Countdown to Malaysia
This time next week, iSport will be in Malaysia preparing for the opening round of the GP2 2012 season.
The race weekend format remains the same for the new season, with one half hour practice session and one half hour qualifying session, followed by two races. The point system however, has been changed, with the allocation of points set out as follows:-
Qualifying – Four points will be awarded for pole position.
Race 1 - The top ten drivers will now receive the following points – 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 with Two points being awarded to the driver with the fastest lap of the race.
Race 2 – The top eight finishers will score the following points – 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 with Two points being awarded to the driver with the fastest lap of the race.
With regards to tyres, again Pirelli will be supplying four types – super soft, soft, medium and hard. In a change of regulation for 2012, each driver will have Four sets of dry-weather types per weekend – three of Prime specification and one of Option specification excluding Monaco, where there will be two of Prime and two of Option. Three sets of wet-weather tyres will also be provided for each driver. The tyre compounds cannot be mixed during the race, all four wheels must be changed, which add seconds to the clock. Downforce will be used for Qualifying but races remain at 2011 level.
As last season, the teams will keep one fresh set of Prime for Race 2. They will however, be able to choose between the remaining Two sets of Prime and the One set of Option to use either during Practice, Qualifying and/or Race 1. In Race 1, the compulsory pit stop must consist of at having at least two tyres being changed and this pit stop must not be carried out until the completion of 6 laps.
Gavin Bickerton-Jones – Chief Engineer
“After 6 days of testing, we got through an exhaustive test program including using the 2 tyre compound and extra downforce for the first time. The new regulations give us a few more strategy decisions to consider, and I think teams will initially try different solutions for tyre usage in the first few races, before everyone gets used to the best way. We did some very good race simulations with both drivers in the tests, and think certainly with the Hard and Medium compounds that will be used in the first four race meetings; we have a good idea of the best solutions for qualifying and race set-ups, only time will tell! When we move onto other compounds during the season, without the benefit of testing, it will be a bit more of a gamble, but we have worked with some strategy/tyre degradation software to hopefully help us make decisions with the limited amount of running we get to try the tyres.”