GP2: Nico on pole again
Rosberg nails third straight GP2 pole

Nico Rosberg obliterated the competition in qualifying at the Hungaroring, finishing one second ahead of second placed driver Neel Jani and another two tenths in front of Heikki Kovalainen at the conclusion of the session.

Rosberg set a time of 1:31.459 just four minutes into the session, and no one was able to come close, allowing the German to run just four laps in the half hour and handing him the advantage of an extra set of new tyres for tomorrow’s race.

With track temperatures reaching fifty degrees at the Budapest track, tempers were reaching boiling point in the pitlane, after a number of drivers had off track excursions.

Mathias Lauda, Sergio Hernandez, and Nelson Piquet all spun in the first half of the session, while Adam Carroll beached himself in the gravel, Ferdinando Monfardini found the wall just next to Carroll, and Piquet spun on his second hot lap but managed to hold his car off the wall in the second half.

Jani’s fastest lap came with seven minutes to go, with the Swiss driver giving his all to put his car on the front row for tomorrow’s race, a tremendous fillip for his Racing Engineering team after a lot of bad luck in recent races.

Three minutes from the end of the session new driver Giorgio Mondini coasted to a halt and stopped him from pushing off the bottom of the timesheets, 4.5 seconds off Rosberg’s pace.

The first eleven drivers were split by just two seconds, but with a one second gap between first and second Rosberg will have a clear advantage for race one – on a scorching day his speed was just too hot for the rest of the grid.

Nico Rosberg – ART Grand Prix (P1) 1:31.459
“This morning I have to say that my car was so good, and then, with so much grip on the track, it was incredible. It can change a lot between sessions, and a car which is maybe quick on a dirty track is not always quick on a cleaner track. This morning I had a good car but it was nothing special. But this afternoon my lap was like I was going into war with my car. I mean war in a positive sense – I just wrung its neck and gave it everything!”

Neel Jani – Racing Engineering (P2) +0.998
“I have to say this was always the place we belonged – well, one position more, actually! I think we have found something now which brought us quite a bit forward, and it seems to be working, slowly. It’s still not perfect, but it’s not bad now, and I’m very happy that we are the first of the second group. But there are still nine tenths between me and pole position, and that’s quite a lot – if you go from me backwards for one second there are a lot of cars.”

Heikki Kovalainen – Arden International (P1) +1.193
“That was one of the best qualifying sessions of the year, to be honest. Obviously the gap to pole is big, but I could probably have had second place. On my first lap there was a yellow flag on the second sector so I didn’t get to set my time until my second lap on my first set, so there was maybe a couple of tenths or so there. But the car felt really good, and I think we did a pretty good job to get the car well balanced, and we should be okay tomorrow for the race.”

Qualifying Results
Position Driver Team Gap Laps Best Time
1 N. Rosberg ART - 4 01'31"459
2 N. Jani Racing Eng. 00'00"998 10 01'32"457
3 H. Kovalainen Arden 00'01"193 11 01'32"652
4 G. Pantano Super Nova 00'01"207 13 01'32"666
5 S. Speed iSport 00'01"248 10 01'32"707
6 A. Premat ART 00'01"449 8 01'32"908
7 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 00'01"546 11 01'33"005
8 E. Viso BCN Comp. 00'01"643 13 01'33"102
9 G. Bruni Coloni 00'01"660 11 01'33"119
10 O. Pla DPR 00'01"713 10 01'33"172
11 N. Lapierre Arden 00'01"900 12 01'33"359
12 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 00'02"143 9 01'33"602
13 J. Alvarez Campos Racing 00'02"173 9 01'33"632
14 C. Piccione Durango 00'02"175 12 01'33"634
15 F. Monfardini Durango 00'02"369 8 01'33"828
16 S. Hernandez Campos Racing 00'02"672 13 01'34"131
17 J. Lopez DAMS 00'02"733 12 01'34"192
18 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 00'02"797 10 01'34"256
19 F. Fauzy DAMS 00'03"149 11 01'34"608
20 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet 00'03"226 11 01'34"685
21 A. Carroll Super Nova 00'03"570 4 01'35"029
22 C. Artam iSport 00'03"664 12 01'35"123
23 M. Lauda Coloni 00'03"727 12 01'35"186
24 G. Mondini DPR 00'04"457 9 01'35"916

GP2 Press Release

Written: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 18:00:30

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