GP2

Asia: Addax Team Abu Dhabi test day 1 report

Romain Grosjean sets the pace in Abu Dhabi

Dams driver set the quickest laptime of Day 1 GP2 Asia Series pre-season test

Today marked the beginning of GP2 Asia Series pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi with all thirteen teams -- including newcomers Carlin and Team AirAsia. The twenty-six drivers had their first taste of the new GP2/11 car -- the third generation machine since the Series' inception- and of the Pirelli tires.

The session opened under blue skies and on a very dusty track following yesterday's sandstorm, and with strong winds sweeping every curb and straight of the 5.555km long layout. It was thus a slow morning with drivers going out mainly for installation laps. Davide Valsecchi at the wheel of the Team AirAsia car was the first one to take to the track with teammate Luiz Razia in tow. The main focus of the first three hours for the teams was to gather valuable data, rather than setting fast laptimes. It was GP3 Series graduate Stefano Coletti at Trident Racing who set the pace ahead of Carlin's Max Chilton and Arden's Rodolfo Gonzalez. But the session was cut short, thirty minutes before the scheduled time after it was decided that more time was needed to clean the track before the afternoon session.

The track conditions became a bit trickier as the afternoon session opened with raindrops dampening the track. During the first hour, only eight cars took to the track with Jules Bianchi at Lotus ART leading Coloni's Michael Herck and Dams' Romain Grosjean. As the track dried down, the laptimes dropped slowly but surely, with Sam Bird at iSport International moving up to the top of the timesheet ahead of Grosjean.

The session was extended by one hour and drivers went out for their runs. Sophomore Bianchi went quicker than his countryman, but not for long as the Dams ace improved the best laptime by four tenths. In the last hour, Bianchi reclaimed top spot in a 1:50.212- bettering Grosjean's time by... four tenths. Soon enough, Addax's Charles Pic joined in the battle and slipped intp P2, two tenths behind the Lotus ART youngster, while Giedo van der Garde moved up to P4 ahead of Chilton.

With thirty minutes left on the clock, Coletti pushed hard to make his way up to P2 with Herck moving up to P4 ahead of Grosjean and GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez. Addax's van der Garde climbed into P3 in the dying minutes of the session, but Grosjean moved back to P2, a shy tenth away from Bianchi. In a very last effort, the Dams racer became the only driver who went under 1m50s setting a best laptime of 1:49.768 on the chequered flag.

The session will continue tomorrow at 9am local time.

-source: addax

Morning session

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Stefano Coletti

Trident Racing

1:54.161

8

2.

Max Chilton

Carlin

1:54.810

5

3.

Rodolfo Gonzalez

Trident Racing

1:55.347

8

4.

Giedo van der Garde

Barwa Addax Team

1:55.496

5

5.

Nathanael Berthon

Racing Engineering

1:55.803

6

6.

Dani Clos

Racing Engineering

1:56.654

7

7.

Oliver Turvey

Ocean Racing Technology

1:57.134

6

8.

Charles Pic

Barwa Addax Team

1:57.408

5

9.

Andrea Caldarelli

Ocean Racing Technology

1:58.195

7

10.

Pal Varhaug

Dams

1:59.827

8

11.

Fairuz Fauzy

Super Nova Racing

2:00.373

4

12.

James Jakes

Scuderia Coloni

2:01.180

3

13.

Johnny Cecotto

Super Nova Racing

2:02.287

5

14.

Esteban Gutierrez

Lotus ART

2:07.039

4

15.

Luiz Razia

Team AirAsia

2:19.672

10

16.

Michael Herck

Scuderia Coloni

--

2

17.

Marcus Ericsson

iSport International

--

1

18.

Sam Bird

iSport International

--

1

19.

Josef Kral

Ardent International

--

1

20.

Jolyon Palmer

Arden International

--

1

21.

Romain Grosjean

Dams

--

1

22.

Julian Leal

Rapax

--

1

23.

Mikhail Aleshin

Carlin

--

1

24.

Davide Valsecchi

Team AirAsia

--

1

25.

Fabio Leimer

Rapax

--

0

26.

Jules Bianchi

Lotus ART

--

0

Afternoon Session

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Romain Grosjean

Dams

1:49.768

39

2.

Jules Bianchi

Lotus ART

1:50.212

30

3.

Stefano Coletti

Trident Racing

1:50.388

9

4.

Giedo van der Garde

Barwa Addax Team

1:50.474

21

5.

Charles Pic

Barwa Addax Team

1:50.477

20

6.

Michael Herck

Scuderia Coloni

1:50.526

29

7.

Marcus Ericsson

iSport International

1:50.580

16

8.

Esteban Gutierrez

Lotus ART

1:50.727

31

9.

Josef Kral

Arden International

1:50.820

17

10.

Oliver Turvey

Ocean Racing Technology

1:50.992

19

11.

Davide Valsecchi

Team AirAsia

1:51.004

21

12.

Nathanael Berthon

Racing Engineering

1:51.046

22

13.

Max Chilton

Carlin

1:51.111

17

14.

Julian Leal

Rapax

1:51.127

19

15.

Rodolfo Gonzalez

Trident Racing

1:51.169

29

16.

Pal Varhaug

Dams

1:51.362

30

17.

Andrea Caldarelli

Ocean Racing Technology

1:51.396

26

18.

Luiz Razia

Team AirAsia

1:51.505

32

19.

Fabio Leimer

Rapax

1:51.636

21

20.

Jolyon Palmer

Arden International

1:51.662

25

21.

Mikhail Aleshin

Carlin

1:51.765

17

22.

Fairuz Fauzy

Super Nova Racing

1:52.021

23

23.

Johnny Cecotto

Super Nova Racing

1:52.206

30

24.

James Jakes

Scuderia Coloni

1:52.587

9

25.

Sam Bird

iSport International

1:52.616

4

26.

Dani Clos

Racing Engineering

2:05.096

21

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Johnny Cecotto , Giedo van der Garde , Fairuz Fauzy , James Jakes , Rodolfo Gonzalez , Michael Herck , Mikhail Aleshin , Stefano Coletti , Sam Bird , Davide Valsecchi , Romain Grosjean , Fabio Leimer , Josef Kral , Oliver Turvey , Luiz Razia , Max Chilton , Esteban Gutierrez , Dani Clos , Marcus Ericsson , Charles Pic , Jules Bianchi , Nathanael Berthon , Andrea Caldarelli , Pal Varhaug , Julian Leal , Jolyon Palmer
Teams Carlin , Racing Engineering , Trident , Rapax , Arden International