GP2

Bahrain: Season finale preview

A desert storm awaits After 21 hard-fought races over eleven events in nine countries, the GP2 series reaches the conclusion of its 2005 season in the Kingdom of Bahrain this week. The final two races of the year, in our tenth nation, will see...

A desert storm awaits

After 21 hard-fought races over eleven events in nine countries, the GP2 series reaches the conclusion of its 2005 season in the Kingdom of Bahrain this week. The final two races of the year, in our tenth nation, will see the championship battle decided as Nico Rosberg (ART Grand Prix) and Heikki Kovalainen (Arden International) fight it out for the honour of being crowned the very first GP2 series champion. Separated by just three points as they arrive in the desert, it is still either man's championship.

Format change. The GP2 series' first stand-alone event will feature a slightly revised weekend format with two half-hour qualifying sessions taking the place of Free Practice and the single qualifying session used so far in 2005. The two sessions in Bahrain will act, effectively, as one, with a driver's overall best time standing no matter which session it was set within. The results of these sessions will form the grid for the first race, with the pole-sitter still receiving two points. The first race will be run on the same day as qualifying, and on Friday morning there will be a 20- minute Warm Up session before Race 2.

<pre> Thursday 29 September 2005 09:30-10:00hrs GP2 Series Qualifying Session 1 10:30-11:00hrs GP2 Series Qualifying Session 2 15:00hrs GP2 Series Race 1 (34 laps)

Friday 30 September 2005 10:40-11:00hrs GP2 Series Warm Up 15:00-15:45hrs GP2 Series Race 2 (23 laps)

Bahrain time GMT + 3 </pre> What about the championship? After an incredibly close and exciting season, it is fitting that the title should be decided at the very final round. The 26 drivers who have competed in the GP2 series in 2005 have displayed a great level of skill and commitment, pushing each other to new heights with every passing race. From this wealth of talent, two leading lights have emerged, and by Friday night we will know which one ­ Nico or Heikki ­ shines brightest.

Championship Leader, Nico Rosberg ­ ART Grand Prix.102 points
"I am very optimistic that our car will be quick in Bahrain. I like the circuit very much: it is unique, and has perfect possibilities to overtake. Last year I won the F3 Macau-Bahrain-Challenge-Cup here and I hope that will be a good omen. My attitude towards the championship is still the same: concentrate on the upcoming qualifying and race. But it is a bit harder to ignore the championship when you go to the last event as the leader. W e will fight for it until the last lap!"

2nd place driver Heikki Kovalainen ­ Arden International.99 points
"It's always better if you are leading going into a championship showdown, but I'm not too worried even if I have lost the lead. We just had an unlucky weekend at Spa. The gap is still only 3 points so I think we have everything to play for and I'm confident we are still going to win it. I'm only looking for victory from Bahrain. Nothing else. With the great team I have behind me I'm confident we will be right at the front, fighting for victory and, of course, the championship."

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams ART Grand Prix , Arden International