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Apr 21

RUSSIAN TIME driver scores first GP2 win for Russian squad in nail-biting finale (updated²)

Bird bags Sakhir Sprint Race

GP2 - Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME)It’s happy time for RUSSIAN TIME at Bahrain International Circuit: Sam Bird took a lights-to-flag maiden win for the newcomers holding off a charging Felipe Nasr.

The Brit crossed the finish line 0.08s ahead of the Brazilian. In third, Stefano Coletti pockets a fourth podium in four races and maintains the lead in the drivers’ standings.

Tom Dillmann started from reverse pole today. When the lights went off, the Frenchman was busy holding off Adrian Quaife-Hobbs whilst Stefano Coletti charged from P7 on the grid around the outside of Turn 1 to move up to P3. Bird recovered from a slow start from third on the grid, finding a way past Quaife-Hobbs and Coletti on the inside. He immediately put pressure on his teammate for the lead. Further down the pack, contact between Nasr and Alexander Rossi sent the American back to the pits to fix a damaged car. There was more drama with another collision involving Marcus Ericsson and Rio Haryanto.

At the front, Bird overtook Dillmann in the final corner of lap 1. The Frenchman immediately tried to fight back for his position at Turn 1, the two cars running side by side in the following corner. Bird fended off his teammate’s attacks well whilst Dillmann lost a position to Coletti. Nasr was next up and quickly discarded Dillmann too. Bird started to try and build a gap to Coletti that would extend up to 3.8s.

Behind the top three, Quaife-Hobbs, Fabio Leimer and Jolyon Palmer were fighting tooth and nail for fifth place, James Calado and Daniel Abt not too far from the fight. Palmer made a move on Leimer who, trying to defend his position went wide and dropped to eighth, behind Calado. Quaife-Hobbs was then under huge pressure from Palmer, with Calado in tow. The three British drivers battled fearlessly with Calado finding a way past Palmer and Quaife-Hobbs, the MP Motorsport driver also dropping behind the Carlin man. Abt added to Qauife-Hobbs’ misery passing him for seventh place.

In the final laps, Coletti and Nasr picked up the pace, reducing Bird’s advantage to nothing. Struggling on tyres, Coletti braked too hard and ran wide in the final corner of the penultimate lap allowing Nasr to get past and to hunt down Bird for the win. The final lap of the race saw an epic battle between the two drivers, Nasr all over Bird and at the chequered flag, Bird crossed the finish line a hairsbreadth ahead of the Carlin man. Coletti brought home another podium finish ahead of Dillmann, Calado, Palmer, Abt and Quaife-Hobbs.

As Leimer scored no points today, Coletti keeps the lead in the drivers’ championship with 64 points, ten points ahead of the Swiss. Nasr is in third with 48 points. Bird moves up to fifth with 33 points. Calado is now sixth with 24 points, 2 points ahead of Palmer.

GP2 - Felipe Nasr (Carlin), Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME), Stefano Coletti (Rapax)

 

Sakhir – Sprint race
 
Driver
Team
1.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
2.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
3.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
4.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
5.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
6.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
7.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
8.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
MP Motorsport
9.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
10.
Kevin Ceccon
Trident Racing
11.
Sergio Canamasas
Caterham Racing
12.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
13.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
14.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
15.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
16.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
17.
Kevin Giovesi
Venezuela GP Lazarus
18.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
19.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
20.
Alexander Rossi
Caterham Racing
21.
Pal Varhaug
Hilmer Motorsport
22.
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
23.
Robin Frijns
Hilmer Motorsport
24.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
25.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
 
Not Classified
 
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
 
 
 
Fastest Lap : Nathanaël Berthon (Trident Racing) – 1:45.301 on lap 17

source: GP2 Series

Dams

The speed was there – not the points!

In Bahrain Lady Luck deserted the DAMS team and it left the kingdom without scoring any points. It was an unsuccessful meeting for the French squad peppered with race incidents. However, the final result does not reflect the competitiveness of the team, which it proved on Friday, in particular.

The weekend got off to a flying start as Marcus Ericsson and Stéphane Richelmi were among the front-runners in free practice and in qualifying. The two drivers made up for their Malaysian setback with second (Ericsson) and sixth (Richelmi) places on the grid.

Unfortunately, the Swede stalled before the start and had to rejoin from the pit lane in last place. Marcus went out with the bit between his teeth and tried to carve his way up though the field. Thanks to his speed he was fighting his way back when he was rearended by another car breaking the wing. Not a whit discouraged he rejoined and managed to get back up to thirteenth place in the first heat. Stéphane fluffed his start and lost two places straightaway. He managed to up the pace and looked on course for sixth spot although under threat from a hard-charging Robin Frijns. The Dutchman launched an attack and unfortunately the result was a damaged front wheel for Richelmi resulting in premature retirement.

On Sunday things didn’t get any better for DAMS. In the pushing and shoving in the first corner Ericsson’s rear wing was damaged forcing him to retire on lap 5 and Richelmi, who started in last place, could only fight his way up to thirteenth when the flag fell. There was no way the reigning double title-winning team could be happy with a couple of thirteenth places, although the speed shown this weekend is the best antidote to dispel the blues before the next rendezvous in Barcelona!

François Sicard, managing director: “The weekend didn’t turn out as we’d hoped. The team did a good job but race incidents ruined Marcus’s and Stéphane’s races. It goes without saying that we’re disappointed with the result, but this hasn’t dented our optimism thanks to the performance of the cars. The two drivers were quick in qualifying and their speed in the race was on a par with the best. So now we’re concentrating on Spain where our aim is to score a big haul of points.”

Marcus Ericsson: “I’m very disappointed by this weekend. At the start of the first race the lights procedure was longer than I expected and I stalled. Then in the race I was harpooned by another driver and this broke my wing. When I rejoined I was very quick – faster than the leader! So even if I’m very frustrated today for myself and for the team, I know that we’ve got the performance and that we can fight for victory at the next round.”

Stéphane Richelmi: “After my qualifying performance I was expecting greater things. I didn’t make a good start in the first heat and I lost places. After that my pace was good and I was heading for sixth place when Robin Frijns tried to pass me and launched an attack from very far back. I did everything I could to avoid him but he hit me and there was too much damage for me to continue. I started last in the sprint and I did everything I could to preserve my tyres for the end of the race, while fighting my way up through the field. However, the tyre degradation isn’t as heavy this year so I couldn’t get any higher than thirteenth. Although I’m obviously disappointed, I’m feeling confident for Barcelona as we’ve got the speed and with a little bit of luck the results will start to come in.”

Next race: Barcelona (Spain) 11-12 May.

source: dams.fr

ART Grand Prix

coming soon

source: art-grandprix.com


Arden

coming soon

source: arden-motorsport.com

Racing Eng.

Opening lap incident ruins the day for Fabio Leimer.

Once again the weather at the Sakhir circuit was very hot for the 23 lap Feature Race with an air temperature of 30° and a track temperature of 42° and all the drivers were starting on the harder Pirelli compound. Following yesterday’s race win Fabio Leimer was starting from 8th on the reversed grid with Julián Leal in 19th.

Fabio made a good start from the 4th row of the grid holding an inside line into the first corner and gaining two places to move up to 6th but the Racing Engineering car made contact with the nose of the Caterham car of Rossi causing damage to the sidepod and the turning vane which would affect the car for the rest of the race. The young Swiss then held position for the rest of the lap to cross the finishing line 0.7 seconds behind Nasr and 0.3 seconds ahead of Calado. Fabio now began to close on Quaife-Hobbs and on lap 5 the gap was 0.4 seconds and he was now being chased by Palmer who had passed Calado.

By lap 7 there was a very close battle for 5th between Quaife-Hobbs, Fabio and Palmer with just one second between the three cars, Fabio was still looking for a way to pass Quaife-Hobbs but he had to be careful not to leave an opening for Palmer. The gaps between the three drivers began to slowly open out and by lap 13 Fabio was 1.4 seconds behind Quaife-Hobbs and 2.8 seconds ahead of Calado.

With 5 laps remaining Fabio had closed onto the tail of Quaife-Hobbs and was putting the MP Motorsport under increasing pressure but once again Palmer was right behind him and on lap 19 he lost places to Palmer and Calado dropping to 8th. With two laps to go Leimer was now battling with Abt but the Racing Engineering car was now right behind Palmer however, with his front tyres now badly worn, he was unable to keep Abt behind him and he lost the position to drop to 9th which was where he finished.

Julián got away well at the start but contact in the first corner between two cars caused the Racing Engineering driver to run wide and lose several places dropping to 19th at the end of the first lap. On the second lap Julián lost a place to Evans but on the following lap he passed De Jong to regain 19th.

The young Columbian was now battling with Frijns and he dropped to 20th on lap 6 but once again he moved back up to 19th when he made a good overtaking manoeuvre on Berthon five laps later.

Julián quickly pulled away from Berthon and was now looking to close on Evans who was 0.6 seconds ahead with eight laps still remaining. Julián was now involved in a fight with Frijns, Richelmi and Evans and on lap 17 he passed Frijns place and he was now right on the gearbox of Evans. For the remaining laps Julián continued to chase the Arden car and he completed the 23 laps in 16th place, just 0.7 seconds behind Evans.

The Racing Engineering team will now be returning to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the next round of the 2013 GP2 Series to be held at Barcelona from the 10th May.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“Disappointing results in race 2 today. In the end we could not score any points, even if both drivers have made good starts. But unfortunately Julian lost positions with the accident in turn 1 and Fabio’s start was directly affected by the contact with Rossi, which damaged his car and affected the rest of his race, not allowing him to perform with a standard car. Having said this, the pace of the cars around him was very similar today and there was no big time difference. We will look into it in detail to see what has happened during this race. We will be busy now and work hard to prepare the next round taking place in Barcelona.”

Fabio Leimer:

“It was a hard race today. I actually had a quite good start and my plan was to go to the outside, but when there was no space I went to the inside of turn 1. In the end it wasn’t too bad a decision as I was already ahead of Palmer and Rossi. But then unfortunately Palmer hit Rossi, who lost control of his car and hit the side of my car. So in the end his front wing went into my sidepod and it stayed there for the rest of the race, which greatly affected the car in high speed corners, where I suffered from quite a lot of vibration and turbulence. It was really, really hard as I had this problem with the wing, but also tried to save tyres. In the end we missed the points only by one position, but we can actually be happy I was able to finish the race like this.”

Julián Leal:

“I think today there was no big difference between all the cars. At the start, things went quite well until turn 1, where someone crashed. In order to avoid a collision, I had to go wide in turn 1 and lost some positions. After that I fought a bit during the first laps, which put some pressure on the rear tyres. I kept the pace and cooled down the rear tyres as I could not push at that time. So I was saving tyres and towards the end the car was quite good and I could attack again. The tyres started to work again and I overtook several cars. I think the pace was quite good, but when you start from so far back, it’s not easy. I think we paid the price for my mistake from yesterday. I have to be more concentrated and focussed in race 1, which will allow me to have a better starting position in the Sunday races.”

source: racing-engineering.com

Carlin
Carlin

coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk

Russian Time logo

Russian Time

SAM BIRD TAKES FIRST WIN FOR NEW TEAM RUSSIAN TIME IN BAHRAIN

Hersham GP2 driver Sam Bird delivered a nail biting finale in the GP2 race at the Bahrain International Circuit yesterday for new Russian squad “Russian Time”.

Starting from third on the grid, Bird took the lead from his pole-sitting teammate on the first lap and pulled out a 2 second lead on Coletti, which he extended with a series of fastest laps.

With just 2 laps to go, however, Bird’s tyres began to go off, leaving him with a titanic battle to maintain his lead, with Coletti putting huge pressure on him. Coletti then made a big mistake in the final corner on the penultimate lap, allowing Nasr through to challenge Bird for the win.

Bird held his cool and kept to his lines, reaching the chequered flag just 0.08seconds ahead of Nasr, to move into 4th in the driver’s standings.

“Apparently, in Russia they call a bird, which symbolises good luck “Blue Bird”. I wear a blue suit and my name is Bird, so obviously the team are nicknaming me Blue Bird. It is a huge achievement by the whole team to win a race in only their second weekend of existence and with little pre-season practice. We have a lot more development to do with the car. I believe there is much more to come and I’m really looking forward to the next round in Barcelona. ”

Sam Bird is also the reserve and test driver for the Mercedes AMG F1 team.

www.sambird.com

source:

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

GP2 Sprint Race

Bahrain International Circuit

  • Sunday 21st April 2013
  • Car #14 Sergio Canamasas – P11
  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P20
  • Sakhir Circuit Length: 5.412 km
  • Total Distance – Race 2: 124.230 km
  • Tyre use: P Zero Orange hard

The GP2 sprint race in Bahrain started at 1050 local time and did not disappoint, providing a constant stream of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing for the crowd.

Alexander made a good start from the third row of the grid following his podium in the Saturday feature race but it was three abreast into the first corner and a tap to the rear turned him around forcing oncoming traffic to make contact with his front wing. He made it back to the pits where a new nose was fitted and the suspension was checked. Rejoining the race in last place he put in some stunning lap times, catching and overtaking two cars at the back of the pack and finishing 20th.

Canamasas made a flying start from 20th on the grid, enabling him to run a consistent 14th for the early part of the race. With ten laps to go he had great pace and with his tyres in good shape he pushed hard and battled for a top ten finish. He traded places with the cars around him several times before taking the chequered flag an admirable 11th.

Team Principal Mia Sharizman “Overall I am happy with the race weekend here in Bahrain and we have made many improvements and gains since the first race in Malaysia. It looks like we have turned a corner and all credit to the boys for their great work this weekend. It is never easy for the engineers or mechanics to have a new driver stepping into the car just a few days before a race weekend but Alexander and James have worked very well together.

“I am pleased for Sergio today and he has now seen the capability of the car and the team, which will help build his confidence for the remainder of the season.

“We now move on from Bahrain in the knowledge that we have a good baseline for the car and we hope to repeat our good form in Barcelona. There is a long season ahead and now we have moved up in the Championship standings we look onwards and upwards.”

Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am disappointed for Alexander today but the team did a great job to get him back out on track after checking the car and changing the nose. After his stop he was consistently one of the fastest cars on track and I feel confident that with better fortune we could have won the race.

“Sergio did a great job from 20th on the grid and battled through the field showing great grit and determination.

“Both drivers were happy with the balance of the car and we now look forward to Barcelona.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “We have mixed emotions following today’s race and we find ourselves thinking what could have been. Both drivers made very good starts but when Alex got tagged at the first corner and had to change his nose it was race over. After the pit stop he pushed hard and was flying, lapping quicker than the leaders and if it were not for the incident he looked good for another podium.

“Sergio also had a blinding start and was dicing with people throughout the race. He was happier with the car today and had he started higher up the grid I am confident he could have scored some points. He has learnt a lot today and proved that he is a real racer and is capable of carrying out clean overtaking manoeuvres. We leave Bahrain with points on the board and look forward to Barcelona.

Alexander Rossi “My start was very good, I managed to overtake the row in front of me. Into turn one I went to the outside to brake on the racing line and was hit from behind. This put me sideways and another car drove over my front wing. I had to pit for a nose change, which pretty much put an end to my race.

“I made the decision to treat the remainder of the race as a test with the main aim to understand how the tyres work in these conditions, which turned out to be very positive. My tyre degradation was low and I was able to maintain a quick pace throughout the 25 laps.

“Going to Barcelona I think we have a very good race car. We’ll make small improvements to our qualifying car and after this weekend I have a better understanding of the tyres. There is no reason why we can’t go for a win in Barcelona.

“My GP2 Championship debut has been very positive, the team have done a fantastic job throughout and I would like to thank all of the guys for their hard work. “

Sergio Canamasas: “I am pretty happy following the race and it is just a pity that I did not quite make it into the points as the car was quick and I felt good. I enjoyed the close racing and plenty of overtaking during the race and I am pleased with the car and how it worked today. I was surprised that the tyres were so good at the end of the race which enabled me to continue to push.

“I leave Bahrain happy and I am looking forward to Barcelona which is my home race and with my friends, family and sponsors supporting me I will deliver even more.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com

Rapax Team

Rapax

coming soon

source: rapaxteam.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

coming soon

source: tridentracing.it

Hilmer Motorsport logo
Hilmer Motorsport

coming soon

source:

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

VENEZUELA GP LAZARUS FAST BUT WITHOUT LUCK IN BAHRAIN

Venezuela GP Racing rookies Rene Binder and Kevin Giovesi demonstrated some promising race pace during the 2nd event of the 2013 GP2 Series season in Bahrain, but were simply not lucky enough to claim another point finish for the Italian Team.

It was a real shame, because both Binder and Giovesi show in Bahrain their good potential, but being a rookie it’s quite complicated in GP2 Series, because you have to learn the circuit (and how to use the tyres) during the free practice and you have only 30 minutes! Despite a difficult qualifying session for both drivers, the race pace was very good, but Binder received a doubtful drive through penalty when was fighting for top ten position, while Giovesi had to retire because of a contact with another driver.

In race 2 Binder was so unlucky in the start and had to pit immediately to change the damaged front wing. For him race 2 was a sort of test and it has to be underline that he was the 3rd fastest driver on track. Giovesi had some good fights and finished p17 (starting from p22).

Rene Binder, #24

“It is quite disappointing not to finish in the points this time, which we were aiming for. Despite a difficult free practice and qualifying I was still optimistic to turn things around in race 1 but then I received an unexpected drive through penalty for a pretty normal race situation. The second race was more or less over after some cars crashed in the first corner and forced me to pit to change my front wing. Anyway, I took it as a test and at least managed to post the 3rd fastest lap time today which hopefully is a good omen for the upcoming races.”

Kevin Giovesi, #25

“It was a boiling hot but educational weekend here on the Sakhir circuit as I have learned my lesson about perfect racing in the GP2 series. My mistake in both races was that I pushed too much at the beginning so that my tyres were gone earlier than expected. However, I had some good fights and a positive feeling for our package that would have definitely allowed us expect some better positions.”

Alessandro Baldo, Team Manager and Race Engineer

“We did not get points, but analyzing the performance of our young drivers lap by lap in both races we can assume to be quite satisfied. Binder, for example, was very fast both in Race 1 and Race 2 and also Giovesi had a good race pace, which shows that, if we improve in qualifying session, we have the chance to fight for the points.”

source: teamlazarus.it

MP Motorsport logo
MP Motorsport

QUAIFE-HOBBS STARS IN BAHRAIN TO TAKE MP MOTORSPORT’S FIRST GP2 POINTS

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs delivered two excellent race performances in Bahrain over the weekend, 20th/21st April, during the second event of the 2013 GP2 Series – the category rookie securing his, and MP Motorsport’s, first points in the FIA Formula One World Championship support category.

Marking a huge step forward for the Westmaas-based squad and the British rookie, seventh position in the weekend’s opening ‘pit-stop’ race at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday and eighth in Sunday’s fourth round hoisted MP Motorsport into ninth place in the entrant standings.

Dutch team-mate Daniël De Jong’s weekend was compromised from the start by a tough qualifying session and this was compounded by a gear-related problem at the beginning of race one, which led to an enforced retirement to the pits.

Traced to an issue with the steering wheel, the team fitted a replacement for Sunday’s ‘Sprint Race’ where De Jong fought through impressively from the back of the 26 car grid and concluded the encounter in 18th position.

“It’s been a great weekend overall for the team with Adrian’s two results, but we’re obviously really disappointed for Daniël”, said MP Motorsport team principal Sander Dorsman, “We changed some parts when he pitted but, in the end, it appeared to be the steering wheel so we replaced that for race two and everything was fine then.

“For Adrian, it was a really strong weekend and he showed great pace. His qualifying was good and in race one, we managed to make our strategy of going long into the race work well. In the last laps on the soft tyres he did a really great job too, it’s great to have our first points in GP2.”

While De Jong had the bitter disappointment of a swift retirement from round three, Quaife-Hobbs benefited before the lights went out when Marcus Ericsson encountered problems and so the MP Motorsport racer effectively started from seventh place. He had qualified a superb eighth, just 0.4 seconds off the front row.

Getting away well, the Briton moved into the top six on the outside of the first turn but was elbowed back to seventh at turn three. Moving back into sixth on lap eight, Quaife-Hobbs continued to gain places during the next few laps as more and more drivers took their mandatory tyre-change stops.

At one third distance, the MP Motorsport driver had the lead of the race and looked after his hard compound Pirellis impressively all the way to his pit-stop with 11 laps remaining. Emerging back out at the tail of the top 10, Quaife-Hobbs worked his way into eighth and closed down the cars ahead with some superb laps.

Making the most of his fresher soft tyres, he closed down Simon Trummer for seventh and made the place his at the end of lap 28. During the closing stages Tom Dillmann, who also passed Trummer, piled on the pressure but Quaife-Hobbs held firm to claim a fantastic result.

With the finish securing a second place start for round four on the ‘reverse grid’, Quaife-Hobbs fought valiantly throughout but had to give best to some of the more experienced GP2 competitors and took a nonetheless strong eighth place finish to bag his second points score of the weekend.

De Jong, lining up on the back row after Saturday’s retirement, made a great start and climbed into 18th position early on before being edged back outside the top 20. Into the final stages, the Dutch youngster broke back into 19th place and took 18th before the finish.

Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, will host rounds five and six of the 2013 GP2 Series three weeks from now on 11th/12th May.

source: manormpmotorsport.com


Pirelli

PIRELLI GP2 TYRES PERFORM STRONGLY IN THE HEAT OF BAHRAIN

Pirelli’s hard and soft tyres have performed well in the heat of Bahrain, demonstrating top performance allied to complete reliability. With track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, these are toughest conditions that the GP2 tyres have faced yet, on the second round of this year’s series.

The nomination of P Zero Orange hard and P Zero Yellow soft was exactly the same as it was for the opening round in Malaysia, but conditions were extremely different. Traction and braking meant that the rear tyres in particular had a big job to do, especially at the start of the race on full fuel. The nomination for GP2 in Bahrain was once more an even more extreme selection than the compounds chosen for Formula One (hard and medium), which underlines the adaptability of the GP2 rubber under a very wide range of conditions. Each driver has an allocation of three sets of the harder compound and two sets of the softer compound in GP2, which they can use in any way they want.

Racing Engineering driver Fabio Leimer set the pace from the very first free practice session on the hard compound, going a full second quicker than anybody else. In qualifying, Leimer again dominated: lapping nearly two seconds faster than his free practice time on the soft tyres and nine-tenths faster than anybody else. This illustrated the constant track evolution seen in Bahrain, a well-known feature of the track that makes grip levels very hard to predict.

During the feature race, a number of different strategies were at work. The frontrunners mostly chose to start on the soft tyre, with some of the drivers further down the grid electing to start on the hard tyre in order to drive a longer first stint and get in front of the drivers who were running on the soft tyres during the first pit stops.

On lap seven, Caterham’s Alexander Rossi was the first driver to stop for hard tyres on lap six. MP Motorsport driver Adrian Quaife-Hobbs was the last person to make a pit stop, having started the race from eighth on the grid on the hard tyres and then switching to soft tyres on lap 19 of 32.

His strategy helped Rossi jump from seventh on the grid to claim his first GP2 podium on his series debut, while Leimer dominated from lights to flag after fending off a determined Stefano Coletti (Rapax), who finished second. Both started on the soft tyre and switched to the hard tyre on lap 10. Another driver who used strategy to boost his track position was Carlin’s Jolyon Palmer, who stopped on lap seven to go from softs to hard and complete a long final stint – eventually finishing fifth from a starting position of 14th.

The sprint race on Sunday didn’t feature compulsory pit stops, with the grid formed of the top eight from Saturday’s race reversed. This meant that Russian Time driver Tom Dillman (the winner of the Bahrain sprint race last year) started from pole. In the end though, it was his team mate Sam Bird who won the race, having managed his single set of P Zero orange hard tyres perfectly from start to finish in the 23-lap race.

Coletti made a brilliant start to move up to second place by the closing stages of the race, but he then found himself struggling with degradation, which allowed Carlin’s Felipe Nasr past him. The Brazilian then chased Bird all the way to the chequered flag, finishing just 0.08s behind.

After clinching victory, Bird commented: “I knew Coletti and Nasr would come back at me because their cars are typically very strong in terms of tyre management. We’re still working on our setup and improving all the time. And we’re already improved a lot since yesterday where our tyres fell off earlier. We have managed to add quite a few more laps today and we won the race.”

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “Controlling the thermal degradation was the key to success during this race weekend, which was held in the highest temperatures that we have seen so far this year. Tyre strategy played an important role in the outcome of both races, just as is the case in Formula One – which is where this generation of talented drivers all want to be, so hopefully we can help to prepare them. Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering quickly understood how to get the best out of both the hard and the soft tyre on a single lap as well as over a whole stint during the race. Coupled with the right strategy, this allowed them to win the feature race. The sprint race focuses even more on tyre management, as a single set has to last an entire race distance. The top three all judged the compromise between durability and performance perfectly, treating us to an extremely closely-matched and exciting spectacle.”

This year’s GP2 season takes in 11 rounds and 22 races. The next round of the Pirelli-equipped series takes place in Barcelona, Spain, from May 10-12.

source: pirelli.com

 Alexander Rossi logo

Podium for Rossi in his 2013 GP2 Debut

Bahrain International Circuit – GP2 Feature Race

Saturday, 20th April 2013

  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P3
  • Race length: 32 laps
  • Sakhir Circuit Length: 5.412 km
  • Total Distance – Race 1: 172.938 km
  • Tire use: Start: P Zero Yellow Pit stop: P Zero Orange hard
  • Weather: Air temp 34˚C / track temp 40˚C

Alexander Rossi made an impressive start to his GP2 campaign with Caterham Racing, finishing the Bahrain GP2 feature race in third position, scoring 15 points and taking seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am absolutely delighted with today’s result. These are the first points for the team this season and we are very pleased to have Alexander back in the car. Third place in his first race is a great boost for everyone in the team.

“With Alexander starting 6th and Sergio 20th for Sunday’s sprint race there is no reason why we should not score more points.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “I am chuffed for Alexander and all of the team, especially James who engineers his car and who did a great job today with a driver who clearly has great promise. All in all this has been the best day for Caterham Racing by a long way this season and we are just so pleased for Alexander – the comeback kid!

Alexander Rossi: “Today was a great result for my GP2 series debut and Caterham Racing. I could not have asked for more than a podium and now we can build on that for tomorrow’s race and the remainder of the season.

“I grabbed two places on the first lap, running fifth up to the pit stop. The guys did a great job and I rejoined the track third on the road, balancing not to push too hard while looking after the tyres to the end of the race. Nasr was closing fast behind me at the end, but I had enough to hold him off and keep him behind me.

“It was obviously not ideal to miss winter testing and the first round of the Championship, however I’ve made very few changes to the car all weekend. James my engineer gave me a great baseline and racecar, which I capitalised on today. It’s important for me to build on this and I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Cyril Abiteboul and Caterham Racing Team Principal Mia Sharizman for having faith in me and giving me the chance to show what I can do.”

“Caterham Racing is a great team and I feel very comfortable with all the guys. Tomorrow will be calmer for me and starting fifth on the grid I can go out, enjoy the race and hopefully get on the podium again.”

Race 2 Sprint Race

  • Sunday, 21st April 2013
  • Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P20
  • Race length: 32 laps
  • Sakhir Circuit Length: 5.412 km
  • Total Distance – Race 2: 124.230 km
  • Tire use: Zero Orange hard

The GP2 sprint race in Bahrain started at 1050 local time and did not disappoint, providing a constant stream of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing for the crowd.

Alexander made a good start from the third row of the grid following his podium in the Saturday feature race but it was three abreast into the first corner and a tap to the rear turned him around forcing oncoming traffic to make contact with his front wing. He made it back to the pits where a new nose was fitted and the suspension was checked. Rejoining the race in last place he put in some stunning lap times, catching and overtaking two cars at the back of the pack and finishing 20th..

Team Principal Mia Sharizman “Overall I am happy with the race weekend here in Bahrain and we have made many improvements and gains since the first race in Malaysia. It looks like we have turned a corner and all credit to the boys for their great work this weekend. It is never easy for the engineers or mechanics to have a new driver stepping into the car just a few days before a race weekend but Alexander and James have worked very well together.

“We now move on from Bahrain in the knowledge that we have a good baseline for the car and we hope to repeat our good form in Barcelona. There is a long season ahead and now we have moved up in the Championship standings we look onwards and upwards.”

Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am disappointed for Alexander today but the team did a great job to get him back out on track after checking the car and changing the nose. After his stop he was consistently one of the fastest cars on track and I feel confident that with better fortune we could have won the race.

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “We have mixed emotions following today’s race and we find ourselves thinking what could have been. Both drivers made very good starts but when Alex got tagged at the first corner and had to change his nose it was race over. After the pit stop he pushed hard and was flying, lapping quicker than the leaders and if it were not for the incident he looked good for another podium.

Alexander Rossi “My start was very good, I managed to overtake the row in front of me. Into turn one I went to the outside to brake on the racing line and was hit from behind. This put me sideways and another car drove over my front wing. I had to pit for a nose change, which pretty much put an end to my race.

“I made the decision to treat the remainder of the race as a test with the main aim to understand how the tyres work in these conditions, which turned out to be very positive. My tyre degradation was low and I was able to maintain a quick pace throughout the 25 laps.

“Going to Barcelona I think we have a very good race car. We’ll make small improvements to our qualifying car and after this weekend I have a better understanding of the tyres. There is no reason why we can’t go for a win in Barcelona.

“My GP2 Championship debut has been very positive, the team have done a fantastic job throughout and I would like to thank all of the guys for their hard work.”

source: teamrossimotorsports.com, alexanderrossi.com