Daniel Abt takes second place at Budapest
A strong performance saw SONAX partner Daniel Abt clinch second place in the first GP3 Series race at Budapest. The wrong tyre strategy for the wet second race cost Abt a points scoring finish.
With his second place in the first race, Abt repeated his previous week’s performance at Hockenheim. The key to his success was a strong opening lap, in which the Kempten youngster made up three positions from fifth on the grid. In spite of the pressure exerted by championship leader Mitch Evans, the 19-year old confidently held second place to the chequered flag. “I didn’t expect to be able to make up so many positions around this tight track,” said Abt. “Unfortunately my car was a little difficult to drive in the final laps. So, I had to let the leader go. Afterward I just concentrated on keeping second place.”
The budding talent suffered a setback on Sunday. Like the majority of the competition Abt gambled on rain tyres for the wet conditions. For much of the race the only German in the field was on course for points from seventh on the grid. However, as the track started to dry out after half distance, the majority of the competition changed to slick tyres. Abt’s Lotus team decided against changing tyres. However, the gamble did not pay off. The drivers on slicks made up ground rapidly due to their significantly faster laps and, in doing so, took control of the race. Abt dropped to eleventh by the finish. “It’s frustrating that the tyre gamble didn’t pay off again,” said Abt. “I’ve lost valuable points on three occasions in 2012 because of this.” The Kempten youngster now holds fourth position overall and is best placed newcomer in the GP3 Series before the next race at Spa-Francorchamps (01–02 September).