Heikki Kovalainen won’t be the only new driver in Friday free practice one for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez will also make his first appearance for the team, replacing Jules Bianchi.
It’s the 26-year-old Venezuelan’s first drive on a Grand Prix weekend.
“I love this circuit; it will be quite dusty in FP1 but it’s also good fun and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve,” he said. “I would like to thank the team for their faith in me. They have made me feel so welcome and have bent over backwards to involve me in every aspect of the racing.”
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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.