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Mar 25

Sticky: James Calado wins Sprint Race (+ results, + photos)

Lotus GP ace scores maiden GP2 Series win in Sepang

GP2 - Sepang - Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus GP), James Calado (Lotus GP), Felipe Nasr (DAMS)GP2 - Sepang  - James Calado (Lotus GP)2011 GP3 Series runner-up James Calado has again proven today that he has adapted quickly and strongly to the GP2/11 car. The British sensation took a lights-to-flag maiden GP2 Series win in the first Sprint Race of the 2012 season in Malaysia.

Starting from pole position, he controlled the rest of the race keeping his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez at bay and preserving his tyres until the chequered flag. In third, rookie Felipe Nasr scored his first GP2 podium.

When the lights went out in scorching temperatures, Calado and Gutiérrez made perfect gateways and both men were side by side at the entrance of Turn 1. The Brit however managed to keep the lead. Further behind, Nasr also made a great start and chose to take the outside of Turn 1 to pass Stefano Coletti. The Monegasque driver tried to regain his position a couple of corners later but went too wide and dropped to P9 behind Davide Valsecchi, but would pass the Italian and Luiz Razia before the end of Lap 1 to fight his way back to sixth.

At the front, Calado was busy trying to stay ahead of Gutiérrez with Nasr, Giedo van der Garde and Fabio Leimer in tow. On Lap 13, Valsecchi tried to make a move on Razia but went too wide and off the track. When he rejoined, Marcus Ericsson clipped the back of the DAMS car that went barrel-rolling at Turn 5. Both drivers got out of their cars and the track was rapidly cleared.

By then, Calado was 1.5s ahead of Gutiérrez, with the top five positions unchanged. The battle for P6 intensified between Razia, Coletti, Max Chilton and Nathanaël Berthon. As Razia lost a position to Coletti, Chilton tried to sneak in only to go too wide and rejoined behind Berthon. Yesterday’s race winner fought back and passed Coletti in the final corner on lap 17. Coletti, visibly struggling on his tyres, could not fend off the attack of Berthon whilst Chilton made his way back to the battling duo and passed them both for P8.

The fight continued on the following lap and it ended in tears for Coletti who could not match his rivals’ pace having to let Chilton and Berthon through. Meanwhile, Razia zoomed in on Leimer and overtook the Swiss for P5 again in the final corner. At the chequered flag, Calado crossed the finish line 2s ahead of Gutiérrez. Nasr in third finished 7s ahead of van der Garde. Razia, Leimer, Chilton and Berthon pocketed the final points.

Razia is now leading the Series on 31 points, seven more than Valsecchi. Today’s race winner Calado is third, one point ahead of teammate Gutiérrez and Nasr.

GP2 - Sepang - Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus GP), James Calado (Lotus GP), Felipe Nasr (DAMS)
Sepang– Sprint race
 
Driver
Team
1.
James Calado
Lotus GP
2.
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
3.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
4.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
5.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
6.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
7.
Max Chilton
Carlin
8.
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
9.
Josef Kral
Barwa Addax Team
10.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
11.
Tom Dillmann
Rapax
12.
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
13.
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
14.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
15.
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
16.
Simon Trummer
Arden International
17.
Jon Lancaster
Ocean Racing Technology
18.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
19.
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
20.
Giancarlo Serenelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
21.
Fabrizio Crestani
Venezuela GP Lazarus
22.
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
23.
Stefano Coletti
Scuderia Coloni
24.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax
 
Not Classified
 
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
 
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
 
 
 
Fastest Lap : Fabrizio Crestani (Venezuela GP Lazarus) – 1:50.690 on lap 8

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com

Dams

A scare and positive points for DAMS

Two podiums in two races as well as a spectacular accident on Sunday left DAMS with mixed emotions this weekend. However, the French team quits Sepang leading the teams’ championship while Davide Valsecchi and Felipe Nasr are second and fifth in the drivers’ ratings.

After his stunning pole the Italian fluffed his start in the first race handing victory to Luiz Razia. Davide was the quickest driver on the track as proved by his fastest lap in the race, and his second place augurs well for the future. Felipe Nasr made a brilliant debut rewarded by sixth place in the opening race among much more experienced GP2 drivers.

The Brazilian rookie showed it was no fluke in the sprint race on Sunday morning by taking a brilliant third place after a solid race. On the other hand, it was a nightmare for Valsecchi. On lap 13 he was harpooned by Marcus Ericsson and his car rolled. Luckily, he got out unscathed. Despite the loss of points in this incident, the result of the first weekend of the 2012 GP2 championship is positive as the cars and its drivers were very competitive throughout the weekend.

Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: “I’d like to congratulate the whole team for the excellent work this weekend. Pole position, podiums for Davide and Felipe on his first weekend in GP2. It’s obvious that in terms of performance the car, the team and the drivers all have what it takes. With just a little more help from Lady Luck, victory will come very soon – let’s hope in the next race!”

Davide Valsecchi: “My accident the second race is a real pity. But we know the car’s quick. I’m still frustrated at letting victory slip through my grasp in the first heat. It was my fault as I fluffed my start. The whole team deserved it and I hope to make amends at the next round in Bahrain.”

Felipe Nasr: “I’m really pleased with my first podium finish on my maiden GP2 appearance. It feels great! It rewards the work of the team whom I’d like to thank. We’ve got great potential and we’re working in the right direction. I hope this podium will be followed by many others.”

Next round: Bahrain, 21-22 April

source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

Fabio Leimer and Nathanaël Berthon in the points for Racing Engineering at Sepang.
 
The clouds were black and heavy with the threat of rain as the 22 lap Sprint Race started. Fabio Leimer made a clean start as the lights went off, gaining a place as Coletti ran wide but losing it again as Van der Garde passed him, both men fighting cold Pirelli tyres.

A tense battle now began for the top six places with Leimer looking to pass Van der Garde without losing a place to the pursuing Coletti. For the next 10 laps the gaps between the top six drivers remained constant with Leimer 0.6 seconds behind Van der Garde in 5th and Coletti 0.7 seconds behind the Racing Engineering car.

Over the next few laps Leimer began to pull away from Coletti and by lap 16 the gap was 3.2 seconds as the top 5 cars continued their battle at the front of the field.

As the leaders entered the closing laps of the race it was clear that a number of cars were starting to struggle with worn tyres as a track temperature of 48° took its toll. Leimer was one of the drivers suffering from a lack of grip and with just two laps to go the young Swiss had to give way to a hard charging Razia. At the chequered flag Leimer took a hard fought 6th place.

Nathanaël Berthon drove an excellent race from his 11th place on the grid, keeping out of trouble at the start, he lost one place but quickly passed Crestani to regain 11th. The young Frenchman was now involved in a long fight with Ericsson and Haryanto and by lap 12 he was just 1.2 seconds behind the Swede and 1.0 ahead of the Marussia car.

Lap 13 saw an accident involving Valsecchi and Ericsson which promoted Berthon to 9th and he now began a battle with Chilton, on lap 16 the Briton ran wide allowing Racing Engineering car ahead but two laps later it was Berthon’s turn to miss the apex of the corner and Chilton was ahead again. The two cars now closed in on Coletti and with a few laps remaining both men passed the Coloni car. At the end of the 22 laps Berthon was in a points scoring 8th place.

With 3 points scoring finishes in the two Sepang races, two in the top six, Racing Engineering can look back on the Sepang weekend as a very positive experience. They now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda headquarters in Spain to prepare for the next round of the 2012 GP2 Series, Bahrain in one month’s time. 
 
 Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:
“Very strong first part of the race from Fabio. He pushed hard at the beginning, was very fast during the first half of the race and set the fastest lap time at that point. But this was maybe a bit too much for the tires which used up their potential, which made him struggle during the final laps. Nathanaël managed this the other way around. He was more conservative during the beginning, but one of the strongest cars in the end, which allowed him to make it to the points. The Teams and drivers are very close together this season, which makes the championship interesting. It’s good we were able to score points with both cars today. We have a lot of data from this weekend we will analyse it now to be well prepared for the Bahrain event.” 
 
 Fabio Leimer:
“Today’s race wasn’t as good as yesterday’s. The start was OK, but not perfect. I was able to hold on to 5th position and when Coletti missed his braking point, I passed him for 4th. But van der Garde immediately overtook me. Then the race just continued and it was actually a bit boring as we were simply lined up one car behind the other. In the second half of the race the tire degradation started and towards the end of the race it became quite bad. Generally it is important we scored points in both races. It was not perfect though and although we scored well, we will work on the preparation of the Bahrain weekend now, where the goal is to win. But it’s a long championship.” 

 Nathanaël Berthon:
“I am quite happy. I think yesterday I did a better race than today, but I am happy as my pace was really good. I also scored my first point. With a better qualifying we can be very strong. I had a normal start today, not too good, but not too bad. Then I tried to manage the tires and therefore in the end I was one of the quickest on track. I think one of my strengths is that I manage the tires well and am therefore pretty strong during the races. I need to improve in qualifying though; I have to find the grip for that one lap. We also start to understand better and better what I need as a driver. I am happy with the two races here, but the weekend starts with qualifying and after my results on Friday, I knew it would be hard for me. These two races gave me a lot of confidence and I will work hard to improve further.”
source: racing-engineering.com

iSport

iSport reflect on Malaysia

This weekend saw iSport in Malaysia for the opening round of the GP2 2012 season.

Jolyon Palmer at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia

Friday’s practice session resulted in a great start for Jolyon Palmer, who set the quickest laptime at the Sepang International circuit, resulting in P1 for the iSport driver.

Later that afternoon, qualifying resulted in P7 for Palmer, but a disappointing P20 for team mate Marcus Ericsson.

Saturday’s feature race proved frustrating for the team after Palmer stalled on the grid, forcing him to restart from the pit lane and a gamble on tyre strategy didn’t pay off, resulting in both drivers at the back end of the grid for Sunday’s Sprint race.

GP2 - Sepang - iSport - Jolyon Palmer 

Paul Jackson -Team Principal

“In the first phase of the race, both drivers were making good progress through the field, and we were hopeful of recovering a decent result, but during pit stops we changed only rear tyres on both cars, in the hope that we could jump some of the cars in front. This proved to be the wrong decision, as we suffered more degradation of the front tyres than expected, which meant that both cars were losing ground, with under steer right through the second phase. This was very disappointing after such an encouraging couple of tests, where we felt very confident of our race pace, however the solution was very obvious so we know we can fix it.”

Unfortunately for the iSport team, Sunday’s Sprint Race came with more disappointment, with the race ending early for Ericsson after a collision with Davide Valsecchi, resulting in Ericsson being penalised with a 10 place grid penalty for the next race at Bahrain. Palmer however, made great progress from P17, gaining 2 places in the opening laps and then securing P12 at the chequered flag.

Paul Jackson – Team Principal

“The Sprint Race was difficult because of our start positions. Both drivers made progress through the field, but Marcus was cut short due to an incident with Davide Valsecchi. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, which is the important thing. Disappointingly, the stewards attached blame to Marcus and handed him a 10-place grid penalty for the next race. Interestingly, there was no bad feeling with Davide and he was puzzled by the steward’s decision. We will now analyse this incident to try and understand such a strange judgment.”

The team remain positive, lessons have been learnt, and luckily in the early stages of the season. The iSport team will recover and come back fighting, and once again show they are true contenders for the GP2 Series Championship.

Bahrain is the next stop for the team, kicking off at the Sakhir International Circuit on 20-22 April.

source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team

Lotus GP got their 2012 GP2 Championship season off to a sizzling start at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia this weekend when James Calado continued his fine form from Abu Dhabi to take his maiden GP2 Championship victory in Sunday’s sprint race. Teammate Esteban Gutierrez made it a double celebration by crossing the line a mere two seconds behind the young Brit to make it a Lotus one-two!

After qualifying 6th and 15th, the two Lotus GP drivers drove superbly in Saturday’s 30 lap feature race to finish in the perfect positions for race two’s reverse grid, seventh and eighth. Esteban, who had limited time to set his car up due to contact with Johnny Cecotto in practice, fought back from P15 to take P7 from James just a few laps from the end with both drivers holding on to finish line astern, despite rain beginning to fall in the final laps. This then set the scene for a 100% Lotus front row in race two.

Starting from pole in searing temperatures, (the circuit registering no less than 50°C) James preserved his tyres brilliantly to take a lights to flag victory, finishing ahead of his teammate. Fighting their natural desire to race hard and fast, both drivers did very well to manage tyre wear under the sweltering conditions that saw very high tyre degradation throughout 22 laps of uninterrupted racing.

James leaves Malaysia in third place with a total of 19 points while Esteban is close behind on 18. Lotus GP now heads to Bahrain for round two with 37 points to build on.

James Calado: First of all, I would like to thank the team and my partners for this fantastic start to the season. I had my first taste of the series last year in Abu Dhabi and it certainly was very sweet and I think we built from there and from our good winter tests. Qualifying was a big boost for me because I expected to be 4 or 5 tenths off the polesitter, but in the end the gap was just 144 thousands of a second. After starting 6th I was a bit disappointed at the end of the first race, but in hindsight it was not that bad! It allowed me to secure my first championship points and to start from pole on Sunday. I just made sure that I had a clean start so I could lead the pack into the first turn, then open up a gap that would not allow Esteban to have a go. From then on it was all about tyre management because degradation was incredibly high. There was no need to try and open up a big gap, even though it was a strange feeling not to be able to push hard. I loved every single lap.

Esteban Gutierrez: The key to my weekend was the mistake I made in practice because I had only four laps under my belt. The team had to repair the car and we barely knew where we were going in qualifying, especially as I still had to learn the circuit which is not the easiest on the calendar. It is so close here, one tenth and you lose two or three positions on the grid. I set the early pace but then a yellow flag and a little bit of traffic did not bode well for us. But I gained several positions at the start of race 1 and steadily progressed through the field. I did have a moment during my pit stop when I ran wide onto the grass but all in all it was a good recovery to finish in P7 after starting 15th. I knew my only chance of winning the second race was to take the lead in the first corner. I was side by side with James but he did not make a single mistake and I was not going to do anything silly. Managing tyre wear was very important because the track temperature was well over 50°C , the highest of the weekend. This was a very good weekend for us and it bodes well for the future. This was a very nice start to the season, but we must continue working and improve things in order to achieve even better results.

Frederic Vasseur: Everyone always impatiently awaits the first weekend of the season to know if all their hard work over the winter went in the right direction and the end result realized our hopes with a very beautiful double podium finish and overall an excellent management of the event from everyone in the team. In Sepang, there were many new parameters: when and how to use the two tyre specifications, learning the circuit, managing the heat. James raced without fault and deserves his victory while Esteban did incredibly well given the hitch in free practice that left him with very little track time. It is not very often you have two drivers in such great physical and mental shape that they are able to win races right from the start of the season and I am delighted that this is the case for Lotus GP. We identified several areas that need to be improved, namely qualifying and we will work hard to be even more powerful in Bahrain. I thank and congratulate all the members on the team as well as our partners who have to us allowed to approach this season with serenity and efficiency.

source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

  • Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
  • GP2 Race Two
  • Sunday 25th March 2012

Caterham Racing concluded the Malaysian race weekend with another eight points following a determined drive by Giedo van der Garde who finished fourth in the sprint race on Sunday. The Dutch driver made an excellent start and put in a strong drive throughout the race. Team mate Rodolfo Gonzalez finished 18th at the chequered flag after he too had a good start from his grid position of twenty-third.

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am pleased that we have got through our first race weekend of the season without too many issues and with a decent number of points. In the sprint race both drivers made strong starts and from there Giedo drove a controlled race to record another eight points for the team. Rodolfo had a good early part of the race but a mistake cost him several places and he finished 18th.  Despite that both he and Giedo have had good weekends overall. Now we will regroup and work hard in the lead up to our next race in Bahrain in a few weeks where we want to build on what we have achieved in Malaysia.”

Giedo van der Garde (P4 / Best lap time: 1:51.116): “I had a better start than some of the guys around me today, and at the end of a solid first lap I was already up to fourth position. Our pace early on was really competitive but perhaps during the middle of the race I was a little too conservative, but I knew it was a long race and that tyre wear would play a big role in the final standings. My position at the flag proved our plan paid off and overall I am happy with how this weekend has gone. If we can continue to develop like this we will be in a good position for the next round in Bahrain.  The team did a good job all weekend and we collected some points which provides great motivation for everyone in Caterham Racing.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez (P18 /Best lap time: 1:51.713): “After a really strong start I had good race pace without pushing the tyres too much in the early laps. It was tough going out there – it seemed hotter than yesterday but overall I felt good which is encouraging for the season ahead. I was keeping up with the other guys so I am happy with what we learnt this weekend. In Bahrain I want to focus on maximising my performance in qualifying. If I can do that I will feel more confident and the aim has to be to put myself in a position to score points throughout the season.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “Giedo had a storming race today, but from an engineering point of view we still have some work to do on tyre usage and how we get the most out of the tyres in the next few races. Towards the end of the race Giedo was struggling with degradation, perhaps more than some of the guys in front of him, but nevertheless he showed great skill and control to maintain his position and bring the car home in fourth.

“I am also happy to see Rodolfo continually progressing. He was putting in some very good lap times today when he was in clear air and overall he drove well today. Now we have the next three weeks to work through what we have learnt here to fine tune our strategies and be as well prepared as possible for Bahrain ”

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni

Sepang, Race 2: Good recovery for Onidi and Scuderia Coloni

Fabio Onidi was the best placed Scuderia Coloni driver in Race 2 of the Sepang GP2 meeting: the Italian driver ended the race in P12, while Stefano Coletti had to retire while fighting for a point finish due to a damaged front wing.

Onidi’s race was a very consistent one: after yesterday’s bad luck, Fabio was starting from P19 but he immediately made up one place when the starting lights went out, and then boasted a very clever performance, choosing to look after his tyres in the first half of the race. This allowed him a more aggressive stance in the second half, when he was among the quickest drivers on track: from P17 he chased and passed Gonzalez, Leal, Trummer and Melker one by one, clinching a 13th place that was the best he could do starting from row 10. After the race a penalty was handed to Ericsson for causing a crash and Fabio was hence promoted to P12, an even more rewarding result for his effort.

GP2 - Sepang - Scuderia Coloni - Fabio Onidi

Coletti’s race was less lucky but still eventful: the driver from Monaco had a great start from P4, keeping his position and the immediately attacking Nasr for third. He tried an overtaking move at turn 8, but he went too wide as a consequence, letting some rivals through and rejoining in sixth place. From then on he started chasing Leimer for P5, but like yesterday the race didn’t provide much chance for an overtake. Further into the race everybody had to nurse the tyres a bit and the group got tight packed, with Coletti closely followed by Razia, Berthon and Chilton. This four drivers started a fight for the last point spots, and in one of the following corners Coletti’s front wing was damaged. Stefano headed to the pits but with just two laps to go and no chance to get points after a lengthy nose change, the team opted for the retirement of car #14.

GP2 - Sepang - Scuderia Coloni - Stefano Coletti

Paolo Coloni: “I’m really sorry for what happened to Stefano because a points finish was in his reach. Anyway we are happy with the performance of the car, Coletti’s best lap was a 1’51”2 which is definitely a good time. What we aren’t happy with is the tyre wear we had. It appeared earlier than expected and was too quick, so we need to investigate the reason to arrive in Bahrain in the best possible shape.

On the other hand I’m happy for Fabio who couldn’t drive a better race starting so far behind. He was focused, clever in managing the tyres, and in the second half of the race he also boasted some good overtaking moves, showing that his potential is very high. I’m sure that in Bahrain he will get some very good results too”.

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

Trident Racing enjoy positive performance at Sepang

The first GP2 Series weekend of the 2012 season was completed today at Sepang, Indonesia. Julian Leal ended his race in 15th place, while Stéphane Richelmi took the 19th spot.

Richelmi was penalized by race control due to a jump start and was assessed a drive-through penalty. The Monaco-based racer slightly moved his on the grid and was penalized despite not having improved his position. His performance on Race Day has been great though, and his laptimes proved equally fast to the ones of the men at the front end of the pack

Leal, who completed a battling first lap, was slowed down by a mechanical issue, probably related to a contact with another car, that will be investigated by the team’s staff. The Colombian suffered from severe understeer issues coupled with a balancing problem under braking.

Back from Sepang, the GP2 Series schedule features another round in Asia at Al Sakhir, in Bahrain, from April 20 to 22.

 

Stéphane Richelmi 

“My race today was conditioned by a small but crucial mistake that I committed at the start. As the red lights stayed on for long, I unintentionally moved on the grid. I hit the brakes immediately and did not gain any position, but the sensor on the asphalt recorded the move and that cost me a drive-through for jump start. It’s a pity because my car’s handling was great, and I thank the team for the great job done through the whole weekend. I hope for a better luck on the next round…”

Julian Leal

“Today’s race has been really difficult for me. I experienced big understeer issues and also breaking problems. I believe it’s been related to a contact during the first lap. We’ll investigate the problem with the engineers to discover if there’s any damaged component at the front. The feel of the car was completely different from yesterday’s”. 

source: tridentracing.it

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

coming soon

source: teamlazarus.it

Rapax Team

Rapax

coming soon

source: rapaxteam.com


Arden

Arden International, GP2 2012, Malaysia Race Two

In-form Razia stars again with searing run to fifth

Arden driver Luiz Razia extended his early lead in this year’s GP2 Series with a storming drive to fifth place in today’s sprint race at Sepang, Malaysia. Starting eighth on the reverse grid, following his comfortable victory yesterday, the Brazilian gained one place on the opening lap and then picked off rivals Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) and Stefano Coletti (Coloni) during the closing stages. In a race marked by a number of accidents – including one that sent yesterday’s runner-up Davide Valscecchi somersaulting out of contention, happily without injury – Razia gave a textbook display of precision racecraft, staying out of trouble and seizing opportunities when they came.

Team-mate Simon Trummer made good progress, too. Relegated to 22nd on the grid, after picking up a time penalty for causing a collision in yesterday’s race, the Swiss moved steadily up the field to finish 16th.

Luiz Razia comments:

“I got away well, but lost some of that early impetus when I was squeezed at the first corner and that put me seventh. I was under huge pressure from Davide Valsecchi and, subsequently, Max Chilton, but I looked after my tyres and later in the race was able to pass both Coletti and Leimer. I’m very pleased with the result. I wasn’t so quick at the beginning, when I was nursing the rubber, but my tactic paid off and I’m pleased with the way the whole weekend has gone. Roll on the next race…”

 

Simon Trummer comments:

“My initial target was to keep out of trouble on the opening lap, which I managed, but I was struggling to look after my front tyres in so much traffic. As the pace picked up, though, the front grip came back and I was able to keep pace with the cars ahead. I managed to pass one or two of them and a few people went off, so I’m happy to have improved on yesterday. It has been an amazing experience to drive in Malaysia, in such hot, challenging conditions. It is all good experience that will serve me well for the rest of the season.”

 

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

Ocean Racing Technology makes progress throughout the first GP2 Series meeting

This weekend in Malaysia, Ocean Racing Technology took part in the GP2 Series season opener. Nigel Melker and Jon Lancaster rubbed elbows with the competition in a championship that is hotter than ever this season.

From the start of the weekend, the Portuguese team focused its work on the two races, which was reflected in the qualifying results: Melker and Lancaster qualified in 19th and 20th positions respectively, but only used one set of new tyres, while their competitors used two. Still, the difference with the best times was minimal. Both drivers then concentrated on the start, which they had to make the most of in order to get a chance to secure points.

Despite an effective race strategy, the first race was packed with new developments and setbacks. Nigel Melker received a stop and go penalty for an error committed by his crew, which did not leave the starting grid on time. Jon Lancaster, for his part, saw his race ended in the first lap after a contact with another car. Despite everything, Melker was able to finish his race in 16th place. In the second race, the British driver finished 14th, and the Dutch driver finished 17th.

“The end of qualifying did not go as we expected, but we were optimistic and we had good hopes of finishing in the top 8 in the first race. But I was penalized in the first race, and in the second it was impossible for me to do better. There is still the satisfaction of knowing that we made strong progress, but we are aware that we have to do better in qualifying,” declared Nigel Melker, who had the third fastest lap in the third race.

Jon Lancaster could not hide his disappointment at having his first race ruined in the first lap. “We had a good start and we thought we would be able to finish eighth, despite starting very far back on the grid. But a competitor ruined my first race and I regret not getting a chance to go further. For the second race, we learned a lot and we know exactly what to do for the coming meetings. We are going to focus our work on the next races in Bahrain and, with a few modifications to our strategy, I am sure that we will be able to do better.”

Tiago Monteiro, who followed his team’s work in the field, is optimistic for the coming races: “We have worked a lot, and this weekend was tough. We have drawn a few important conclusions that will help us for what comes next. This year, the championship is at a very high level. All the drivers have a very similar rhythm; the gaps are so small that a little detail can make the difference. Both our drivers did a good job, which unfortunately it is not reflected in their results, but they are motivated for the next meeting.”

The next GP2 Series races will be held April 20-22 in Bahrain.

GP2 - Sepang - Ocean Racing Technology 01
 
GP2 - Sepang - Ocean Racing Technology 04
 
GP2 - Sepang - Ocean Racing Technology 03
 
GP2 - Sepang - Ocean Racing Technology 02

source: oceanracingtech.com

Carlin
Carlin

coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk


Pirelli

New tyre rules enhance gp2 spectacle in malaysia

This year, the GP2 Series benefits from new tyre rules designed to mirror those in Formula One, with drivers having a choice of a softer and a harder compound for the first time. On the fast and abrasive Sepang circuit, the drivers had the P Zero medium and the hard compounds at their disposal: just as is the case in Formula One. Unlike Formula One though, they are not obliged to use both compounds during the race, as they have only one set of the softer compound available to them, as well as three sets of the harder rubber.

The new regulations added an extra element to the opening GP2 race in Malaysia, the first round of the year, with the drivers forced to make the tyre decisions that will become a constant element if they make it through to Formula One.

The first race, which took place over 30 laps on Saturday morning before Formula One qualifying, was won by Arden International’s Luis Razia from Brazil. Razia qualified second on the grid, but was able to get past pole-sitter Davide Valsecchi at the start, who nonetheless set the fastest lap on lap 24 using the hard tyre.

GP2 - Sepang - Luis Razia won Race 1 and leads the championship

The first GP2 race includes a compulsory pit stop, and Razia chose to use the hard tyre twice: a strategy that meant he could get away with just changing the rear wheels, as there was sufficient life left in the fronts for him to complete the race. Valsecchi started on the medium tyre and then changed to the hard tyre on lap 12. Of the 23 drivers who finished the race, seven used a medium-hard strategy, five used a hard-medium strategy and 11 used a hard-hard strategy. Of the seven drivers who adopted a medium-hard strategy, four finished in the top eight.

There was a dramatic finish to the race when rain was announced with just four laps to go, prompting the teams to prepare Pirelli’s GP2 rain tyres, complete with their distinctive blue markings, for action. In the end though, they were not needed and Razia went on to win by 7.8 seconds from Valsecchi. Eighth place for James Calado, the winner of Pirelli’s GP2 scholarship prize last year in Abu Dhabi, meant that he started race two from pole position.

Calado went on to win race two, which was a 22-lap sprint using the hard tyres on Sunday morning, with no pit stops. The Englishman led from pole and claimed victory from his Lotus team mate Esteban Gutierrez: Pirelli’s inaugural GP3 Champion in 2010. Brazilian Felipe Nasr was the second rookie on the podium to finish third, just ahead of Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde, who climbed up from ninth on the grid. Fifth place for Razia in race two was enough to ensure that he leads the championship after the opening two races.

In the rising track temperatures, looking after the rear tyres was the key to controlling degradation, in order to ensure that they were still in good condition for the final race to the flag. Once more there was a threat of rain in the closing stages, which proved to be a false alarm.

GP2 - Sepang - James Calado triumphed in Race 2

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “In the first race, with the compulsory pit stops, we saw a wide variety of strategies that underlined how the introduction of a tyre choice has brought an extra element of interest to the racing. The drivers had to consider not only how their tyres would perform on the track, but also which choice would be quickest during the pit stops, with Razia’s decision to use the hard tyres twice – and therefore save on a front-tyre change – enabling him to make only a short stop, and go on to claim victory. Most drivers did not find a big difference in degradation between the two compounds in the first race, but degradation was certainly an issue in race two, with the drivers having to look after their tyres in order to ensure a consistent performance.”

This year marks the longest ever GP2 season, with 12 rounds and 24 races. The next round of the Pirelli-equipped series takes place in Bahrain from April 20-22.

source: pirelli.com