Apr 20

Davide Valsecchi flies to Bahrain pole position

DAMS racer pockets second pole of 2012 season 

GP2 - Davide Valsecchi (DAMS)

GP2 Series

Davide Valsecchi was once again untouchable during today’s qualifying session at the Bahrain International Circuit: he put his DAMS car at the top of the timesheets early on and his laptime of 1:41.200 was never bettered. With this result, Valsecchi pockets his second pole position of the 2012 season. Esteban Gutiérrez and Felipe Nasr finished P2 and P3 respectively.

It was slightly cooler as the twenty-six GP2 cars fed onto the track. Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, but on his third lap and on Option Pirelli tyres, Valsecchi dipped under the 1m42s, setting the fastest first and second sectors. Gutiérrez on his third attempt as well was also able to break the 1m42s barrier but ended a tenth shy off the Italian. Rookie Stéphane Richelmi found his way to P3 ahead of Max Chilton, but the pair were pushed back when Nasr moved up to third.

Ten minutes into the session and Series leader Luiz Razia shot to P4, 0.6s behind Valsecchi. The Italian then improved by one tenth for good measure. The proceedings were red flagged following a small collision between Brendon Hartley and Giedo van der Garde. The Caterham racer overtook the Ocean man in the last corner. During the manoeuvre the two cars touched slightly and Hartley’s front wing came off. Debris was left on the track thus calling for a quick red flag. Along with the rest of the field, the Kiwi driver re-entered the pits to have his car fixed and was able resume his session.

At the restart, all eyes returned to the timesheets. Marcus Ericsson found some extra pace to move up to P5, but Fabio Leimer also improved and made his way to P4 ahead of Cecotto and Ericsson. No one however could match Valsecchi’s pace and with three minutes to spare, Gutiérrez, Nasr and Leimer re-entered the pits and chose to end their session early in order to save their tyres. Two minutes later, Ceccoto, Richelmi, Ericsson and Calado did the same.

At the chequered flag, Valsecchi enjoyed his new success while Gutiérrez and Nasr also celebrated their best qualifying ever. Leimer will start from P4 ahead of Cecotto, Richelmi, (Marcus Ericsson will be dropped ten places following a grid penalty picked up in Malaysia Sprint Race), James Calado, Razia, Chilton and Rio Haryanto.

Bahrain – Qualifying Session
Davide Valsecchi
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
Felipe Nasr
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
James Calado
Lotus GP
Luiz Razia
Arden International
Max Chilton
Rio Haryanto
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
Dani Clos
Barwa Addax Team
Tom Dillmann
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
Fabrizio Crestani
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Brendon Hartley
Ocean Racing Technology
Stefano Coletti
Scuderia Coloni
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
Simon Trummer
Arden International
Giancarlo Serenelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Ricardo Teixeira

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

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source: addaxteam.com


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source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

Fourth fastest time in Bahrain qualifying for Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering.
Fabio Leimer will start tomorrow’s Feature Race at Bahrain from the second row of the grid after setting the 4th fastest time in today’s qualifying.

The morning practice session took place in very hot conditions, the air temperature was over 30° and the track was a scorching 41°. Both of the Racing Engineering drivers waited until the session was nearly half over before setting a time with young Frenchman Nathanaël Berthon the first to complete a flying lap taking the 12th fastest time. Fabio Leimer was immediately on the pace a few minutes later when the Swiss driver set the 5th fastest time.

At the end of the 30 minute session, which was only interrupted briefly by one yellow flag, Leimer finished in 6th place just 0.9 seconds away from the fastest time whilst Berthon was 0.7 seconds slower in 13th.

The track temperature had dropped to 31° at the start of the 30 minute afternoon qualifying session and all 26 cars immediately went out on track as the pit lane lights turned green. With just seven minutes gone Leimer moved into 5th place and Berthon took 17th on his first flying lap.

After 12 minutes Berthon improved his lap time to move up to 12th as Leimer pulled into the pits to fit the softer compound Pirelli tyres to his Racing Engineering car. A red flag for debris on the track meant that the session was suspended for several minutes and as the cars returned to the track there were still over 16 minutes of qualifying left.

With 7 minutes remaining Leimer moved up to 4th with a time of 1m 41.798s, 0.6 seconds slower than the fastest time set so far. With just a few seconds remaining Berthon began his last flying lap but his fastest time of 1m 42.427 was only good enough for 18th on the grid.

Starting tomorrow’s Feature Race from the second row of the grid will give Leimer an excellent chance to finish on the podium and he will, of course, be looking for the race win. For Berthon his main aim will be to move up into a points scoring position and get a good grid position for Sunday’s Sprint Race. 
 Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering:
“I am very happy with the work of Fabio today, but it was obvious that experience does make a difference. Although he was also unlucky to pick up traffic, Nat still needs to improve on his qualifying, but I am sure we will get interesting driving from both drivers tomorrow. With Racing Engineering not having done the Asia Series in the past, this is obviously a disadvantage compared to the other teams as well. So, considering all these things, we did pretty well. Now we have to get ready for tomorrow.” 
 Fabio Leimer:
“When I was here for the last time, we drove on the long track, so the new track configuration includes two corners that are new to me. Also, when I drove here it was with a different car and tyres. Therefore the driving style was completely different and you cannot really compare it. Today we decided to only go for two fast lap times in free practice. Doing this we were able to save tyres as was our plan. Qualifying was OK, I think there was more possible, but 4th position is not too bad as a starting position for tomorrow. I have to have a good start again and then I am sure a podium finish is possible. This wouldn’t be too bad, keeping in mind the championship.” 

 Nathanaël Berthon:
“In free practice we only pushed for two laps. This was a bit hard for me, but we did save tyres for the race, this was the main goal as racing here is very hard on the tyres. Then we decided to play the same kind of game during qualifying. I went out on options and hoped to be able to keep a set of four new tires for the race. Initially I was around P10, but then I dropped back, so I needed to go our once more towards the end of the session. But it wasn’t possible to improve the position anymore. Tomorrow I will have better tyres than the others, that was the goal. I am obviously disappointed as on my fast lap I found traffic and I know I could have set a much better time. I think P10 would have been possible for me today. But I start 18th, a position we didn’t expect, but we had the right strategy. I will have to push throughout the entire race, but I am used to it and my goal is to make it to the top 8 for the reverse grid for the sprint race. It’s a very hard job to do and I will also need some luck to achieve this. But I am sure I will have a good race pace.”

source: racing-engineering.com


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source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team

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source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing


Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain

  • GP2 Qualifying
  • Friday 20th April 2012

The second round of the 2012 GP2 Series season started in sweltering temperatures in Bahrain with the thirty minute free practice held at 1200 and qualifying at 1555 local time.

Between the two scheduled sessions Caterham Racing made setup changes to both cars after a tough first outing found the team off its usual pace. Going out on the hard compound tyre for the first runs, both drivers then swapped to the softer medium tyre mid-session to complete a total of 12 laps each. Giedo van der Garde qualified twelfth and after a strong start team mate Rodolfo Gonzalez finished seventeenth ahead of race one tomorrow at 1545 (local time).

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer “We were not competitive this morning in free practice, so we made a number of changes between the two sessions which did improve the cars, but we were still lacking something. I think overall we are a little disappointed as we had hoped for a stronger session, but as always we will work through all the data overnight and make the necessary changes in time to go out and fight to put in a good race performance tomorrow.”

Giedo van der Garde (P12 / 1: 42.139) “We were off the pace this morning so we made several changes for qualifying, some of which worked, some of which did not. Since the end of qualifying we have been busy analysing all the data to see where we can improve for tomorrow and this must be our focus. I think we have a good plan for the race – it is similar to the strategy we had in Malaysia for race two which was very good so I am feeling positive. It is a long championship and we must aim to take points from every round. Hopefully tomorrow we can finish in the top six and get some more points in the bag.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez (P17 / 1:42.409) “The cars were not quite as we wanted them today but for me it was another good step forward. I had a good first fast lap on the medium compound tyre which would have put me in top ten but I made a mistake and went off track at turn seven, and then again on the last corner, which probably cost me about a second. Two laps later, when I pushed for another timed lap, the rear tyre grip had dropped off and I wasn’t able to get the most out of them. I am a bit frustrated with myself for making those mistakes but I will take the positives from this. I think overall my driving is improving and I will keep working hard on it.

“It’s hard to say what will happen tomorrow. It is a long run from the start to the first corner so when we get into the braking zone I’m sure there will be people locking up, so I will concentrate on getting a good start and trying to overtake as many people as I can and from there have a strong race.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “We started with our normal set ups on both cars but they haven’t worked as we had hoped here and after checking through all the data we have yet to find anything obvious that we can change. We made a number of alterations to the cars between free practice and qualifying to try and help preserve the rear tyres and in doing so we went towards a race set up which, perhaps in hindsight, hurt us a little in qualifying today. As we have another event here next week it is very important we rectify this as soon as we can.

“In the afternoon session we went out on the hard compound first and changed to the medium and we found the softer option gave us a little more grip. For tomorrow we will put our normal race set up on the cars, but with a few tweaks to help preserve the tyres. Despite this there are a number of positives from today. Rodolfo had a good run – he was happier than his team mate and had some good laps with reasonable traffic-free runs so we are pleased for him as he has been working incredibly hard on his fitness levels and his overall performance in the car. If we can get both cars in the points tomorrow we will be very happy.”


  • Saturday 24th Race 1 1545 – 1650 (32 laps)
  • Sunday 25th Race 2 1050 – 1140 (23 laps)

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni



Fabio Onidi and Stefano Coletti will start respectively from P16 and P22 on the grid in the first race of the GP2 Bahrain weekend.

On a circuit that is renowned for being very aggressive on tyres, the team decided that the priority for today was to save as much Pirelli rubber as possible for the races, even knowing that this would have proved an handicap in Qualifying. As both drivers were at their first outing on the Grand Prix layout of the Sakhir track the first 30’ of Free Practice today were devoted to learning the track, while in the afternoon both Coletti and Onidi tackled Qualifying with just one set of tyres.

With just one shot at a quick lap there wasn’t any room for bad luck or mistakes, and Scuderia Coloni’s qualifying saw a bit of both. Onidi’s pace was good, but he did a mistake in his quickest lap and had to settle for an eight row start (16th place), while Coletti was forced to waste the quickest laps of his tyres in the traffic. Stefano found a clear lap only when his Pirellis were too worn, and so he ended the session in P22. 
Paolo Coloni: “We knew that our choice to save tyres would have made qualifying difficult, but in the end we paid for that a bit more than we were expecting. It’s pity because we had the potential to do better even with just a few laps at our disposal, but anyway we are confident for tomorrow. With fresh tyres and a good pit-stop strategy it’s still possible to bring both cars in the top ten, and this will be our aim”.

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

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source: tridentracing.it

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

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source: teamlazarus.it

Rapax Team


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source: rapaxteam.com


Arden International, GP2 Series – Bahrain Qualifying Report Is this email not displaying correctly?

Razia maintains Title push with Top Ten start

GP2 Series qualifying proved to be a tight affair at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain, with less than one second covering the top 15 drivers. In the midst of this competitive maelstrom, championship leader Luiz Razia secured ninth place on the grid for Arden International, less than two tenths of a second from a front-row berth. It puts the Brazilian in an excellent position to record another strong points finish and build on his flying start to the season in Malaysia last month.

The race promises to be tougher for team-mate Simon Trummer. The Swiss was 16th fastest in free practice, less than a second adrift of fifth-placed Razia, but slipped to 24th during the qualifying session.

Simon Trummer comments:

““I had a technical problem during free practice and managed only three laps, but my pace was pretty good and I ended up 16th. I was happy with that, because I have not previously driven at Sakhir and felt sure I could improve during qualifying. I struggled to get the best from the car, though, after switching from the prime tyre to the softer option. I need to study the data to see what went wrong so that I can get back up to speed in the feature race.”

Luiz Razia comments:

““Free practice went well. I was happy with my car’s balance and made only a few detail changes to improve the set-up for qualifying. Unfortunately, I then got caught behind a group of four cars on my first run – and that was my best lap because I’d chosen to begin with the softer tyre. Looking at the sector times I could easily have made it into the top four, but at least I know I have a strong car for the race. I’m starting in a points-scoring position and will do my best to move as far up the field as I can. Let’s see how things go…”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

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source: oceanracingtech.com


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source: carlin.co.uk


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source: pirelli.com