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May 28, 2014 - 05:46 PM
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Hilmer Motorsport Still Out Of Luck In Monte Carlo
Posted by: newsla on May 28, 2014 - 05:45 PM
GP2 News
Hilmer Motorsport Still Out Of Luck In Monte Carlo


The GP2 team of Hilmer Motorsport was in action in the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend for the fifth and sixth round of GP2 Series. The weekend started off very promising for the team from Bavaria when Daniel Abt was temporary on Pole Position during the qualifying. Unfortunately, the German driver had to stop at the technical scrutineers and has lost valuable time in the fight for the best grid position. At the end, Abt was struggling with traffic on track and therefore couldn’t set another quick lap time, so he qualified up in fourth position of his group. As the qualifying in Monaco was split into two groups because of the short track length, Abt ended up in seventh position overall. After the qualifying the stewards penalized Abt with a drop of three positions on the grid because of impeding another car, which meant tenth starting position in the feature race. From the team’s and the driver’s point of view you can be of different opinions about this penalty. Facu Regalia was out on track in the second group and improved himself lap by lap. The young Argentinian, who has never raced in Monte Carlo before qualified tenth but was handed a penalty too and started on Friday from 23rd place.

 

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One small mistake, even if it’s a mistake of a competitor, can mean the end in Monaco. This is what happened to Daniel Abt in the feature race on Friday. Abt got off to a good start and was in ninth position for many laps until Alexander Rossi tried to overtake him in the Loews hairpin curve. Rossi’s overtaking attempt was unsuccessful and Abt ended up in the tyre barrier. He was involved in a collision because of the fault of another driver yet again and Abt’s race ended prematurely. Facu Regalia caused one of many safety car periods when he had to stop the car after the tunnel on the first lap. Regalia was too fast before the next chicane and had to brake hard. Thereby he blocked his wheels and stalled his engine. In the course of the race the safety car was on track further times and the race had to be stopped for over half an hour after a collision of many cars in the Loews hairpin curve.


According to the regulations the starting grid for the sprint race results from the classification of the feature race, which was very disappointing after the circumstances on Friday. Overtaking in Monaco is almost impossible and with the starting positions 23 and 26 for Daniel Abt and Facu Regalia in the sprint race, it was very difficult for both drivers to have a good race result. Daniel Abt climbed up on 17th place, but was in traffic until the end of the race. His team mate Facu Regalia showed his best race performance so far and was one of the fastest drivers in the field. He set constant and very good lap times and had a race without mistakes.

Franz Hilmer, Team Principal:
“The round in Monte Carlo was and always will be a very special event. As we have seen, you are not allowed to make a mistake, otherwise you will end up in the barriers and the race is over. Unfortunately, Daniel had to learn this the hard way when Alexander Rossi, who is a Formula 1 Junior Driver, tried to overtake him where it is absolutely impossible to overtake. The Loews hairpin curve is the tightest corner on the race calendar and every driver knows that due to the limited steering wheel angle of a GP2 car you cannot approach this curve from the inside line. Apparently Alexander Rossi didn’t know this unfortunately. It's enough to drive one to despair to see that Daniel was yet again involved in a collision that was absolutely not his fault. Rossi destroyed Daniel’s and the team’s whole weekend after not even ten minutes. He got a drive through penalty but this didn’t help us. At this time, Daniel was in a promising ninth position and he was fighting with the drivers straight in front of him, what could have been a possible Pole Position on Saturday in regards to the inversed grid for the Top 8 cars of the feature race. But Daniel’s race ended on the eleventh lap and he had to start from 23rd position into the sprint race. From the back of the grid he had small chances to score points. Facu Regalia had to learn the hard way again after his driving mistake on Friday and had to start from the back on Saturday also. In the race he showed a very good pace and was the quickest driver on track. Facu has set constant quick lap times and it is a shame that he had to start from the end of the field. It would have been possible for him to score his first points on this weekend. We would like to press the reset button now and to start from at the next race at the Red Bull Ring. The first three race weekends didn’t go as we expected after the successful pre-season test days. Everybody in the team will keep on working hard and we are sure that a little bit of luck will come back to us and that we will have a good result soon.”

Daniel Abt, Driver #11:
“The weekend started off quite promising with the seventh position in qualifying even if I was not very happy about it because there was more potential in the car and in myself. In the first race I had a good start but I was stuck in traffic. I wanted to wait until the pit stops in order to make up some places with the help of our strategy. But unfortunately, another driver couldn’t wait and took me out of the race. My weekend ended again because of the fault of a competitor. We didn’t have a good start into the season so far but we have everything we need to be in the front of the field. Motor racing sometimes is like that but we will not lose the faith and we will fight back at the Red Bull Ring!”

Facu Regalia, Driver #12:
“In general, it was again a really difficult weekend for me and I had a problem on Friday so I couldn’t complete a lap in the race. But on Saturday, starting from last position, we showed our potential by being the fastest car on track most of the time. So I am quite happy about that. We have to keep this level and hopefully we won’t have any problems again and then we are able to fight for top positions. I hope that the penny has dropped and that we can score points in Austria.”

Results GP2 Monaco

Practice
#11 Daniel Abt Position 12
#12 Facu Regalia Position 21

Qualifying
#11 Daniel Abt Position 7
#12 Facu Regalia Position 20

Feature Race
#11 Daniel Abt DNF
#12 Facu Regalia DNF

Sprint Race
#11 Daniel Abt Position 17
#12 Facu Regalia Position 21

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