Fabio Leimer dominates Jerez tests

Jules Bianchi, Lotus ART, Fabio Leimer, Racing Engineering, 2011, Test session, Test

Fabio Leimer dominates Jerez tests

Racing Engineering driver once again quickest on final day

The final session of a two-day 2011 post-season test took place today at Circuito de Jerez. Twenty-six drivers sat behind the wheel of the GP2/11 car. While Arden International, Scuderia Coloni and Super Nova Racing did not change their line-up for today, the other teams welcomed new faces, including newcomers Rupert Svendsen-Cook at Racing Engineering, GP3 graduate Tom Dillmann at Barwa Addax, Giovanni Venturini at Dams, and Yuki Shiraishi at Ocean Racing Technology.

The morning session opened in cooler temperatures than the day before. Javier Villa set the early pace but his best laptime was soon improved by the Coloni pair Fabio Onidi and Kevin Ceccon. At the half hour mark, it was yesterday’s fastest man Fabio Leimer at Racing Engineering who took advantage of better grip to claim again the top spot and his laptime of 1:26.701 remained unbeaten until the chequered flag, one tenth quicker than Onidi. GP3 graduate Nigel Melker finished a mere five hundredths from the Italian proving that he is adjusting well to his Arden machine on his second day of testing with the British team. Villa, Ceccon, roolie Felix Da Costa, Jules Bianchi, Sam Bird, Max Chilton and Julian Leal rounded out the top ten.

After a one hour lunch break, the pitlane re-opened. The session was quickly red flagged after Ceccon spun and stopped in the gravel bed. At the re-start, rookie James Calado at Lotus ART was free to set the early pace ahead of Bianchi and Bird. But just before the one-hour mark, Bird at the wheel of his Trident car went top, half a second quicker than his countryman. It was then Bianchi’s turn to claim top spot going one tenth faster than Bird as Julian Leal also at Trident moved up to P3. The session was briefly red flagged three times again before the last hour of the session. At the chequered flag, Bianchi retained his top spot ahead of Bird, Leal, Arden’s rookie Simon Trummer, Calado, GP2 returnee Alexander Rossi at Caterham Team AriAsia, iSport’s Nathanël Berthon, Chilton, Ceccon and Jolyon Palmer at Barwa Addax. Onidi ended this testing as best rookie.

Next 2011 post-season test session will take place in Barcelona on October 19-20 and will be the final stop before flying to Abu Dhabi for the 2011 GP2 Final on November 11-12-13.


Luca Filippi sprints to Spa victory

Luca Filippi sprints to Spa victory

Scuderia Coloni driver ends Belgium weekend on a high

Luca Filippi snatched a second win in the 2011 season at the wheel of the Scuderia Coloni car in an action packed sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Italian who drove flawlessly from P5 on the starting grid was joined by Jules Bianchi and Josef Kral on the podium.

As the lights went off, poleman of the day Kral made a perfect start to keep the lead, but it was Johnny Cecotto who made the strongest impression on the rest of the field. The Venezuelan chose the right side of the straight line from P9 to pass Fairuz Fauzy on the inside of Turn 1 and take P2. Further down, Filippi overtook both Dani Clos and Fairuz Fauzy to come out in third place at the end of the first lap.

As Kral stayed in control and built up a 2.9s gap with Cecotto, the Ocean driver was fighting hard to keep an overzealous Filippi at bay. The Italian passed the Venezuelan at Eau Rouge, but Cecotto fought back and regained his position quickly. Behind the battling duo, the action was just as intense with Bianchi overtaking Clos on the last corner, the Spaniard having just lost a position to newly crowned GP2 Series Champion Romain Grosjean. At the entrance of Turn 1, Bianchi made a move on Grosjean but ran a bit too wide and lost a position to Clos.

By Lap 7, Filippi had eventually passed Cecotto, and was the quickest man on track – one second faster than race leader Kral. But the Safety Car was deployed after Fabio Leimer lost the rear of his Rapax car at Eau Rouge and crashed heavily into the barrier. Although his machine was severely damaged, the Swiss driver walked away uninjured.

At the re-start, Kral stayed in the lead, but Filippi did not let him get away, overtook him after Eau Rouge and sprinted to victory. Behind them, Cecotto was under pressure from Fauzy, Grosjean with Clos in tow. The Malaysian driver eventually was out of the equation when he went a bit too wide at Turn 1 and it looked as though Cecotto would be able to breathe a little bit better while Grosjean, Clos and Bianchi were once again busy fighting each other off. The three men ran side by side after Turn 1, and at the bottom of Eau Rouge, Bianchi passed to take P4 and set his sight on Cecotto for P3. He did the job in the last corner and chased after Kral.

Cecotto lost a position to Grosjean and Clos and while the Ocean driver was fighting the Spaniard to regain his position, Sam Bird joined in on the fun and overtook both for P5. While Filippi extended his lead, Bianchi disposed of Kral in the last lap. The Arden man was then Grosjean’s prey, but Kral managed to keep the Dams man at bay to retain P3. Grosjean finished in fourth ahead of Bird and Clos.

With this result, Filippi has moved up to fifth in the drivers’ standings, nine points behind Giedo van der Garde who is still in second. As for Bianchi, after a strong Belgium weekend and two second places, the Frenchman is now third in the drivers’ standings, one point behind the Dutchman at Addax. The fight to become Vice Champion in two weeks time at Monza will be another GP2 classic.


Spa post race decision. Josef Kral will start from reverse pole tomorrow

Spa post race decision

During today’s feature race, Josef Kral was overtaken by Fairuz Fauzy. This move was made during a Safety Car period and by virtue of this a suggestion was made to the team by Race Control that Fauzy should relinquish the position he had gained. Super Nova and their driver properly complied with this without demur.

At the conclusion of the race however, representations were made on behalf of the Malaysian driver and enquiries have been made of both drivers. After hearing the explanation of the Arden driver, the stewards found that the car driven by Kral had slowed to such a degree that it was reasonable for Fauzy to determine that the car driven by Kral had “slowed with an obvious problem” and he was entitled to have overtaken.

In all circumstances, the stewards directed that the finishing positions of Kral and Fauzy be reversed in the classification of the feature race. Both drivers having finished P7 and P8, Josef Kral will now be starting from reverse pole on tomorrow’s sprint race.


Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report Istanbul

Pastor Maldonado (Rapax) and Dani Clos (Racing Engineering) both took race wins in Istanbul on Bridgestone’s medium specification dry tyre.
Due to the limited use of this venue during the year, the track was extremely green at the start of the weekend and gradually improved with every session run. Such track evolution affects tyre performance with more sliding and low grip shown in the early sessions meaning that the tyres don’t work as well as they do
when the circuit rubbers-in.
Saturday’s 32 lap feature race was dominated by Maldonado who started well and got ahead of pole sitter Davide Valsecchi (iSport International) by the first corner, crossing the finish line 19.5 seconds clear of the Italian driver. Sam Bird claimed the third step of the podium for ART Grand Prix, his first podium of the series. Maldonado set the quickest time on lap 15 having pitted and changed rear tyres four laps earlier.
Sunday’s 23 lap sprint race was led from start to finish by Clos, his maiden win in the GP2 Series. Luiz Razia (Rapax) finished second having started from fourth, and Giedo van der Garde (Barwa Addax) took third after lining up fifth on the grid. Clos was awarded the point for fastest lap.
Maldonado is now at the top of the drivers’ championship standings with 27 points, followed by Clos on 23 and Razia on 20. Rapax extends their lead in the teams’ championship with 47 points, Barwa Addax Team remaining in second place now on 34. Racing Engineering is in third position with 25 points. The next venue for the GP2 Series will be Valencia where Bridgestone’s soft compound dry tyre has been allocated for the fourth round, taking place on 25-27 June.

2010 GP2 Series. Round 3. 
Round 3 Istanbul Park, Istanbul Turkey.30th May. 
Sunday Race.
Dani Clos (ESP, Racing Engineering) celebrates his victory on the podium. 
Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.
Ref: _G7C4905.jpg

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“Saturday’s race was very entertaining with many overtaking manoeuvres. Pastor Maldonado started well from second on the grid and he pushed the tyres very hard, however he managed them well to finish with such a lead. Some drivers experienced blistering on the front rights due to the severe nature of the circuit and the long triple apex turn eight. However, we do not believe that lap times were dramatically effected because of this, and degradation was reasonable. On Saturday the track conditions were not so improved, there being less grip than expected. On Sunday the tyres showed a similar appearance to race one and were consistent, the track improving only slightly. Congratulations to both race winners for applying their previous knowledge of racing in GP2 here at Istanbul Park.”


Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report

Nico  Hulkenberg  (ART  Grand  Prix)  claimed  the  2009  GP2  Series  title  on  Sunday  in  Monza,  after  a sensational   rookie   season.   The   penultimate   round   of   the   Bridgestone-supported   championship   also provided Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) and Luiz Razia (Party Poker Racing.Com SC) with race wins on Bridgestone’s wet and medium dry specification tyres. The main challenge for the teams and drivers in Monza was managing the heat durability of the tyres during the  Friday  sessions,  and  battling  with  changing  track  conditions  in  the  wet  on  Saturday.  With  varied  and extreme weather, tyre management was one of the most important aspects of the weekend. Saturday’s  32  lap  feature race was delayed by heavy rain and started behind the safety car, with van der Garde ultimately taking the lead from Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) just two laps before the chequered flag. All drivers, but one, were on Bridgestone’s wet specification tyre for the full duration of the race. Petrov finished in second having started on pole, with Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) taking third place. The point for fastest lap went to Edoardo Mortara (Telmex Arden International). Sunday’s  21 lap  sprint race  was led by Razia throughout, while Hulkenberg and Petrov’s positions behind were  to  decide  the  championship.  Completing  the  podium,  di  Grassi  took  second  place  with  Hulkenberg third. Petrov finished fifth as he was unable to pass Jerome d’Ambrosio (DAMS) in the closing stages, while the final point of the weekend went to Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) for quickest lap. Hulkenberg is now champion with 90 points  in the drivers’ standings, while Petrov is second on 68 and di Grassi  third  with  57.  ART  Grand  Prix  leads  the  teams’  championship  with  126  points  from  Barwa  Addax Team on 113. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 57. The final round of the 2009 GP2 Series will be held in Portimao, Portugal, on 18-20 September, on Bridgestone’s soft compound slick. Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development “Congratulations  to  GP2  Series  drivers’  champion  Nico  Hulkenberg,  it  has  been  an  exciting  penultimate weekend for GP2. The postponed start of the feature race on Saturday would have interrupted the drivers’ concentration,  but  Giedo  van  der  Garde drove well despite the track conditions. The GP2 drivers showed that wet tyre management is important when the circuit conditions change, as the track dries. At the end of the  race,  pit  stop  strategies  altered  the  finishing  order,  making  it  a  very  interesting  race  for  spectators. Degradation of the rear tyres was higher than the fronts and most competitors felt a tendency for the car to oversteer, which is why many drivers only changed the rears. Sunday’s race had an entertaining start, the tyres performed well and congratulations to Luiz Razia for his first GP2 win.”


Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report Valencia

2009 GP2 Series. Round 7. 
Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. 22nd August.
Saturday Race.
Vitaly Petrov (RUS, Barwa Addax Team) celebrates his victory on the podium with Nico Hulkenberg (GER, ART Grand Prix). 
World Copyright: Alastair Staley / GP2 Series Media Service.
Ref: _O9T5913.jpgVitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) and Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) both claimed victories in the seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at Valencia’s street circuit, on Bridgestone’s soft compound racing slick.
Despite GP2 experiencing its highest track temperatures of the season so far, the soft compound performed well at the Spanish track with levels of rear tyre degradation lower than expected.
In Saturday’s 31 lap feature race, Russian driver Petrov won ahead of Hulkenberg after the German ran wide on the second corner of the first lap which allowed Petrov to dominate the race. Hulkenberg had started from pole position and fought hard but was unable to pass the Barwa Addax car, finishing second. Sergio Perez (Telmex Arden International) was third which marks his first ever podium finish in the GP2 main series. Hulkenberg also took the point for fastest lap.
Sunday’s 23 lap sprint race required the safety car to be deployed three times, and there were ten retirements as a result of various incidents. The podium featured the same three drivers as in race one just placed in a different order, with Hulkenberg first, Perez second and Petrov third. Hulkenberg once again set the quickest lap, making his final points tally for the weekend 18.
Hulkenberg has now extended his lead in the drivers’ championship, with 75 points. Petrov is in second place on 55. Although Romain Grosjean moved to the ING Renault F1 Team for this weekend he is still ranked in the GP2 standings, third on 45 points. ART Grand Prix is at the top of the teams’ championship table with 106 points from Barwa Addax Team on 100. Super Nova Racing is in third position with 44.
The eighth round of the GP2 Series will be held in Spa Francorchamps on 28-30 August, with Bridgestone’s soft compound GP2 tyre making its fourth appearance of the season.


Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“Bridgestone’s soft compound GP2 tyre has performed well in Valencia. The appearance of the tyres has been good and the rear degradation reasonable considering the high track and ambient temperatures. The GP2 teams have dealt with the degradation well and knew what to expect from this circuit in terms of the overall demands on the tyres, with GP2 having visited this venue last year. Vitaly Petrov worked hard in the feature race to hold his position at the front and benefited from good tyre management and a well timed pit stop. Sunday’s race was eventful but Nico Hulkenberg showed he can consistently finish in the points.”


Bridgestone Motorsport Valencia GP2 Series Preview

The seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series will take place at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, on 21-23 August. Valencia’s modern street circuit makes its second ever appearance on the GP2 calendar, and offers drivers the chance to work with the soft tyre for the third time this season. Bridgestone  has  made  a  change  from 2008 when the medium specification tyre was brought to Valencia, the soft compound being allocated for this year’s event. With  warm  weather  and  high  track  temperatures  expected  during  the  race  weekend,  drivers  will  need  to anticipate how their car set-up can be adjusted to ensure effective management of tyre degradation.   In 2008, Campos stole the limelight in GP2 at Valencia’s street circuit during its Formula One debut event, as team-mates Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi both won races here. Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development “Valencia is a very high speed street course, with drivers experiencing the highest speeds after the bridge in the  second  sector.  It  is  much  faster  than  Monaco  and  due  to  the  hard  braking  required  in  Valencia  the drivers  need  to  be  careful  not  to  flat  spot  the  tyres.  In  addition,  being  a  street  circuit,  high  levels  of concentration and car control are essential as there is not much room for driver error. It can also be difficult to overtake, with the best chance being at turn twelve. Degradation is expected to be fairly high due to the hot weather and high track temperatures anticipated.”


Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Lucas di Grassi

Lucas  di  Grassi  is  now  in  his  fourth  GP2  main  season  and  is  currently  with  the  Fat  Burner  Racing Engineering  team.  He  has  just  missed  out  on  the  title  twice,  but  won  the  Valencia  sprint  race  last season. That puts the Brazilian driver in the hot seat for this year’s title fight and makes him a perfect person  to  interview  ahead  of  the  Valencia  round,  which  is  the  second  street  circuit  on  the  calendar. Bridgestone e-reporter finalist Tim Biesbrouck took on the role of interviewing this charismatic driver. Q: The Valencia street circuit is one of the two street circuits on this year’s calendar, do you like racing on this type of circuit? A: I really do like racing on street circuits, mainly because the feeling of speed is greater and the walls are nearer to you. And on top of that, there is no room for mistakes. I really enjoy driving on the Monaco circuit  and  I  won  the  second  race  in  Valencia  last year. Valencia is a great circuit and it was a great experience when I drove there for the first time. There are a lot of straights, overtaking possibilities are good  and  the  circuit  is  well  made  and  safe.  Valencia  is  also  a  beautiful  city  to  host  a  Grand  Prix weekend. Q: In what ways can you compare it with the Monaco circuit? A: Honestly I find Monaco nicer to drive, because it’s more technical and difficult. In comparison with Monaco, the Spanish circuit is very wide and open, so you can miss your braking point and still come back. If you make one single mistake in Monaco, you are finished. Q: Last year you drove on medium compound tyres during the Valencia race weekend and it will switch to soft tyres this year. Will that improve your overall performance there? A:  I  think  it  will  improve  my  performance.  Like  in  Turkey  we  switched  from  hard  to  medium  and  we gained performance. So, I expect the same will happen in Valencia. If it’s really hot, then the tyres will show degradation. Sometimes they get overheated, so that’s our only main concern with conserving the tyres. Of course I find it better to race with softer tyres because the grip level with new tyres is really high and you can do really fast laps. So I think it’s a really good solution to go on softs for Valencia. Q: What strategy would you use to conserve your tyres in Valencia? A: We change the set-up of the car during the weekend and you really have to think about your driving style. The race is different from qualifying, because in qualifying you need to push one hundred percent and during the race you need to take care and make sure the tyres will hold for the race. There is not much grip in Valencia, which is normal for street circuits, so I expect we won’t have high tyre wear. I don’t have concerns about it. Q: After winning the sprint race in Valencia, you moved into the title battle. Do you think you are able to strengthen your position in the championship there? A: Yes definitely. We had a good start to the season, but we wasted some points. It was not because of our performance, so I believe we are in a good position to catch up, getting back into the title fight. But the season is long and there are still many points to collect. It can turn around much quicker in GP2 than in other series. I really need to concentrate to get the most out of the weekend and we will see what happens next.


Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report at the Hungaroring


Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) and Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) both won races in the sixth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the Hungaroring, on Bridgestone’s soft compound racing slick.
High track temperatures were experienced throughout the weekend yet the tyres showed a lower wear rate than usual. However, the soft compound was the most suitable allocation for Budapest. To manage degradation and maintain the performance of the rear tyres, car set-up proved as important as ever.
In Saturday’s 42 lap feature race, Hulkenberg claimed his third consecutive victory in GP2, overtaking race leader Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) just after di Grassi exited the pit lane from his tyre change on lap 12. Maiden pole sitter di Grassi finished second, with Javier Villa (Super Nova Racing) in third place. Hulkenberg set the fastest lap just two laps from the end of the race and was consistent with his lap times, showing his ability to maintain tyre performance.
Sunday’s 28 lap sprint race provided van der Garde with his first ever GP2 win, the Dutchman taking the lead at the start from Davide Rigon (Trident Racing) and managing to hold off Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) for the duration of the race. Rigon then went off on the first lap after a collision with Pastor Maldonado (ART Grand Prix) who was later issued with a drive through penalty. Filippi finished behind van de Garde and set the quickest lap time, with di Grassi completing the podium line-up.
Hulkenberg still leads the drivers’ championship, now on 57 points. Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team) is on 45 with team-mate Vitaly Petrov in third with 41. ART Grand Prix has taken the lead of the teams’ championship with 88 points from Barwa Addax Team on 86. Super Nova Racing is in third position with 42. The seventh round of the GP2 Series will be held on Valencia’s street circuit on 21-23 August, on Bridgestone’s soft compound GP2 tyre.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“We have seen a reasonable level of wear and degradation from the soft compound GP2 tyre here this weekend. After the races the appearance of the tyres was good. Bridgestone is therefore pleased with the decision to change the GP2 compound allocation for Budapest from super soft to soft. In race one, Hulkenberg gave another strong performance and managed his tyres very well. His team, ART Grand Prix, planned the best timing of the tyre change. Congratulations also to iSport’s Giedo van der Garde for his win in the sprint race, his first GP2 victory.”


Bridgestone Motorsport German GP2


Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) won both races in the fifth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the Nurburgring, claiming maximum points this weekend on Bridgestone’s soft specification racing slick and wet tyre respectively.
With cool weather experienced throughout the weekend, the wear rates and levels of degradation were low, making the tyres generally easier to manage for the drivers. However, warming up the tyres and maximising
their performance was the main challenge in race one. For race two, Bridgestone’s wet specification tyre made its debut appearance this season in the main GP2 Series.
In Saturday’s 35 lap feature race, Germany’s home grown talent and pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg led from start to finish, with a faultless race strategy, also taking the point for quickest lap. Pit stop timings proved greatly influential on the race results, with drivers pitting near mid-race optimising their tyre performance and getting the most out of the soft compound. Roldan Rodriguez (Piquet GP) finished second, with Andreas Zuber (FMSI) taking third.
Sunday’s action packed 24 lap sprint race in wet conditions gave Hulkenberg the opportunity to win from eighth place on the reversed grid. The majority of drivers were on the wet tyre for the full duration of the race, which proved the best option for the track conditions. Alvaro Parente of Ocean Racing Technology secured his first podium finish of the season by fighting hard for second place. Kamui Kobayashi (DAMS) took third, this also being his first podium position of the main series this year. Hulkenberg finished his
weekend with an extra point for fastest lap.
Hulkenberg now leads the drivers’ championship on 46 points. Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team) is on 42 with team-mate Vitaly Petrov in third with 41. Barwa Addax Team leads the teams’ championship with 83 points from ART Grand Prix on 72. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 26. The sixth round of the GP2 Series will be held at the Hungaroring on July 24-26.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“The performance of the soft and wet weather tyres this weekend in GP2 has been very good. In race one, the drivers that changed tyres earlier experienced some degradation at the end of the race. However, for those who pitted after fifteen laps, the tyres lasted extremely well and the advantages were evident,
particularly for race winner Nico Hulkenberg. With cool conditions during the weekend some drivers noticed a long warm-up with the soft slicks, but overall we are very happy with the performance of both the Bridgestone specification tyres used here. Congratulations to Nico for his outstanding race results.”


Hülkenberg powers to first victory

German claims his first win in main series

Nico Hülkenberg has taken his first victory in the main series with a dominant performance at his home circuit of Nurburgring that left his rivals floundering, finishing 14 seconds ahead of his closest rivals Roldan Rodriguez and Andreas Zuber.
The victory was set up at the start, with the German making a solid getaway and sliding across the track to cover fellow front row starter Rodriguez, while Lucas di Grassi slotting between the pair as the field arrived at the first corner, and behind them Zuber made a great start to move up two spots and into fourth place.
With Rodriguez pushing di Grassi hard for his place back Hülkenberg was able to steadily build a lead, and all eyes turned to the pitstop strategy for a change in position: Romain Grosjean led a string of cars in when the pits opened, and was soon running at such a pace that, when di Grassi came in 7 laps later, he was unable to stop the Frenchman sailing by further around the lap, along with Alvaro Parente.
Back at the front Hülkenberg, as the last driver to pit, was able to re-emerge at the front of the field and 8 seconds ahead of Rodriguez, and so it remained: the German continued to pull away and took a peerless win from Rodriguez and Zuber, who claimed his team’s first podium of the season with a measured drive to third, while Vitaly Petrov held on against race long pressure from Javier Villa to claim fourth.

Behind them Parente was promoted to sixth position due to a penultimate lap hydraulic problem for Grosjean, with di Grassi slotting in just ahead of Sergio Perez, who claims the reverse pole for tomorrow. With Hülkenberg also picking up the point for fast lap he has cut Grosjean’s championship lead to the bone: the Frenchman, on 40 points, leads by just one point with Petrov just behind the pair on 38.



Bridgestone Motorsport British GP2

Alberto Valerio (Piquet GP)  and Pastor Maldonado (ART Grand Prix)  both secured race wins in the fourth round  of  the  Bridgestone-supported  GP2  Series  at  Silverstone,  using  Bridgestone’s  medium  specification racing slick. Known as one of the fastest circuits currently in Formula One, Silverstone offers GP2 drivers the opportunity to experience the high-speed Copse corner and section through Maggotts, whilst also demanding a car set- up and driving style that can optimise tyre performance during the slow complex in the last sector. In Saturday’s action packed 36 lap feature race, Brazilian driver Valerio took his maiden GP2 victory having started from second on the grid behind Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team). Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) finished second, with Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix crossing the line in third, also adding a point for fastest lap to his championship tally. Bridgestone’s  tyre  degradation  has  been  lower  than  expected  and less compared to last year, suggesting teams have adapted their car set-up well to manage the medium compound. Sunday’s  24  lap  sprint  race  was  won  by  Venezuelan  driver  Maldonado,  his  second  sprint  race  win  of  the season. Andreas Zuber (FMSI) and Karun Chandhok (Ocean Racing Technology) finished second and third, with Maldonado being awarded fastest lap. Grosjean takes back the lead of the drivers’ championship on 40 points, ahead of team-mate Vitaly Petrov on 33. Maldonado is in third with 26 points.  Barwa Addax Team leads the teams’ championship with 73 points from ART Grand Prix on 52. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 24. The fifth round of the GP2 Series will be held at the Nurburgring on July 11-12, this time on Bridgestone’s soft compound GP2 racing slick. Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development “The GP2 teams have done a good job in studying last year’s data from Silverstone, and as a result we had a  very  entertaining  feature  race  in  GP2.  They  have  been using the same compound as last year and the level of degradation has been reasonable, certainly less than 2008 and reducing over the weekend too. The lower  degradation  could  be  due  to  improved  car  set-up  and  the  drivers  recognising  how  to  maintain  their tyres and, of course, circuit improvement due to good weather conditions. Well done to Alberto Valerio on his  first  GP2  win  and  to  Pastor  Maldonado  on  his  second  victory  this  season.  Overall  we  have  seen  an improvement in lap times this weekend compared to last year, and we are pleased with the performance of the medium compound at Silverstone.”


Di Grassi on top in race two

Brazilian takes first win of the season
Lucas di Grassi has opened his win account for the season by dominating today’s race in Istanbul, leading the field from lights to flag to put himself on top of the podium between Javier Villa and Vitaly Petrov.
The Brazilian led the field away from pole when the lights went out, and that was the closest they got to him all race, while behind him Davide Valsecchi and Luca Filippi resumed their battle from late in yesterday’s race: the pair came together at turn one, with the former spinning around and into Andreas Zuber while the latter had his rear tyre shredded and had to limp all the way back to the pits for a replacement.
Di Grassi was determined to break his pursuer’s spirits, and set a string of fastest laps with Villa the only driver who could stay within sight of the leader, albeit only just, while yesterday’s race winner Petrov squeezed in behind them but didn’t have the pace to stay with either man.
With the front men stringing out, the battle to watch was further back between Edoardo Mortara, Diego Nunes, Alvaro Parente and Romain Grosjean for ninth place: the Italian held on to the end despite race long pressure from Parente, but the then championship leader was unable to find a way by any of his competitors.
And when the flag dropped it was di Grassi who was the object of everyone’s applause, finishing almost four seconds ahead of Villa with Petrov 1.5 seconds further back after claiming third position by nipping inside Nico Hülkenberg and Pastor Maldonado at the final corner of the first lap, while further back Alberto Valerio did a solid job to finish in the points for the second time this weekend.
Petrov’s second Turkish podium gave him the championship lead from teammate Grosjean, with the Russian ahead by 33 points to 31, while di Grassi’s victory moves him up to sixth spot with 16 points, 2 points behind Jérôme d’Ambrosio and one off the ART pair of Hülkenberg and Maldonado. It sets up an intriguing contest to come in Silverstone in just two weeks time.

Istanbul – Race 2


Petrov powers to victory in Istanbul


Russian claims first win of the season
Vitaly Petrov has continued his Barwa Addax team’s outstanding form this season by dominating today’s first race in Istanbul, brushing off the scorching conditions to claim victory by 6.5 seconds from Luca Filippi and Davide Valsecchi.
The win was set up on the second lap when Filippi bravely threw his car inside race leader Nico Hülkenberg at the final corner: the pair narrowly avoided touching but both slid wide, giving Petrov a narrow but clear line through and into the lead by the end of the front straight, with the Italian slotting in behind him.
The front two made their excuses and left the rest of the field to their madness, with cars
overtaking each other constantly up and down the remainder of the field who were running side by side throughout the race. Andreas Zuber looked to be the only other driver to be able to escape the melee when he slid past Hülkenberg, handing the German a large problem in the shape of Alvaro Parente.
Ultimately the Portuguese driver pushed too hard, spinning into retirement at turn 8 and
prompting a safety car period just after Filippi and Zuber had narrowly avoided each other as they escaped from the pits: Petrov was given a free pass in the pits and held on to the top spot ahead of the pair as he set about rebuilding his lead once again.
Behind him the second half of the race was less enjoyable for Zuber, who dropped like a stone over the last laps to fall out of the points: with Filippi holding on for a strong second place, Valsecchi took advantage of a safety car pitstop to leapfrog from tenth on the grid to push his countryman all the way to the flag for third, while Alberto Valerio drove a mature race to slot into fourth place, one ahead of a disappointed Hülkenberg, while Pastor Maldonado, Giedo van der Garde and Javier Villa rounded out the points.

But Petrov’s win, along with his fastest lap, was enough to propel the Russian to second place in the championship table with 29 points, just two behind his championship leading teammate Romain Grosjean who retired from today’s race, while Jérôme d’Ambrosio clings on to third on 18 points ahead of Maldonado, Hülkenberg and Filippi.
Istanbul – Race 1


Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Series Report Monaco

2009 GP2 Series - Round 2 Monte Carlo, Monaco.  
Friday Race. 22ndt May 2009. 
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Barwa International Campos Team) celebrates his victory on the podium with team mate Vitaly Petrov (RUS, Barwa International Campos Team) and Lucas Di Grassi (BRA, Fat Burner Racing Engineering). 
World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar / GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _3GD2148

Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team) and Pastor Maldonado (ART Grand Prix) both took race wins on Bridgestone’s new super soft compound tyre, making its debut in the second round of the Bridgestonesupported GP2 Series on the streets of Monaco.
In Friday’s 45 lap race, Barwa Addax Team took their second feature race one-two finish of the season with Grosjean winning from pole position and Vitaly Petrov crossing the line 6.6 seconds behind his team-mate. Grosjean also claimed a further point by setting the fastest lap. Andreas Zuber (FMSI) was awarded third position. All drivers, apart from one, changed only their rear tyres during their pitstop due to the higher concentration of wear experienced on the rears at this unique, traction demanding circuit.
Maldonado, Jerome d’Ambrosio (DAMS) and Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) were the podium finishers at the end of Saturday’s eventful 30 lap sprint race and Petrov set the fastest lap. Grosjean continues to lead the drivers’ championship on 31 points from Petrov and d’Ambrosio both on 18. Barwa Addax Team leads the teams’ championship with 49 points from DAMS on 21. ART Grand Prix is third with 20 points.
The next round of the 2009 GP2 Series will be held at Istanbul on June 5-7, where Bridgestone’s medium compound will be used for the second time this season in place of last year’s hard specification tyre.

Quote from Didier Perrin – Technical Director of the GP2 Series
“If you look at the top qualifying result here it is 1.559 seconds faster than last year and the impact on lap time is mainly due to the softer compound Bridgestone tyres and the 2009 Renault engine rebuilt by Mecachrome. Our data tells us that 0.3 seconds off the lap time is attributable to the engine at this particular track, so we can conclude from this that there is also a positive and considerable impact on times because of the new tyres. We insisted on having softer Bridgestone’s this year to improve the entertainment of the racing and to benefit lap times.”
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
“The performance of our Bridgestone super soft tyre was good this weekend and degradation levels were as expected. The GP2 Series is pleased with our choice of tyre for Monaco, it was the correct specification for this venue. All drivers changed their rear tyres in race one as wear here is known to be higher on the rears than the fronts, just one of the drivers actually changed all four. It was another fantastic result for Grosjean in the feature race and our general step towards softer specification tyres this season is working well.”