In the pursuit of the “Yellow Bullet”
The 2012 GP2 Series season resumes this weekend in Barcelona for its fourth round. After three thrilling race weekends in Sepang and Sakhir, Davide Valsecchi has taken control of the Drivers’ Standings. The man in the Yellow Bullet that is his DAMS car has dominated the rest of the field and pocketed three race wins in a row at the Bahrain International Circuit. He has become the clear target and the man to beat already at this early stage of the season. The only driver who was able to put an end to the Italian’s string of wins was Frenchman Tom Dillmann. The rookie from Rapax took a lights-to-flag victory in the last Sprint Race and became the fourth race winner of the season.
Luiz Razia who was leading the Drivers’ Standings after Round 1 in Sepang could not maintain his position at the top but continued to score precious points at each race and stays close to Valsecchi. Esteban Gutierrez who has also secured valuable points at each event lies third in the standings. The mighty Mexican will be aiming for his first win of the season this weekend. But he will not be the only one and with a grid full of young and eager talent, it will once again boil down to who will be able to adapt the quickest to the Spanish track and who will be able to find the best strategy. Another key element this weekend will be the management of the two different Pirelli compounds, with the Prime tyres being Hard and the Option tyres being Soft.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “It’s going to be a busy weekend for us in Barcelona, as we have Formula One, GP2 and GP3 racing together for the first time this year. However, this is also a great opportunity for everybody to see how the three championships complement each other, and this was very much the philosophy that we had when designing the tyres for each series, as part of a ladder of talent that can take drivers all the way up to Formula One.
"The characteristics of the tyres in GP3 are intended to prepare drivers for what they will face in GP2, while the tyres and the regulations in GP2 have some aspects in common with Formula One. The winner of GP2 race one in Barcelona last year was Charles Pic, who is competing in Formula One this year, so that is a good example of the theory working in practice. Barcelona is certainly one of the most demanding tracks of the year that the drivers will face when it comes to managing their tyres, due to the high levels of wear and degradation that we can expect. Both in GP2 and GP3, an intelligent approach to the race will pay dividends.”
Josef Kral returns to the field at Barwa Addax Team while Victor Guerin will debut in the Series this weekend with Ocean Racing Technology.