Lotus F1 Team reserve driver Marco Sorensen continued to impress during the latest rounds of the GP2 Series in Hungary at the weekend, 26th/27th July, with leading team MP Motorsport – the Danish driver adding yet more points to his tally during only his third race meeting with the Dutch squad.
Just one week on from a tremendous performance at Hockenheim in Germany, where he produced a best-yet fourth place in round 12 off the back of a hard-earned ninth position in round 11 from the rear of the grid, the GP2 newcomer claimed his fifth top 10 in as many races during round 13 at the Hungaroring on Saturday.
Qualifying within 0.5 seconds of pole position for the first of the Budapest encounters, Sorensen lined-up ninth on the grid and produced terrific pace during the first half of the race at the wheel of his Dallara.
Climbing through into the top five prior to his mandatory pit-stop on lap 23, the Dane eventually finished just shy of the points in 12th position. Two Safety Car periods had a negative impact for drivers who started on the medium compound tyres, including Sorensen, but post-race he was elevated into the coveted top 10 following penalties for two rivals.
Team-mate Daniël De Jong started in 17th position, albeit only 0.7 seconds adrift of pole such was the competitiveness of the session, and he too produced a fantastic opening to round 13 with very good pace.
Working his way into the top 10 as the pit-stops began to be served, De Jong remained on track with Sorensen and was up into eighth position before he made his tyre change shortly after. In the end, the Dutch youngster finished in 16th position which became 14th place post-race.
“It’s been a great few weeks for Marco and we’re really pleased with how well he’s adapted to the GP2 car”, said MP Motorsport’s Tony Shaw, “Hockenheim was fantastic, fourth place was a super result, and to be in the points again this weekend shows the pace is consistently there. When the season resumes at Spa in a few weeks, we aim to be fighting near the front again.”
In round 14 on Sunday morning, Sorensen lined-up on the fifth row of the grid with De Jong just two rows further back and when the lights went out the Dane made a good start and climbed into eighth position on the opening lap.
Running close behind Conor Daly, Sorensen held his top eight placing until lap five when he was demoted to ninth. Remaining there until seven laps from the finish, he was edged back to 10th place by Tom Dillmann and just missed out on another top 10 on the penultimate tour when he slipped to 11th place.
De Jong was unfortunately pushed back to 22nd position after a troublesome opening, but the Dutch driver fought back strongly and by lap 16 he was up into 18th place. At two-thirds race distance De Jong climbed into 16th position when two rivals dropped back and although shuffled back down to 18th spot, he managed to recover into 17th place on the final lap as others hit trouble.
“Daniël did a really good job in race one, in qualifying his pace was strong and only a couple of tenths would have put him with Marco – it was a good performance”, reflected Shaw, “He was really unlucky in race two at the start but, overall, the pace has been competitive this weekend and we have a lot of positives to take to Spa next month.”
Rounds 15 and 16 of the GP2 Series will take place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium over the weekend 23rd/24th August.