In a generally spectacular Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit today, Timo Glock achieved 14th position after a strong drive from P21 on the grid. Charles Pic fell back at the start and after 41 laps had to abandons with an engine failure.
Timo fought hard throughout the 55 lap race, contending with a damaged front wing for the first stint after contact on the opening lap. At the pitstop, where he switched from the Pirelli PZero Soft tyre to the Medium, the pit crew were able to ‘correct’ the aero balance with a wing flap adjustment and he fought back in the second stint.
The start did not pan out as Charles Pic had hoped, having lined up on the grid in 19th place. He traded places with Timo, who shot ahead to take up position between the two Caterhams where Charles had been sitting before dropping behind Petrov. He too drove a hard race, on a couple of occasions demonstrating his speed with flashes of purple in the S1 speed trap. On lap 41 Charles was forced to retire with an engine problem, bringing an otherwise very positive weekend to a frustrating conclusion.
We leave Abu Dhabi for the two final rounds in The Americas still holding station at P10 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Timo Glock, #24:
“After a difficult qualifying yesterday, today went much better for us and we had good pace in the race. Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Charles and clipped the back of his car, which lost me a bit of aero performance in the opening stint. I tried to stay with Heikki but he was a bit quicker in S1 because of the understeer I was suffering with, but at least I could open up the gap to Petrov behind me and keep him there for the whole race. We had a mega pitstop and very good top speed compared to the others; we had some of the midfield guys behind for a while and although they were able to get past, we were able to have a brief race with them. A nice fight at the end with Sergio Perez on the last lap and even with the DRS they couldn’t get by. A good end to the weekend and we look forward to the next two races now.”
Charles Pic, #25:
“It was a very tough but exciting race today. The opening lap was very challenging as I was fighting with Timo and the Caterhams, so there was a lot going on in the first few corners. Unfortunately I ended up going wide and dropping back behind them. From that point onwards though, I was in a good battle with Vitaly and I came close to overtaking him on several occasions. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite meet the challenge of his KERS advantage. Our pitstop was not quite perfect, which is a shame as a slick stop could have helped us to jump him. Overall I am pleased that I could enjoy a good battle with one of the Caterhams; it’s just unfortunate that we had to retire because of the engine problem. Generally I have to say it has been a very positive weekend, so we focus on that and look forward to the next two races at two brand new tracks for me - the next one new for everyone of course, which will be very exciting I think.”
John Booth, Team Principal:
“A nail-biting race pretty much from start to finish, although it was in the final 10 laps that we really felt the pressure. We could do little about the retirements ahead of us, so we had to simply concentrate on our own very hard-fought race with Caterham. To see Timo pulling away from Petrov, and Charles pushing him hard, gives us further encouragement for the remaining two races. It was disappointing that Timo lost his left-hand front wing end-plate on the opening lap, as I really feel we could have been much closer to Heikki had this not been the case. Our S1 performance has been good all weekend and clearly the loss of this part hurt us there and allowed Heikki to build the gap. The engineers were in quite a dilemma as to whether to change the wing, but ultimately the loss of track position that the longer pitstop would have brought meant that we just had to rely on Timo to manage the problem, which of course he did beautifully. For Charles, again an unfortunate retirement due to an engine air system problem. We are sorry he has borne the brunt of these failures this year, however the engine we will fit for the remaining two races has not shown any signs of these problems. Today has reminded us that P10 is far from ‘a given’ - we have to keep fighting to keep it. However, all the way through the weekend we have shown just how hard we are fighting and given the very small pace difference that exists between us and Caterham now, I’m sure we can enjoy some great racing right up until the end of the season.”