Front row for Razia on Arden return

Luiz Razia

Luiz Razia starts his second spell as an Arden International driver on the front row of the grid after a tight qualifying session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, the venue for the opening weekend of the 2012 GP2 Series.

The Brazilian driver drove for Arden in the 2008/2009 GP2 Asia Series started off with a seventh place result  in practice before moving up the order in qualifying, and he finished the session with a 1m45.554s.

Razia is pleased with how the day went but feels that the hard work is still yet to come: “This has been a very good day for the team – and the same is true for me. To qualify at the front has been a great confidence booster, although the oppressive climate here makes racing tough, no matter where you line up. There’s always a chance of rain, too, so I’m expecting things to be difficult.

“It is important to remain focused, to minimise any risk of error, and we have to keep an eye on the strategic permutations. The situation has changed this season, with the adoption of different tyre compounds, and we need to look at the data to see whether it’s best to choose hard-hard or medium-hard for the race. One of the key objectives today was to save tyres for the race – and we managed to do that while lapping quickly. It has been a very positive start, but the hardest bit lies ahead.”

Razia’s team-mate is GP3 graduate Simon Trummer. Having made his debut in the non Championship GP2 Final at Abu Dhabi, he will start his first main series race from row twelve, as he learns about the cut and thrust nature of GP2.

He admits that he is disappointed with how his qualifying went as team-mate Razia proved that the potential is there for the team: “I know there is potential in the car – Luiz proved that much – so I have to be a little disappointed with my own result. I was happy enough with the way things were going and felt fairly sure I could qualify in the top half of the field, but I didn’t manage a clear lap on my final run and slipped back to 24th. It is all part of the learning process, though, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to move forward in the race.”