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GP Week : Issue 22
> F1NEWS> Impressive di Grassi enters title fight Lucas di Grassi has been heralded by the media and his management alike following his first 2008 win in Saturday’s GP2 race in Hungary. The Brazilian was drafted into the series after the first three races of the season to replace under-performing Ben Hanley at Campos, and in just four racing weekends has taken four podiums, including that win in Hungary, to snatch third position in the drivers’championship ahead of pre-season title favourite Romain Grosjean, with three weekends remaining. “Lucas has been very impressive this season,” Renault Driver Development supremo Mathieu Michel told GPWeek in Hungary. “He is more aggressive, more determined and you can see the results he has achieved. His starts are always fantastic. He’s doing a very good job.” “As the driver who scored the most points over the weekend, you can’t see it as a bad weekend,” di Grassi joked with GPWeek after Sunday’s race. “Today I had a very good start from eighth to fourth, and when I had a chance to overtake Conway I tried, we touched, Charlie [Whiting] considered it was an unfair touch and I got a drive through penalty. After that the only thing I could do was try to finish in the top ten and try to get fastest lap, I got the fastest lap and then on the last lap I overtook Conway again at the same point I had previously passed him and I finished in the top ten. So one point on Sunday, 11 for the weekend, it’s a very good result.” Di Grassi’s first win of 2008 was achieved after sustaining race long pressure from Piquet Sports driver Andi Zuber, and di Grassi told GPWeek that a slight shift in attitude this year is helping him to take such good results. “The car was not performing very well on Saturday so I had to hold Zuber for 42 laps. It wasn’t easy but I managed it and no big problems. I think this year I’m not fighting for the championship, so I can afford to make mistakes as I did today, and have a drive through. Last year I couldn’t because I was one or two points behind Glock all the time. It’s the same for Senna this year - he finishes the races and is close to Pantano now. You do what you have to do to win the championship, and as I missed the first three races of the season, I’m not looking for the championship, I’m looking for victories.” The ironic thing is that if the Brazilian maintains such a mindset and keeps bringing home the results by refusing to think about the championship and thus drive for fun, he could very easily find himself fighting with Pantano and Senna for the 2008 GP2 title. 12