit in Bahrain.
“Our objective is to reach the points, there is not much of a strategy, we basically have to start and finish the race, trying to do a good start and avoid contacts in the first corners.
“We have a good car to try and gain positions in the final laps, thus reaching the points paying zone”, he concluded.