Race 1Trident Racing took home a 16th and a 19th place finishes at the end of Race 1 of the GP2 Series exhibition weekend at Abu Dhabi. It hasn't been a lucky day, as Stéphane Richelmi took off on lap later than the pack due to an overheating problem.
Julian Leal drove a pretty solid race, as he completed the whole distance in a trouble-free manner. In the closing part of his run he suffered from an excessive tire wear, but in the early stages he clocked some pretty fast laptimes too. Following to today's results, Leal will take-off from the 8th row of tomorrow's starting grid while Richelmi will start from the 19th spot.
The closing race of the weekend will go underway at 13:30 local time (10:30 Central Europe Time) with live coverage in Italy on RAISPORT UNO.
Julian Leal, 16.
“My start hasn't been one of the best possible but in the first few laps I managed to get several spots back. I hoped to fight for a place in the top-10 but our strategy with an early pit-stop didn't prove efficient like I expected. In the closing part of the race my tires got worn out really bad and a lost a lot of spots in the closing laps."
Stéphane Richelmi, 19.
“My race has been conditioned by an issue we had while I was lining-up on the starting grid. At the start of the pit-lane there was a stopped car and we ended up in queue. I held onto the clutch for some seconds and as it got overheated, I couldn't get back going. I went back on-track while the race was underway and one lap back already, so there were zero chances for a points spot. It's a pity because I expected my race pace to be quite good and I believe I could have aimed at something better."
Race 2The final round of the 2011 GP2 Series was completed at the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi with the running of race 2 of the non-points event set in the Emirates. Race 2 also marked the end of a really demanding and eventful season for all teams and drivers.
Trident Racing ended up with Stéphane Richelmi in 18th place, as the Frenchman was unvolountarily slowed down at the start,while Julian Leal, who was penalized with a drive-through penalty, lapped on some fairly fast and consistent laptimes as he showed great progress over the weekend.
After completing the closing event of the season at Abu-Dhabi, Trident Racing will start a busy offseason. While engines will be shut down, the team will put the foundations for a successful 2012.
Stéphane Richelmi (18th)
“The first lap of my race has been seriously hit by bad luck because I was pushed by another car onto the runoff area and passed by 5 opponents. I found myself dead last but thanks to a good overall pace I managed to fight my way back up the charts. Passing has been really difficult because I was following several other cars which were really close, and all of them benefitted from the slipstream effect. I think I collected some really positive indications over the weekend, and it'll be an useful experience for 2012."
Julian Leal (21st)
“I'm quite sorry for having been penalized for ignoring the yellow flag. I saw them out, but I was behind several cars and I had others behind and everybody was at the same speed. Honestly I didn't see anything potentially dangerous. The most positive thing for me has been the race pace, which proved fast and consistent as I kept merging with the car and it all improved further over the weekend".