Giacomo Ricci scored DPRs first race win since 2005 and Luca Filippi gave MalaysiaQi- Meritus.com their first GP2 Asia win at round four of the Bridgestone supported GP2 Asia Series at Bahrains Sakhir circuit. The medium compound Bridgestone GP2 tyre helped provide close action over the race weekend in Bahrain, with pole position taken by Filippi by 0.91secs from Arden International driver Charles Pic, with the top ten drivers separated by less than a second. Fridays race was won by Filippi from pole, although he was under constant pressure from newly crowned champion, Davide Valsecchi (iSport International), who finished just two seconds behind. Most drivers changed their rear tyres in the compulsory pit stops in this race. Saturdays race with a reverse top eight grid from the first race saw Ricci make a superb start from fourth on the grid to lead after the first corner. With no pit stop in this race, Ricci was able to lead all the way to the chequered flag. ART Grand Prix driver Sam Bird finished second, over five seconds behind. This weekends round ran alongside the first race of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, for which Bridgestone is Official Tyre Supplier. Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Asia Series Engineer I really enjoyed this weekends racing and it was a good way to end this seasons championship. Once again, tyre degradation was a factor in the race, and this is the target of the GP2 Series to make the racing exciting, and reward the drivers who learn the best tyre management. In both races the top three drivers at the end of the first lap finished in the top three positions, showing that a good start is vital when tyre degradation is a factor. This round was interesting as we used the longer layout circuit at Sakhir, whereas for the previous round we used the shorter configuration. In yesterdays race most drivers opted to change their rear tyres. This was a difficult decision as many drivers reported understeer at the end of the race.
Oliver Turvey and Davide Valsecchi, iSport International teammates, have taken a win apiece at round two of the GP2 Asia Series, held at night under the bright lights of the 5.554km Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit. The medium compound Bridgestone GP2 tyre, the same as provided at the same venue for Round 1 in November, performed well and gave consistent performances throughout the weekend. With track temperatures approximately 20°C lower this time however, the GP2 Asia drivers had the new challenge of keeping plenty of heat in their tyres. The weekend started with a dusty track but by the time qualifying started and Frenchman Charles Pic (Arden International) had stormed to pole just 0.02 and 0.1 seconds ahead of Turvey and Valsecchi respectively, the circuit had started to clean up, setting the scene for the races to come. The 33-lap feature race went to Turvey, the rookie having stolen the lead on the opening lap and fended off his teammate Valsecchi. Constantly under pressure, the Briton took care to manage his Bridgestone tyres and controlled the race from the start. Mandatory pitstops commenced on lap 6 with Javier Villa diving in first and Turvey waiting until lap 10 before making his stop to emerge again in front of his Italian teammate. Most drivers elected to change their rear tyres. It was a hard fought race with the top six drivers running within 4-5 seconds of each other until the safety car came out on lap 22 but Turvey was unwilling to relinquish his lead. Although running third by the end of lap 1, Pic failed to capitalise on his pole position, having run wide on lap 12. Valsecchi took second to add 9 points, including a fastest lap bonus, to his tally from Round 1 and Jules Bianchi (ART Grand Prix) took a remarkable third place podium in his debut GP2 Asia race. Race 2 witnessed yet another spirited drive from Valsecchi. Having finished second in Race 1 on Friday, he took his second victory of the 2009-2010 series in spite of the reversed grid system that pushed him back to seventh on the starting grid. Valsecchi was consistently quick throughout the race, overtaking even in the last stages of the race and setting the fastest lap, a 1min 52,061secs, on lap 18 of the races 21-lap sprint duration. Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci made it a double podium for DPR with second and third places. Leaving Abu Dhabi, Valsecchi leads the drivers championship with 35 points from Turvey on 16. Rossi is third with 10. The teams championship is led by iSport International on 51 points from DPR on 15. Super Nova is in third place on 14. The next round of the GP2 Asia Series takes place in Bahrain on February 26-27. Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Asia Series Engineer First of all, I would like to express my congratulations to Oliver Turvey, who clinched his first victory in GP2 here and also to Davide Valsecchi, who took victory in Race 2, following his 2nd position in Race 1. After the series opener in November, this was the second consecutive round of the GP2 Asia Series to be held at the Yas Marina Circuit, and in comparison, the track temperature was lower this weekend by about 20 degrees. Unlike the last round in the heat, this time it was critical for each driver to heat up the tyres as quickly as possible, or as we saw in both races, maintain the heat during the safety car period. Our medium compound Bridgestone tyres worked well again and many drivers set their best lap times in the final stages of the races.
Diego Nunes (Piquet GP) and Vitaly Petrov (Campos) both took race wins in the fifth round of the GP2 Asia Series which took place in Sepang, Malaysia. Bridgestones medium compound slick GP2 tyre was used for the first time here, giving drivers a greater tyre management challenge than previously, when the more durable hard compound was used. Additionally, the Sepang weather served up a surprise with heavy rainfall before Sundays race, meaning that Bridgestones wet GP2 tyre was used in a race which started under safety car conditions. Saturdays Feature Race saw Nunes manage his tyres to perfection to take his first win for the Piquet GP squad. After making his compulsory pit stop on lap 13, Nunes was able to maintain good lap times right to the finish line, which he crossed ahead of Kamui Kobayashi (Dams) and James Jakes (Super Nova). Pole-sitter Jérôme dAmbrosio (Dams) was unable to start the race due to a driveshaft problem. Sundays Sprint Race was delayed by thirty minutes due to heavy rain. It was then started behind the safety car and the chequered flag was waved due to time expired rather than laps completed. Petrov made the most of the grip levels provided by Bridgestones dynamic wet tyre, which wears to provide suitable grip as a race track dries. Pastor Maldonado (ART) finished second and Davide Valsecchi (Durango) took third. Leaving Malaysia, Kobayashi continues to lead the championship with 47 points, ahead of Valsecchi with 34. Petrov jumps to third place with 28. The teams championship continues to be led by Dams with 70 points from Campos on 54. ART are in third with 41. The final round of the GP2 Asia Series takes place alongside the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 24-26. Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Series Engineer We enjoyed two very different races here in Sepang. On Saturday we had dry conditions so we were able to watch the drivers face the challenge of the medium compound tyre, which is one position softer than the tyre we used here last year. Race winner Diego Nunes managed his tyres very well and was consistent at the end of the race, whilst drivers who changed their tyres relatively early experienced more drop off in performance. Sundays race was interesting as we have not previously seen wet conditions in the GP2 Asia Series. Despite this, the drivers did very well in difficult conditions and our wet tyre worked very well.
Nico Hülkenberg wins an exciting Qatar night race ahead of both Barwa International Campos Team men
The ART Grand Prix racer displayed a brilliant performance tonight in the first-ever GP2 Asia night feature race at the Losail International Circuit to claim a maiden GP2 victory.
However, things did not start so well for Nico Hülkenberg who lost his pole position advantage to Sergio Perez at the start. Further behind the grid, Sakon Yamamoto stalled from sixth and was hit hard by Yelmer Buurman. Rodolfo Gonzalez was also caught in the accident, but fortunately, none of them were injured.
The Safety Car stayed on track for the next five laps even coming through the pitlane in order to let the marshals clean the debris. Vitaly Petrov, then third, was the first of the top drivers to pit on lap 10 and this strategy allowed him to pass his teammate after the latter rejoined the track from his own mandatory pitstop a few laps later.
Almost all the drivers chose to pit early, but one man stayed on track: Nico Hülkenberg took the lead and managed to preserve his tyres all the while matching the pace of those who had already pitted. He pulled away and extended his lead to over 40 seconds. That was enough time to come into the pits, change his left tyres and rejoin the circuit ahead of Perez who earlier had gone past Petrov in a strong move at the end of Turn 1. Hülkenberg claimed victory a clear 13 seconds ahead of Perez. With Petrov finishing third, Barwa International Campos Team had a great result which allowed them to close the gap on team leaders Dams.
Behind the Top 3, Championship leader Kamui Kobayashi finished fourth although his pace was surprisingly slower than what he normally displays. He regained speed in the latest stages, but could not get close enough to Petrov. His teammate, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, finished fifth having fought long and hard with Davide Valsecchi for that position. The Italian, second in the drivers’ championship was followed by Edoardo Mortara and Luiz Razia. Tomorrow’s reversed grid will be an all-Arden front row.