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Race Report

2012 Formel 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland

Circuit: Hockenheim (D), Length 4,574 km, 21st / 22nd July 2012, Rounds 9 & 10

Robert Visoiu (ROM) and Patric Niederhauser (CH)

Niederhauser wins at Hockenheim

The GP3 Series met up again at the popular Hockenheimring Circuit, racing as one of the support races for the Formel 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland. This was their fifth outing supporting the 2012 Grand Prix Programme.


Race One Qualifying

Saturday, 21/07/12, 09.45 – 10.15, Weather: Cloudy, 17°C

The free practice session on Friday was run on a completely damp track, but this morning it was entirely dry. Our boys were 6th and 9th on their first set of tyres, and after the rest of the field completed their tyre changes, the chase for pole was back on. Patric managed to secure 8th place and so finished the session in the top ten, but Robert couldn’t improve his lap time on his second set of tyres and dropped down the order to 15th place. The time differences were minimal though and 15 drivers were within 1.1 seconds of pole at the end of the session. Afterwards Vainio and Stockinger were both subject to penalties they had received as a result of the last races at Silverstone, and that meant that Patric moved up to 7th and Robert was promoted to 13th on the grid for race one.


Race One Grid
1st Daniel Abt (D) Lotus GP 1:31.961
2nd Mitch Evans (NZ) MW Arden 1:32.191
3rd Conor Daly (USA) Lotus GP 1:32.267
6th Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 1:32.689
12th Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport 1:33.133


GP3 Series

Race One (30 Minutes)

Saturday, 21/07/12, 17.20, Weather: Rain, 19°C

As the GP3 field got ready on the starting grid, the heavens opened and a drastic downpour was unleashed. The race started behind the Safety Car, but was aborted after only one lap. Anyone who hadn’t previously changed to rain tyres did so now, and the race finally started 15 minutes later, again behind the Safety Car. Patric was 3rd and Robert 6th but shortly afterwards Robert and Brundle were handed Drive-Through Penalties because their tyre changes were not complete before the three minute warning was given for the original start. They both came in during the Safety Car period, which meant they found themselves at the back of the pack. Patric was 2nd behind Daly after the second start, but after the Safety Car came in he was able to start pressurising Daly. They were side by side through corner after corner until Patric managed to dive through on the inside of Daly to take the lead. The track was still very wet and slippery, but Patric gave his all to open up a gap and crossed the finishing line first, ahead of Daly and Ceccon in what were very difficult conditions. He was delighted to step on the podium as the winner of the race. Robert initially started to make up places and was already up to 18th when it all went wrong and he dropped back to 21st. However, Brundle and Robert were later excluded from the results because their stops had been during the Safety Car phase and not during the actual race as the regulations required. Additionally Ceccon was hit with a 30 second penalty after the race because his tyres had not been fitted in time. That promoted Venturini to 3rd.

The grid for the second race of the weekend is set by reversing the order of the first eight finishers in the first race, with the rest of the places set according to finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 45:51.078  
2nd Conor Daly (USA) Lotus GP Gap 0.693
3rd Giovanni Venturini (I) Trident Gap 8.841
Fastest lap: Tio Ellinas (CYP) in 1:51.511


Race Two Grid
1st Mitch Evans (NZ) Arden  
2nd Daniel Abt (D) Lotus GP  
3rd Tamas Pal Kiss (HU) Atech CRS GP  
8th Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport  
24th Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport  


GP3 Series

Race Two (30 Minutes)

Sunday, 22/07/12, 09.25, Weather: Sunny, 17°C

The track was dry, the sun was shining, and the start was trouble free, but when they reached the hairpin there was a big accident involving Piria, Buller, Williamson and Powell. The Safety Car was immediately deployed and led the race for seven long laps. At the restart Patric was 9th and Robert 12th and there were precisely three racing laps in race conditions before the Safety Car had to be deployed once more after Machado crashed out. There followed four laps under Safety Car conditions, and then the chequered flag was hung out and the race was over. We were glad that our cars reached the finishing line without damage and were also pleased to be told that both Piria and Machado are fine despite their heavy accidents.

Results Race Two
1st Mitch Evans (NZ) Arden 30:14.349  
2nd Daniel Abt (D) Lotus GP Gap 0.428
3rd Conor Daly (USA) Lotus GP Gap 0.428
9th Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport    
12th Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Mitch Evans (NZ) in 1:33.088


Championship standings after 10 out of 16 races:

1st Mitch Evans (NZ), 121 points; 2st Aaro Vainio (FIN), 103 points; 3st Daniel Abt (D), 76 points; 4st Patric Niederhauser (CH), 75 points; 5st Conor Daly (USA), 73 points; 6st Mattias Laine (FIN), 60 points; 13st Robert Visoiu (ROM), 22 points


2012 GP3 Series

12th/13th May 2012 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Barcelona (E)
26th/27th May 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo (MC)
23nd/24th June 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe Valencia (E)
7th/8th July 2012 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
21st/22nd July 2012 Formel 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland Hockenheim (D)
28th/29th July 2012 Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij Budapest (HU)
1st/2nd September 2012 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
8th/9th September 2012 Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia Monza (I)

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