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Sep 23

GP2: Van der Garde surges to Singapore victory

Dutchman on top in final race of the season

GP2 - Van de Garde (Caterham Racing) Singapore Sprint RaceGP2 - Van der Garde, Ericsson & Leimer Singapore PodiumGiedo van der Garde gave his rivals a racing masterclass with a dominant win from lights to flag in this afternoon’s sprint race in Singapore, easily leading home Marcus Ericsson and Fabio Leimer in the last race of the 2012 season.

The Dutchman’s victory was set up when the lights went out: a good start from pole was enough to hold fellow front row starter Ericsson and a hard charging Luiz Razia, while a poor start by Felipe Nasr was enough to hold up 2012 champion Davide Valsecchi momentarily and allow Leimer to sneak past into P4 at the first corner.

Van der Garde and Ericsson ran like a train, leaving their rivals well behind, with Stefano Coletti the only other driver on their pace as he scythed through the field and up into the points by lap 4, while in front of him Valsecchi and Esteban Gutierrez were battling fiercely over fifth place and a win in the teams’ championship.

A final safety car period was brought into being when Rene Binder tagged the inside kerb and spun to a halt in the middle of the final corner, bunching the field up once again, but a restart a few laps later was easily controlled by van der Garde, who continued his march ever onwards.

Leimer, however, was showing the determination he has become known for this year and hounded the new vice champion at every turn, filling Razia’s mirrors with red and yellow every time he looked: the Brazilian held on until the final lap, when Leimer got his nose inside at turn 16 and had a clear run to the next corner.

When the clock ran down it was van der Garde who was greeted by the chequered flag 1.7 seconds ahead of Ericsson, while Leimer punched the air with joy for third. Razia was a disappointed man in fourth, just unable to add a tenth podium to his total for the season, while Valsecchi held on against Gutierrez for fifth and Nasr making amends for his poor start by stealing seventh from Coletti late in the race.

With the 2012 GP2 season now completed, Davide Valsecchi is the new champion ahead of Luiz Razia and Esteban Gutiérrez, while DAMS managed a clean sweep by taking the teams’ championship from Lotus GP and Arden.

GP2 - DAMS celebrate as Team ChampionsDAMS celebrate as Team Champions
Singapore – Sprint Race
 
Driver
Team
1.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
2.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
3.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
4.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
5.
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
6.
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
7.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
8.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
9.
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
10.
James Calado
Lotus GP
11.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
12.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
13.
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
14.
Simon Trummer
Arden International
15.
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
16.
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
17.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
18.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
19.
Max Chilton
Carlin
20.
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
21.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax
22.
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
 
Not Classified
 
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
 
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
 
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
     
 
Fastest Lap : Nathanaël Berthon (Racing Engineering) – 2:02.833 on lap 7

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com

Dams 

DAMS doubles up!

DAMS ended the 2012 season in a blaze of glory! Thanks to the fifth and seventh places of Davide Valsecchi and Felipe Nasr in the final race of the season, DAMS won its first title in the GP2 Teams’ Championship. After the drivers’ crown clinched by Valsecchi yesterday, this new trophy is a fitting reward for the efforts and consistency of the French team, which has dominated the championship for two years.

DAMS was in a favourable position at the start of the final round as it had a 2-point lead over Lotus GP. All the more so as Felipe Nasr was in third place on the grid and Davide fifth with Esteban Gutierrez in seventh. Felipe fluffed his start when the lights went out and was overtaken by seven cars. Among them were Gutierrez and Valsecchi who shut the door on the Mexican under braking for the first corner.

The leaders of the two French squads were glued together for the rest of the race, even after the safety car period. Valsecchi again showed proof of his maturity by never leaving his rival the slightest opening. Behind, Nasr put on yet another of his last-minute charges and finished the race on Gutierrez’s tail. This helped clinch the second title of the weekend for DAMS.

After the team’s brilliant season in 2011 crowned by Romain Grosjean’s title, the French squad achieved an even higher-quality performance, namely: doing even better the following year. And in style. Rendezvous in 2013 for fresh adventures!

Jean-Paul Driot: “And there’s the cherry on the cake! Once again I would like to thank the whole team from the depths of my heart. Today it obtained a well-deserved reward for its incredible work. Also a big thank you to our two drivers who began today’s race with a real sense of team spirit. They showed their character, their talent and their strength and helped us to score our first team’s title in GP2, something that was missing from DAMS’s results. I think that the cohesion between the drivers, engineers and mechanics was what made the difference.”

Davide Valsecchi: “I’m really very happy to have given the team its second title. It deserves it as it has been the best this season. For me I cannot think of a better way to show my gratitude after winning the drivers’ title thanks to all their efforts.”

Felipe Nasr: “I’ve got mixed feelings. Obviously, I’m pleased about the teams’ title; it’s a great reward for the engineers, the mechanics and everybody in the team. I’m very frustrated at not having taken advantage of my position on the grid in the last round. The anti-stall system cut in and I was stuck on the spot. I was able to fight my way back but I wanted a better result. I’ve learned an enormous amount in GP2 this year and I hope to be fighting for the title next season.”

First test session for the 2013 season on the Montmelo circuit (Barcelona) on 30-31 October.

source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

Another podium in Singapore for Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering.

It was overcast for today’s 24 lap Sprint Race at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore with a track temperature of 36° and 66% humidity.

Fabio Leimer made a great start from 6th on the grid as the lights went off to move up to 4th at the first corner as he battled hard with Razia and at the end of the opening lap he was fighting with Razia in 3rd and Valsecchi in 5th. Over the next few laps Fabio kept the gap to Razia at around one second whilst slowly pulling away from Valsecchi.

On lap 9 Fabio began to put the pressure on Razia, closing the gap to half a second but a spin by Binder on the start/finish straight saw the Safety Car deployed. Racing resumed on lap 12 and Fabio was immediately looking for a way to pass Razia but he now had to be careful as the Safety Car laps meant that Valsecchi was now right behind the Racing Engineering car. By lap 15, and with the race entering its closing laps, Fabio was just 0.3 seconds behind Razia and he had, once again, opened out a gap of 1.3 seconds on Valsecchi.

With the race now being run to time rather than laps completed Fabio was putting more and more pressure on Razia running alongside the Arden car and the Racing Engineering car was clearly faster and on the last lap Fabio moved ahead of the Brazilian to take 3rd.

Nathanaël Berthon also got away very quickly from 10th on the grid gaining three places to be 7th at the end of the opening lap but, on lap 2, the young Frenchman’s bad luck struck again as he had to make a pit stop to replace a damaged nose and the Racing Engineering car resumed in 25th and last place. Nathanaël immediately began to close the gap on Teixeira who was 20.7 seconds ahead and within three laps he had reduced the gap to 14.3 seconds.

Nathanaël was now flying and on lap 7 he set the fastest lap of the race so far with a time of 2:02.833s, over one second faster than the pace the race leaders were running. Following the deployment of the Safety Car and problems to other drivers Nathanaël was now in 20th place and battling with Onidi who he passed on lap14 to take 19th position. His next target was Gonzalez who was just 0.2 seconds ahead and he got ahead of the Mexican on the next lap.

With four minutes remaining Nathanaël passed a slowing Chilton and was now closing on Guerin and with contact between two cars ahead of him he moved up to 15th, an excellent result following his unscheduled pitstop on lap 2.

Another great day for Racing Engineering in Singapore with Fabio on the podium for the second time and a great fighting drive from Nathanaël that saw him set the race’s fastest lap.

Although the racing season is now over, the work doesn’t stop as the GP2 teams will be carrying out their usual post-season testing on the 30th and 31st of October at Barcelona and on the 22nd and 23rd of November at Jerez de la Frontera.

Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering:

“Another podium for Fabio Leimer. We knew we had a good car and a good driver, but this track is tricky and you can easily lose positions with the slightest lapse of attention. Fabio in that respect kept his concentration and managed his tyres, allowing him to overtake at crucial moments. As for Nathanaël Berthon, he was flying and gained some good positions at the start. Sadly, a driver ran into him and he had to pit for a new front wing. But he did not give up and managed to set the fastest lap of the race. What fighters both drivers have been this season. Congratulations to the whole team, once again the cars were extremely quick and did not break down once during the entire season.”

Fabio Leimer:

“It was a really good race today, I am very happy. It was important to get a good start and at the end I managed to move from P6 to almost P3. But I had to give up a position to Razia, who was on the better line for corners 2 and 3. When I saw that Van Der Garde was pushing hard at the beginning, I decided to manage my tyres and wait until later in the race to up the pressure. Then the Safety Car neutralized the race and this allowed me to push a bit earlier. I saw that Razia started to struggle and we were very close for quite some time. I tried to get past him in the second last corner, but we both went straight through the chicane. I tried the same move on the last lap and it worked out so I could move up to 3rd position. I finished both races of the weekend on the podium, which is really great. A big thank you to the team as they gave me a very good car, thanks for all the hard work during the entire year.”

Nathanaël Berthon:

“I had a good start but then a crazy guy ruined my race by pushing me from behind in corner 13. I was pushed towards the wall, which damaged my front wing. Consequently I needed to stop in the pits to quickly put a new front wing on. Due to the damage the car didn’t feel perfect, but I was the quickest on track, so it’s a real shame as we had a very good chance to score points today. I would like to thank the Racing Engineering team for this season.”

source: racing-engineering.com

iSport

MIXED FORTUNES FOR ISPORT IN THE SEASON FINALE IN SINGAPORE

The GP2 Series 2012 season came to an end in Singapore this weekend, with the team gaining their first experience of the Marina Bay circuit.

High temperatures and humid weather had been predicted for the weekend, but Friday’s Free Practice saw a huge downpour before the start of the session, delaying the start. High temperature levels dried the track however, giving both drivers a great start. A failed rear light saw Palmer in the pits for a short period, but saw the driver take 5th on the return. A number of yellow flags followed, with the session ending with Palmer 16th and Ericsson 23rd.

Qualifying saw the first ever session in the dark but this time on a dry track. Ericsson was down the field in the opening laps, but improved his lap time after pitting, crossing the line 17th. Palmer showed superb pace in the first 10 minutes taking provisional pole, with the end result being a fantastic 4th place.

The Feature Race on Saturday however saw Palmer’s race come to an early end, after a gear box problem causing the driver to make an early retirement. Ericsson, who started on the grid 17th, made a spectacular recovery. After the first lap the driver was 13th, and after pitting on lap 11 remained 12th. Ericsson then went on to make his move on Coletti, Van der Garde and then Calado, moving up to 7th place where he remained for the chequered flag.

Sunday saw further disappointment for Palmer in the Sprint race, when he was edged into the barrier by Cecotto through turn 16, resulting in another early retirement. Ericsson, who started on the grid 2nd, was soon on the tail of leader Van der Garde, with the two creating a 6.2 second lead from Razia in 3rd. On lap 9 a safety car period was deployed and the race restarted after Binder spun, leaving the car stranded in the middle of the circuit. On the restart Razia was soon on the tail of Ericsson, however the iSport driver managed to increase the gap a couple of laps in, going on to cross the line 2nd giving the team another podium finish.

Marcus Ericsson back on the podium after finishing 2nd in Sunday’s Sprint Race in Singapore.

Paul Jackson – Team Principal

“A weekend of mixed fortunes, Jolyon set the pace in qualifying at the start and despite not getting a clear lap on his second set of tyres, he still ended up fourth. Marcus, however, didn’t get a good lap and had to start 17th.

Then the fortunes turned in the races as Jolyon retired from a competitive fourth place with a gearbox failure while Marcus managed to come through the field to a great 7th place, giving him a front row start for the sprint race.

Marcus held second place throughout in an evenly matched contest with Van der Garde. Jolyon had more bad luck when he was pushed of the track and into the wall by Ceccoto, who served a drive through penalty for the offence.”

This weekend saw the 2012 GP2 Series season come to a conclusion, which saw iSport finish 6th in the Team Championship, and Marcus Ericsson 8th and Jolyon Palmer 11th in the Drivers Championship.

The team will now have a break until returning to Barcelona on 30 – 31 October for the post season test.

source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team

Singapore played host to the 2012 GP2 Championship season finale and despite the best efforts of team and drivers, Lotus narrowly missed out on taking the team’s championship title. Going into the final race on Sunday Lotus GP was just two points away from the lead, however, a second placed finish from Esteban Gutierrez was not quite enough to get the job done.

Qualifying third on the grid in a shortened session and finishing a brilliant second in race one and securing his seventh podium finish of the season, Esteban was confident of a strong result in the final race of the season. However, try as hard as he might, he was unable to get past the new 2012 champion, Davide Valsecchi, and crossed the line in sixth place.

This finish saw the Mexican racer secure his goal of finishing on the drivers’ championship podium (third). Teammate James Calado was suffering from food poisoning in race one that resulted in a visit to the hospital later in the day, had a tough weekend. Despite a brilliant drive on day two, while still suffering the effects from the day before as well as starting from the back of the grid drove to tenth place at the finish, but his gallant efforts didn’t reward the team with the much deserved points needed to take the coveted 2012 teams championship crown. James finished the season on the fourth rung of the drivers’ championship.

This was an extremely complex season for Lotus GP where they had to come to grips with new rules and using two different tire specifications, but as underlined by the final race of the season, where Gutierrez completed the entire race on super soft rubber, the lessons and data collected throughout the year will be put to good use in 2013.

Esteban Gutierrez: “I’m delighted to secure a 7th podium and a great deal of points as it was a challenging weekend. Between it being a track we did not know and the rain in practice, we had to go straight in qualifying without knowing where we were set-up wise. It was a bit of a gamble but Lotus GP handled the situation perfectly once again. After a strong strategy that put me in second position, I stayed close to Max Chilton waiting for the opportunity to get past him, but at the same time my priority was to consolidate a good result as my first aim was third position in the championship. This has been the most rewarding season of my career, despite the fact I did not win the title, because this series is extremely competitive and I experienced many ups and downs. But that’s what makes you a better driver and stronger driver. Many thanks to all the members of Lotus GP who helped me a lot this year just like they did since we started working together for what has been a fruitful and precious collaboration.”

James Calado: “It was certainly not the ideal way to end the championship as I suffered from food poisoning and went to the hospital before the first race to have some fluids. I was so weak that I couldn’t take anymore and I had to throw in the towel after a few interesting battles. It would have been good to get into the points to help Lotus GP lift the team’s title but that was just not possible. Towards the end of the sprint race I was struggling with tyre degradation on the super softs but, all things considered, 10th was OK although I lost the chance to be on the podium of the championship.”

Frédéric Vasseur: “Lotus GP missed the title, but not by much. James’s deception is shared. Considering his inspirational driving and ability to excel, the end of the story would have been different without his food poisoning. It was one of Esteban’s best weekends and victory was certainly within his reach, but for various reasons he could not grab it. It is always important to finish the season on a high note and Lotus GP can be proud of its achievements in Singapore and throughout the entire season. We will learn from some weekends that were costly to us in order to prepare for next year where our goal is to re- register our name in the history of the GP2 Series.”

source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

coming soon

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni

20th PLACE FOR SCUDERIA COLONI AND ONIDI IN SINGAPORE SPRINT RACE

Fabio Onidi and Scuderia Coloni closed the last round of the 2012 GP2 season in P20 after a race that saw the Italian driver fight to recover from the very back of the grid.

After that yesterday’s crash left the car driven by Luca Filippi too heavily damaged to be repaired on site, Onidi was the only entry lined-up by Scuderia Coloni for the Sprint Race but the team knew that a very difficult task was lying ahead: Fabio’s retirement with 8 laps to go in the Feature Race meant that he was classified in P19, and with a five places penalty being handed to him for the contact with Rosenzweig he had to start further behind in today’s Sprint Race, from 24th place.

This hinted to a very difficult race on a street track like Singapore, where overtaking isn’t easy at all, but Onidi and the team were ready to give it all.

At the start the Italian driver was quick off the line and blasted through the backmarkers to take P20, and then he drove a very aggressive first part of the race, passing Palmer for P19 and Cecotto for 18th place.

Fabio then sticked himself to the gearbox of Gonzales’ car, but in the meantime he had to cope with some car damage from a contact he had at the start. This caused a change in the balance of the car that got worse lap after lap and forced Onidi to slow his pace. Fabio coped with the issue in the best possible way and crossed the line in 20th place.

Paolo Coloni: “Obviously we didn’t get the weekend we were expecting, especially after clinching pole with Filippi on Saturday, but we still have to take the positives from this Singapore round. After winning in Monza we showed again that we had the quickest car on track taking both the pole position and the fastest lap in Race 1. The latter was particularly impressive because Luca posted it very early in the race, still with an heavy car, and despite that nobody could lap quicker than that.

Concerning today we knew that starting so far behind on a track like this was going to make things difficult, but despite that we were ready to try and recover as much as possible. We had a good pace and Fabio did a good job, but, some damage from a contact early in the race unbalanced the car slowing our pace a lot”

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

GP2 Singapore – Race 2 

The GP2 Series made a scintillating debut in Singapore, as team and drivers were finally able to run one of the world’s most fascinating street courses today for race 1. Despite the team did not score points, the day for Trident Racing proved really positive under many aspects. After yesterday’s qualifications, when Stéphane Richelmi ended up in 11th and Julian Leal scored the 19th fastest lap, the race proved much more positive.

Richelmi lost a couple of spots in the opening laps and suffered from a progressively worsening tire wear which conditioned his second stint. On the other hand, Leal took advantage of his tires’ good performance over the distance to start a good comeback. He managed to get several spots back and to lap on a good pace throughout the day despite his strategy had forced him to pit for tires on lap 6.

Following to today’s Race 1 results, Leal will be taking-off from the 6th row on the grid for Race 2, while Richelmi will start from Row 7. The final run of a long 2012 season will be starting tomorrow at 10:00, with live coverage in Italy on RAI2.

Julian Leal, 11th

“Once again we proved that we can have a great race pace overall. Having to start from the 9th row on the grid forced me to an early stop at lap 6, but unlike all the other guys on the same strategy, I did not experience any fade in term of performance and I kept on the same pace all the way through the finish. The much-feared tire wear did not hit us and in the final laps my car was faster than the others. It’s a pity for the Safety-Car situation that basically shortened the race by two laps, because I could have capped my comeback with a points finish”.

Stéphane Richelmi, 14th

“Unfortunately, the anti-stall system came on and I lost a couple of spot. The first few laps were difficult as I had a tough time in driving with cold tires but then I quickly recovered and got closer and closer to the points-paying positions. After lap 10 the tires started to wear out progressively and that conditioned the second part of the race. I was hoping for a much different finish and ready to try and catch the cars I had in front. Unfortunately though, it was me to have tire issues and give up some positions”.

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 Series 2012 – Singapore Race Two 

Arden concludes GP2 campaign in positive fashion

Arden driver Luiz Razia completed the 2012 GP2 season with a battling drive on the streets of Marina Bay, Singapore. The Brazilian duelled hard from the start with Swiss rival Fabio Leimer and ran third for most of the 21 laps, but was passed a few corners from home and had to settle for fourth. Razia has run at the front of the field throughout the campaign and scored points in 19 of the 24 races – a tremendous record that enabled him to finish second in the points table while Arden took third in the championship for teams.

Razia’s team-mate Simon Trummer also finished the year on a bright note, moving up from 21st to 14th after a strong race in the busy midfield.

Luiz Razia comments:

“That wasn’t a particularly easy race, because I had pressure from the first lap to the last and it’s not easy to look after your tyres when you have to drive defensively. I was able to keep Fabio Leimer behind easily enough during the first part of the race, but towards the end he seemed to have a bit more life left in his tyres. And the more you slide around, of course, the worse things become. He tried to pass me on the penultimate lap, but I was just able to hold him off. Next time around, however, he pulled a good move and I had to allow him room to race.

“It’s a pity not to have finished with another podium, but we’ve had many of those this year, including four wins, so I don’t think we have any more to prove. This has been my best racing season to date and I’d like to acknowledge the part the Arden team has played. I have made significant progress as a driver and know that will help my future career. It has been a fantastic season and I’ll always remember it fondly.”

Simon Trummer comments:

“I banged my hand when I crashed yesterday, so it was a little bit swollen and that didn’t make today’s race particularly comfortable. It went pretty well, though, because I made a good start and made constant progress throughout. I’ve been fairly happy with my race pace this year, but accept that I need to sort out qualifying. If I can regularly start close to the front, I know the results will follow – and it’s always important to finish strongly in the first race to maximise your chances in the second!

“Overall it has been an encouraging year. The team has helped me to find my feet and I managed to score my first GP2 points, so I can draw many positives that will help in seasons to come. I’d like to thank the whole team for its input and I look forward to being back behind the wheel when testing resumes.”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

End of an era for Ocean in Singapore

The final two days of the 2012 GP2 Series took place in Singapore this weekend where despite their best efforts, Ocean Racing Technology struggled to finish in the points. Nigel Melker was the driver who finished highest for the Portuguese team with two 12th places, however Victor Guerin’s plan was also in evidence, especially in the second race, where he managed to finish in a brilliant 13th place after starting from the back of the grid. His first race ended prematurely when he was forced to retire after a touch from an opponent that sent him into the wall.

Although the initial goal of securing points was not fulfilled, one way or another, the two drivers were satisfied with their work: “I raced well in both races. My starts were good and I recovered several places, however I could not get into the points. Overall the balance of the year is positive. I may have had some tough times but I also got a lot of experience that will help me in the future,” said Nigel Melker.

Victor Guerin saw his first race in Singapore ending early after a touch from an opponent sent him into the barriers, however the second saw him star in his best race of the season: “It was my best race in GP2. Though initially I had some difficulties, I then found my way and I was feeling very comfortable. I improved a lot, and I think it was a good performance given the conditions. I learned a lot and I think getting championship kilometers throughout the year was very important,” explained Italian driver.

For José Guedes and Tiago Monteiro, it has been a tough season but with some very good moments: “This happened to us all this time and it made us stronger as a team. It was a year of learning for the drivers and a highly competitive year on track. Now at the end, we have the feeling of accomplishment,” they said.

The season comes to a close this weekend, but the GP2 Championship series is already preparing for the first tests ahead of next season, taking place on the 30th and 31st of October in Barcelona, Spain.

source: oceanracingtech.com

Carlin
Carlin

coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk


Pirelli

VALSECCHI AND DAMS BECOME GP2 CHAMPIONS WITH PIRELLI

Pirelli’s second-ever GP2 champion was crowned in Singapore, with DAMS driver Davide Valsecchi following in the footsteps of 2011 GP2 champion Romain Grosjean, who is now a Formula One race driver with Lotus – having also been involved with Pirelli’s testing programme in 2010.

Valsecchi secured the GP2 title by finishing fourth in the feature race on Saturday, securing enough points to ensure that he could not be beaten by Arden driver Luis Razia: his only title rival, who finished fifth. DAMS clinched the GP2 teams championship for the first time on Sunday thanks to fifth for Valsecchi and seventh for his team mate Felipe Nasr in the sprint race.

Carlin’s Max Chilton won the GP2 feature race after a tight battle with Lotus driver Esteban Gutierrez. Both drivers used an identical tyre strategy: starting on the soft tyre and then changing only the rears for their mandatory pit stops. The P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft were nominated for Singapore, and although the supersoft was a quicker tyre (which all the drivers used for qualifying) using it during the race would require changing all four wheels at the mandatory pit stop. By using just the harder compound, drivers could get away with changing the rear tyres only – as GP2 rules state that a minimum of two tyres must be changed – and so save time in the pits.

Chilton led Gutierrez from the start, with both drivers stopping on lap nine. The highest-placed driver to use the supersofts for the feature race was third placed Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) who began the race on the supersofts he used in qualifying before switching to new softs: the same strategy used by Valsecchi and the majority of the field. A different strategy was utilised by iSport’s Marcus Ericsson, who drove the entire race on the supersoft tyre: starting on a used set and then changing to a new set on lap 11 of 28. Having qualified 17th on the grid, Ericsson used the strategy to make up 10 places and finish seventh.

After being confirmed as champion, Valsecchi said: “It was a great feeling driving Pirelli this season. So it means that the races are spectacular, and this is because of the tyres. You have to conserve the tyres if you want to be first, and it’s the same in Formula One, but also you have to be able to use them the best for one lap in qualifying, because if not you will not be at the front and able to compete.”

The sprint race before the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, where pit stops were not compulsory, was won by Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde on the soft tyre. Lotus driver Esteban Gutierrez used the supersoft from start to finish, ending up sixth. Addax driver Johnny Cecotto chose to pit to change to the supersofts but a drive-through penalty ruined his chances, although a storming run through the field meant that he still finished ninth, on a circuit whose traction demands stresses the rear tyres in particular.

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “We’ve been privileged to witness some great racing in our second year of supplying GP2. We had a wet free practice session in Singapore, which made qualifying extremely complicated for all the drivers, but they still managed to get the best out of the tyres both in qualifying and the race. There was a fantastic battle between Chilton and Gutierrez throughout the feature race, where their tyre strategy meant that they were able to pull out more than three seconds over their rivals, even though they did not use the faster supersoft tyres. On the other hand, we saw Ericsson use the speed of the supersoft to make up 10 places from his grid slot. There were many interesting strategies in the sprint race as well, with Gutierrez, Cecotto and Calado using the supersoft very well. Congratulations to Valsecchi for winning the drivers’ title and also to DAMS for the teams’ title after an incredibly closely-fought season.”

 

source: pirelli.com

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