Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report
Lucas di Grassi (Campos) and Sebastien Buemi (Trust Team Arden) both took race wins in the seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the tight and twisty Hungaroring race circuit near Budapest in Hungary.
Brazilian driver di Grassi took his first GP2 win of the season in Saturday’s feature race having started from third. Buemi, taking his second sprint race victory of the year, has moved up to fifth in the drivers’ standings.
Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza GP2 racing slick was used over the race weekend, performing consistently and to expectations. The layout of the Hungaroring circuit makes overtaking difficult and competitors also had to deal with a track surface which improves rapidly over the weekend.
In the dry and hot conditions of Saturday’s 42 lap feature race, di Grassi took the lead on the first lap with pole sitter Romain Grosjean (ART Grand Prix) having to pit in the opening stages due to a puncture. Pastor Maldonado (Piquet Sports) had to fight his way up from the back of the grid to finish fifth after starting on fresh tyres, as he did not take part in qualifying, and pitting just seven laps from the end. Andreas Zuber (Piquet Sports) finished second, the same position in which he started, with Bruno Senna (iSport) completing the podium line-up. Maldonado took the point for fastest lap.
Sunday’s 28 lap sprint race saw Andy Soucek (Super Nova) starting from the front and holding the lead until lap 13 when Buemi, having started in second, overtook the Spaniard to finish 7.9 seconds ahead. Senna crossed the line in third for more valuable championship points with di Grassi setting the quickest lap.
Leaving Hungary, Giorgio Pantano (Racing Engineering) leads the drivers’ championship on 65 points with Senna now having closed the gap on 58. Di Grassi is third on 39 points. iSport International leads the teams’ championship with 89 points from Racing Engineering on 71. BARWA International Campos are in third place on 60. The next round of the GP2 Series will be held on the new street course in Valencia where Bridgestone’s medium compound will be used.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“Bridgestone’s GP2 tyre showed good wear, temperature and minimal degradation in both GP2 races this weekend. We are satisfied with our tyre’s performance but as always the Bridgestone engineers will look at the data from this year to make a decision on next year’s specification. For the feature race, congratulations to Lucas di Grassi for his first win of the season, it was an exciting race with the middle group of competitors showing close lap times. Sebastien Buemi drove well in the second race in which the tyre performance was very consistent.”