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Davide Valsecchi was delighted to make the rostrum at the season-opening Feature Race in Abu Dhabi on Friday, with the 24-year-old finishing in third place for Team AirAsia. Valsecchi was able to hold off Marcus Ericsson to make the podium behind race-winner Jules Bianchi, and ex-Renault F1 driver Romain Grosjean.
"This is almost perfect," Valsecchi said. "We made a good start, kept position and avoided any incidents. Throughout the race the car felt really quick and I was happy with its balance and setup on track.
"I feel that the team are doing a fantastic job - the pit stop today was faultless so thanks to everyone involved - we’ve really achieved an amazing result. Tomorrow we’ll see what happens. It’s tricky to overtake here but we hope to have every chance to fight for a race win."
Team Principal Riad Asmat was extremely pleased with Valsecchi's performance during today's Feature Race, and paid tribute to the enthusiasm that his outfit has shown during the build-up to the opening round in Abu Dhabi.
"I am very happy with the podium today," Asmat commented. "Third is a great start for a new team, particularly one that has not been around for very long! Davide did an absolutely fantastic job and the whole team should be extremely proud.
"Unfortunately the start was not great for Luiz but this is racing, incidents happen, and tomorrow is a new day. Today is all about the team. We have shown commitment and passion. We are an Anglo- Malaysian team backed by Malaysians - a good mix of passionate people who truly believe in what they are doing, and it works."
GP2 Asia Series
Team Air Asia
|1.||J. Bianchi||Lotus ART||1:22:04.643|
|3.||D. Valsecchi||Team Air Asia||+12.794|
|5.||G. van der Garde||Barwa Addax||+15.198|
|9.||C. Pic||Barwa Addax||+37.411|
|Team Air Asia|
|11 Feb '11||Valsecchi thrilled with podium finish|
|4 Feb '11||Team AirAsia announces 2011 GP2 line-up|
|31 Jan '11||Exclusive: Razia joins AirAsia for 2011 season|
|GP2 Asia series: Abu Dhabi 2011|
|13 Feb '11||Bianchi ‘very disappointed’ after penalty|
|12 Feb '11||Bianchi loses fourth place due to penalty|
|12 Feb '11||Latest GP2 Asia photos: Saturday at Yas Marina|
|27 Apr||Formula 1 testing resumes at Duxford|
|23 Apr||Valsecchi set for Lotus E21 aero tests|
|2 Mar||Valsecchi: Instant pace proves E21 potential|
|21 Sep '12||Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul to become Caterham CEO|
|19 Apr '12||Caterham to perform Dublin street demo|
|8 Dec '11||Iley to become Caterham Performance Director|
|GP2 Asia Series|
|12 Jul '11||GP2 merges Main and Asia Series|
|20 Mar '11||Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Imola|
|20 Mar '11||Grosjean ‘over the moon’ after title win|