Yoshimoto Happy with First Podium

Hiroki Yoshimoto was delighted to take his first podium of the season after a string of bad luck that has lasted almost the entire season broke in race two at the Circuit Nevers Magny Cours

Yoshimoto Happy with First Podium

Yoshimoto established a reputation as an incredibly quick driver in pre-season tests, but it has taken until the ninth round of the season for his reliability problems to be sorted out. 

But with a solid car underneath him he claimed a strong second place behind Nico Rosberg.

"You know, this is the first time that we didn't have any problems throughout the weekend," he smiled after the race, between photo calls with an astonishing number of Japanese guests in the GP2 paddock, "and when we didn't have any problems we had a good result.

"So we showed everyone that when we don't have any problems we can fight for the podium. But still, we were a lot slower than Rosberg, and Kovalainen was a lot faster when he was catching - Rosberg in the start I think was almost one second quicker than me, and that's impossible - there is no way I can do that!

"So we have to make our car better so we can win the race, because otherwise we can finish on the podium but we're never going to win the race."

Yoshimoto drew admiring comments all along the pitlane for his mature race tactics after the race. He acknowledged them by noting: "We haven't done many races, so compared to the others we have really no data, and when you look at that I think we are doing good.

"From the beginning I had middle understeer and no traction, so from the beginning I was trying to look after my tyres and not damage them, drive very carefully and control it. I thought I can't catch up to Rosberg, so that means I don't have to push so hard.

"But I needed to make a result, and what this means is make a good gap between Jani and me - it doesn't mean I have to make it bigger - all I have to do is control it. I think I did a good race, and at the end my tyres were pretty fucked, but because I tried not to damage them in the beginning I saved them."

In the closing stages of the race, championship leader Heikki Kovalainen started to catch the Japanese driver, having dispatched a number of highly rated drivers along the way. Yoshimoto held his nerve and controlled his pace to claim second place by just half a second ahead of the Finn.

When asked if, had the race been longer, he felt he could have kept Kovalainen behind him, despite a number of other drivers failing to do so, Yoshimoto was emphatic: "Yes!

"It's not the pace that lets him pass me - if I make a mistake he could pass me, but I just wasn't going to make a mistake."

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