Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) and Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) both claimed victories in the seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at Valencias street circuit, on Bridgestones soft compound racing slick.
Despite GP2 experiencing its highest track temperatures of the season so far, the soft compound performed well at the Spanish track with levels of rear tyre degradation lower than expected.
In Saturdays 31 lap feature race, Russian driver Petrov won ahead of Hulkenberg after the German ran wide on the second corner of the first lap which allowed Petrov to dominate the race. Hulkenberg had started from pole position and fought hard but was unable to pass the Barwa Addax car, finishing second. Sergio Perez (Telmex Arden International) was third which marks his first ever podium finish in the GP2 main series. Hulkenberg also took the point for fastest lap.
Sundays 23 lap sprint race required the safety car to be deployed three times, and there were ten retirements as a result of various incidents. The podium featured the same three drivers as in race one just placed in a different order, with Hulkenberg first, Perez second and Petrov third. Hulkenberg once again set the quickest lap, making his final points tally for the weekend 18.
Hulkenberg has now extended his lead in the drivers championship, with 75 points. Petrov is in second place on 55. Although Romain Grosjean moved to the ING Renault F1 Team for this weekend he is still ranked in the GP2 standings, third on 45 points. ART Grand Prix is at the top of the teams championship table with 106 points from Barwa Addax Team on 100. Super Nova Racing is in third position with 44.
The eighth round of the GP2 Series will be held in Spa Francorchamps on 28-30 August, with Bridgestones soft compound GP2 tyre making its fourth appearance of the season.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
Bridgestones soft compound GP2 tyre has performed well in Valencia. The appearance of the tyres has been good and the rear degradation reasonable considering the high track and ambient temperatures. The GP2 teams have dealt with the degradation well and knew what to expect from this circuit in terms of the overall demands on the tyres, with GP2 having visited this venue last year. Vitaly Petrov worked hard in the feature race to hold his position at the front and benefited from good tyre management and a well timed pit stop. Sundays race was eventful but Nico Hulkenberg showed he can consistently finish in the points.