Tag Archives: Lotus GP

GP3

Aaro Vainio quickest in opening GP3 practice in Budapest…

Finland’s Aaro Vainio started his weekend in the best possible style by topping the timesheets for practice with a laptime of 1.37.396 which was nearly half a second faster than Antonio Felix Da Costa and Conor Daly.
 
Following last weekend’s race weekend in Hockenheim, the GP3 Series circus moves swiftly to Budapest in Hungary for Round 6. The Hungaroring area is known for its hot and humid climate and today was no exception with the free practice getting underway in high temperatures of 30 degrees.
 
Ocean Racing Technology’s Robert Cregan and Carmen Jorda were first out on the circuit which is famous for its twisty turns. In the first ten minutes of the session, Kevin Ceccon was leading the way ahead of Alice Powell. On his first lap, MW Arden’s Mitch Evans shot to P1 after 15 minutes had been completed with teammate Matias Laine and Lotus GP’s Daniel Abt close in pursuit.
 
Carlin’s Felix Da Costa then went quickest with Vainio jumping to P2. The Lotus GP driver became the first driver to break into the 1:37s barrier and displace the Portuguese driver at the top of the standings by nearly half a second. Status Grand Prix’s Marlon Stockinger was also on the move into P4 to knock down Evans to P5 whilst Vainio further enhanced his position at the top by improving on his best lap.
 
Vainio finished on top ahead of Felix Da Costa, Daly and Stockinger. William Buller rose to P5 in the final minute of the session, ahead of Evans, Abt, Tio Ellinas, Tamas Pal Kiss and Robert Visoiu. The Romanian driver from Jenzer spun off at the final corner of practice which brought out the yellow flags as many drivers were trying to set purple sectors to move up the field.

F1Weekly podcast # 577

F1weekly podcast number 577

This weeks interview: Luis Sa Silva

Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio takes first GP3 win in Monte Carlo

After securing pole yesterday, Finnish ace Aaro Vainio went one step better by winning the prestigious Monaco race, the first in the history of the GP3 Series. It was a debut career win in the Series for the Lotus GP driver to make a perfect start to the weekend.

With so much anticipation before the race, 26 eager drivers got their first wheel to wheel action around the famous street circuit as the race got underway in hot and sunny conditions. Vainio made the start and defended P1 but it was Atech CRS GP’s Tamas Pal Kiss who got the better of Ocean Racing Technology’s Kevin Ceccon and snuck into P2 before the first corner.

Conor Daly who had started from P8 on the grid was deemed to have made a jump start and later suffered a drive through penalty. However, after initially moving away at the start, he was unable to getaway and yellow flags were waved as miraculously all the drivers behind the American managed to avoid his Lotus GP car.

After the first lap, the Finn had already built up a 1.170s advantage over Pal Kiss and maintained his pace. With Monaco notorious as a circuit extremely hard to overtake, there were battles throughout the field, which were very intense. David Fumanelli got the jump over his MW Arden team mate Mitch Evans at the start to go P4 and then had to hold off a very determined New Zealander for the remainder of the race. There was also a titanic tussle for P6 between Daniel Abt and Antonio Felix Da Costa (Carlin), with the Portuguese star crawling all over the back of the Lotus GP star in an attempt to find a place to out-manouerve the German.

Ethan Ringel made contact with the barrier at the exit of Sainte Devote, which brought an abrupt end to his race, his Atech CRS GP was cleared under yellow flags. Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Vainio edged out his lead over his Hungarian rival and was over three seconds ahead. Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) and Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) got into a dogfight that was too last until the chequered flag for P8, as did Alex Brundle who was defending the last points position in the top ten from Alice Powell (Status Grand Prix) and his Carlin team mate William Buller who started 15th after an imposed grid penalty from Round 1 in Barcelona.

Pal Kiss continued to try and claw back the advantage Vainio had built up and the duo pulled out a near 8 second margin over Ceccon in P3. The Finn was not going to surrender his lead and produced a lights to flag victory in Monaco to charge to the top of the Drivers Standings. Pal Kiss took P2 and Ceccon produced his best result of his GP3 career with a rostrum finish. Fumanelli maintained P4 to beat his team mate Evans home, ahead of Abt, Felix Da Costa, Stockinger, Ellinas and Brundle.

Vainio now has an 18 point lead over Evans in the Standings with Daly third. Reverse pole for Race 2 goes to Marlon Stockinger and the race will take place tomorrow – Saturday at 17.55 CET.

Cecotto powers to Monaco victory

Venezuelan on top of the world after feature win

Johnny Cecotto dominated his rivals with a seasoned performance to lead from lights to flag and claim a historic victory in this morning’s feature race in Monaco, looking untroubled by Marcus Ericsson and Giedo van der Garde as he claimed his first ever GP2 podium finish on the top step in the fabled principality.

The victory was set up when the lights went out: the Venezuelan made a strong start while fellow front row starter Max Chilton was slow off the line, handing Cecotto an easy run to Ste Devote. Ericsson squeezed by the Englishman for P2, while van der Garde had an open line around the outside to follow the Swede up the hill ahead of Chilton, Luiz Razia, Jolyon Palmer, Davide Valsecchi and Esteban Gutiérrez.

With the tight, twisty street circuit famously difficult to overtake on, the field held station while their teams weighed up pit stop strategies, but the front pair were soon swapping fastest laps as they pulled away together from their rivals. James Calado pitted on lap 11 from P14 to try and leap frog a few cars ahead of him, but the leaders took a much more conservative approach.

Ericsson and van der Garde finally pitted on lap 22, with Cecotto in a lap later: the Venezuelan edged back out ahead of the Swede, and the pair resumed their individual battle for victory, with series leader Valsecchi holding on for 2 more laps to push up to fourth place and clear air as he set the pace in an attempt to claim even more points.

Gutiérrez and Razia had lost out in the pitlane battle and were running 8th and 9th on the road as the race wound down, but they were soon in for more bad luck as they were lapping a backmarker: the Mexican ran too deep at the chicane and bounced over the kerbs and into the wall, breaking his front wing and leaving debris on the track which punctured the Brazilian’s right rear. The pair were straight into the pits and out of the points for the day.

But out in front Cecotto held on against race long pressure from Ericsson to claim his first win in an echo of countryman (and 2010 GP2 Champion) Pastor Maldonado’s fabled Monaco history, while van der Garde crossed the line 5 seconds later to close out the podium.

Valsecchi kept his point score ticking over with a fourth place finish just ahead of Chilton, with Palmer in sixth, Calado taking advantage of a sharp pitstop for seventh while local driver Stéphane Richelmi put himself on pole for tomorrow’s sprint race, with Nathanaël Berthon ninth and Stefano Coletti unable to use his pace for anything more than tenth place and the bonus for fastest lap.

Valsecchi maintains his lead in the series with 141 points, edging away from Razia on 104, while Calado and van der Garde move up to 75 ahead of Chilton on 67 and Gutierrez on 59 points, but all eyes in Monaco were on Johnny Cecotto, who claimed the biggest result of his career with victory in his former home town.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/05-24-12f1weekly577.mp3]

Motorsports Mondial

 

Esteban in Bahrain for Races 3 and 4 of the 2012 GP2 Series

Sakhir, Bahrain – After almost one month without activity after the start of the 2012 GP2 Series season, Esteban Gutierrez is getting ready for races three and four which are taking place this weekend at the 5.142km long Bahrain International Circuit. 

During this time, Esteban and French team Lotus GP analyzed the different data that they will use to meet their goal, which is earning points on each one of the races they take part in.

“We really did not have much activity in GP2, but we were in touch with the team and analyzed all the data we have from Malaysia, something that will be very helpful for the upcoming events.

“I spent a few days with my family and then I attended the Grand Prix of Shanghai with the Formula One team, and now we´re already here (in Bahrain), looking forward to continue working”, expressed the mexican driver.

Even though there are guidelines to follow this weekend, the driver and his team are very motivated after their performance on the start of the F1 feeder series season, where he finished seventh and second in Malaysia.

“We really don’t have a specific strategy. Just going race by race it is important to have a projection of the car setup for each specific track, as we do not have enough practice time to test many things.

“Our confidence is well balanced, we are not over-motivated, but we started off on the right foot, adding up some points, and that is how we want to continue; we are looking ahead to retain the feeling and continue working”, he remarked.

Last year Gutierrez was to race at the Bahrain International Circuit, but the race was suspended, making this the Mexican´s first time on this track.

“Unfortunately we could not race here last year, I only managed to walk around the track and I think it looks incredible. Now we´re back and I hope I will be able to get to know the track from inside the car this time.

“This is a very technical circuit, especially on one of the corners where the braking is most important because you can damage your tires, that is something that we have to look after this weekend”, said Gutierrez.