Lotus News Article

GP3 - Hungaroring Race Report

Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 19:45
Lotus GP posted pole position and a podium finish at the Hungaroring, maintaining their lead in the teams’ championship.

GP3, Hungary 2012, Daniel Abt, PodiumLotus GP posted pole position and a podium finish at the Hungaroring, maintaining their lead in the teams’ championship.

Aaro Vainio secured pole position for Race 1 but made a terrible start, while championship rival Mitch Evans pulled off a blinder and left the Finn weaving on the grass in an attempt to defend. Then Evans went wide at Turn 1, allowing Vainio back through along with team-mate Daniel Abt and they set off to chase leader Antonio Felix Da Costa. Evans recovered to re-pass both Lotuses at Turn 3, but then Abt lunged down the inside to retake second place a few corners later and maintained that position till the end. Vainio dropped a position to Kevin Ceccon on Lap 2. The third Lotus driver, Conor Daly, finished behind Vainio in sixth.

Sunday morning saw a damp and drying track for Race 2’s start. Most of the cars started on wets, but nine of those towards the rear of the field took a slick-tyre gamble right from the off. Abt clipped Evans at the start, spinning the MW Arden driver. With three laps to go, Vainio passed Daly for second around the outside of Turn 1. As the race entered its closing laps, the slick-shod cars were lapping over 10 seconds per lap faster than those on wets, and Da Costa was the first of the slick runners on track. He carved his way past Abt, Daly and Vainio as the Lotuses fell back. A post race penalty for Tamas Pal Kiss means Vainio clawed back seventh place and is now 17 points behind Evans in the championship. Daly finished ninth and Abt 11th.

Daniel Abt: “I also had a second place in Hockenheim but that one felt really, really bad. I was quite comfortable from the beginning but I was a bit unhappy with my qualifying, but like always I was able to make a good start. For sure I was not able to stay with Antonio but it's a difficult track with the low downforce, so you need a lot of confidence to push. But I kept it safe and I was able to keep Mitch behind. It started in the first corner because I was able to overtake him. Then he made a great move to overtake me in the second corner, it was on the outside and I was quite surprised to see him there. I knew I had to get him back and I did, so I think it was some kind of revenge for Hockenheim after he stole my home win! So in the end I am quite happy. Honestly, I had really high expectations coming into this Series this year in myself. There has been some races which haven't really gone to plan, especially in qualifying I need to improve. In the last few races I have been able to take some good points and close the gap to Vainio in the championship. I would like to close the gap with Mitch, I know it's quite a big margin but I am going to try everything. I can just give my best and try not to make any mistakes.”