Fabio Leimer qualifies 3rd for Racing Engineering today in Singapore

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All the cars were running the P Zero Yellow soft compound Pirelli tyres.

The thirty minute free practice session took place in daylight although, as is normal with street circuits, a lot of the track was in shadow; conditions were ideal with sunny skies and air and track temperatures of 31° and 35° respectively. All the cars were running the P Zero Yellow soft compound Pirelli tyres.

Fabio Leimer, Racing Engineering
Fabio Leimer, Racing Engineering

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

Fabio Leimer was immediately on the pace going 3rd on his third lap with a time of 1:59.192s which he improved two laps later to 1:56.812s to move up to second. Lap times were dropping rapidly as the cars laid down rubber on the track and after another three laps Fabio set his fastest time, 1:56.165s, which was good enough for second at the end of the session.

Julián Leal was also going well taking 11th after 6 laps with a time of 1:58.694s which he then improved to 1:58.377s although, such is the closeness of GP2, it was only enough for 17th fastest.

The 30 minute qualifying session was held at night with the Marina Bay Street Circuit brilliantly lit around its whole length, the temperature had dropped slightly in the evening with the air and track now at 29° and 31° respectively. The cars were now using the P Zero Red Super Soft compound.

Julián was the first to set a fast lap going 6th with a time of 1:55.268s but yellow flags for two separate incidents meant that quick times were impossible for several minutes. Once the yellow flags were removed Fabio immediately went fastest, the first driver into the 1:53s bracket, with a lap of 1:53.888s.

With 14 minutes remaining two cars stranded on the track meant that the red flags were out and all the cars returned to the pits for final adjustments. With three minutes remaining Fabio improved his time to 1:53.870s but it left him 3rd fastest. Julián was unable to improve on his earlier fastest lap which left him 12th quickest.

Tomorrow’s 28 lap Feature Race will see Fabio stating from the second row of the grid with an excellent chance of finishing on the podium, whilst for Julián, staring on the sixth row, his aim will be to get into the points and achieve a good grid position for Sunday’s Sprint Race.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: "A good result overall today even if more was possible as we could have taken pole position. The free practice went well but the qualifying session has been highly affected by yellow flags coming in and out, red flag and the traffic as some drivers were slowing down too much in sector 3 to prepare for their lap. Anyway, P3 for Fabio is still a good starting position, especially considering his title contenders. Julian has improved in qualifying and we know what to work on for tomorrow so we look forward to a good result in the feature race that promises to be difficult from the physical aspect due to the heat and challenging due to soft and super soft tyres wearing out quite quickly."

Fabio Leimer: "I think I can be happy with today's P3 in qualifying, I had the speed today to take P1, and so it is also a bit disappointing. But it's also hard to put everything together and I made some mistakes as well, so I am sure I could have gone for pole today. But in the end I can be happy because there were many people with lots of traffic and I can be happy I got a quite clear lap to set a fast time. I think second row is OK and we will have to see tomorrow how things turn out. I will try to make a really good start and overtake Nasr and Palmer going into the first corner, but we will see as it's hard to say now what will happen tomorrow. We will concentrate on working on a good car for tomorrow and then we will see what is possible in the race."

Julián Leal: "The free practice was not too good for me as I was too far away from the top positions. There was quite an improvement in qualifying, but even then I was not able to be very close to the top 3. I finished in P12, and in the last races I always pretty much started from this position. I think I will be able to have a good race tomorrow. I need to stay focused and concentrated as it's a very hard race and if I am able to finish without any mistakes, I think I will be able to do well. The car was quite OK today, the circuit here is fantastic, a very difficult track, so I think it will be fun tomorrow.”

Racing Engineering

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About this article
Series GP2
Article type Qualifying report
Tags gp2, leal, leimer, racing engineering, singapore

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