This weekend, the GP2 boys are back in action in Barcelona.
It’s been five week’s since the opening round of the 2014 season in Sakhir, five weeks for teams and drivers to fine tune what needed to be and get back in the saddle with eagerness and determination.
Series leader Jolyon Palmer has set the bar pretty high in Bahrain: the Briton who had always been quick during the pre-season testing snatched pole position, third place on Saturday and a win on Sunday. He now distances his closest rival Julian Leal by ten points. As for the Colombian driver, he enjoyed two podium finishes and showed the rest of the field that he was definitely in strong form this season at Carlin.
This weekend, the GP2 boys are back in action in Barcelona. It is the first time this year that the Series sees the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It is an extremely demanding track for the tyres because of the long highspeed corners that put plenty of energy through the compound, and the high degree of asphalt roughness. The left side of the car is particularly stressed, with the front-left tyre doing the most work.
Turn three is a crucial corner, putting the largest amount of energy through the tyres. Other factors to bear in mind when calculating set-up in Barcelona include the rippled asphalt and frequently changing wind direction. There are two driver changes for Round 2: GP3 graduate Tio Ellinas joins MP Motorsport in car #21 whilst Trident welcomes Sergio Canamasas in car #22. Finally, due to a back injury, André Negrão will miss this round and will be replaced by Frenchman Tom Dillmann.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola says: “The rules in GP2 have changed to get closer to Formula One™ this year and we saw during the opening race in Bahrain how the requirement to run two compounds in the feature race made for some interesting and innovative strategies. We hope this will be the case again in Spain, where drivers will have to manage the soft tyre carefully to get the most out of it in the race as well as qualifying.”
Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident: “It’s a very difficult track because there are many quick corners followed by slow corners. Therefore, it is quite a challenge to set up the car. You have to find the balance that will make the car fast in some sectors and then try and manage to do your best in the other sections. You have to really warm up your tyres properly for the first corner. The tyre degradation is quite important. Some corners in the last sectors have high acceleration therefore tyre management is key. You have to be smooth in those corners. You can always find new places to overtake on this track. The best ones to pass another car are the first corner, turns 4 and 5 and also corner 10 if you can stay close to the car in front through corner 9. You can see some very interesting overtaking manoeuvres because you can do some outside/inside. We should see two entertaining races!”
- Tio Ellinas becomes the first Cypriot driver to race in GP2.
- Three driver changes: Tio Ellinas replaces Jon Lancaster at MP Motorsport. Sergio Canamasas replaces Axcil Jefferies at Trident. Due to a back injury, André Negrão will be replaced by Tom Dillmann at Arden’s.
- It’s the first time this season that the GP2 drivers see the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since preseason testing took place in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain this year.
- RT RUSSIAN TIME introduce a new car livery this weekend.
- Three rookies have scored points in their GP2 debut last month: Stoffel Vandoorne, Arthur Pic and Takuya Izawa.
- Five teams have failed to score points in Round 1: MP Motorsport, Venezuela GP Lazarus, Hilmer Motorsport, Trident and EQ8 Caterham Racing.