Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) won both races in the fifth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the Nurburgring, claiming maximum points this weekend on Bridgestones soft specification racing slick and wet tyre respectively.
With cool weather experienced throughout the weekend, the wear rates and levels of degradation were low, making the tyres generally easier to manage for the drivers. However, warming up the tyres and maximising
their performance was the main challenge in race one. For race two, Bridgestones wet specification tyre made its debut appearance this season in the main GP2 Series.
In Saturdays 35 lap feature race, Germanys home grown talent and pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg led from start to finish, with a faultless race strategy, also taking the point for quickest lap. Pit stop timings proved greatly influential on the race results, with drivers pitting near mid-race optimising their tyre performance and getting the most out of the soft compound. Roldan Rodriguez (Piquet GP) finished second, with Andreas Zuber (FMSI) taking third.
Sundays action packed 24 lap sprint race in wet conditions gave Hulkenberg the opportunity to win from eighth place on the reversed grid. The majority of drivers were on the wet tyre for the full duration of the race, which proved the best option for the track conditions. Alvaro Parente of Ocean Racing Technology secured his first podium finish of the season by fighting hard for second place. Kamui Kobayashi (DAMS) took third, this also being his first podium position of the main series this year. Hulkenberg finished his
weekend with an extra point for fastest lap.
Hulkenberg now leads the drivers championship on 46 points. Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team) is on 42 with team-mate Vitaly Petrov in third with 41. Barwa Addax Team leads the teams championship with 83 points from ART Grand Prix on 72. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 26. The sixth round of the GP2 Series will be held at the Hungaroring on July 24-26.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
The performance of the soft and wet weather tyres this weekend in GP2 has been very good. In race one, the drivers that changed tyres earlier experienced some degradation at the end of the race. However, for those who pitted after fifteen laps, the tyres lasted extremely well and the advantages were evident,
particularly for race winner Nico Hulkenberg. With cool conditions during the weekend some drivers noticed a long warm-up with the soft slicks, but overall we are very happy with the performance of both the Bridgestone specification tyres used here. Congratulations to Nico for his outstanding race results.