Once again it was a very warm day at the Yas Marina circuit with air and track temperatures of 36° and 46° degrees respectively as the cars lined up on the grid for the final race of the 2013 GP2 Series.
Following his great 4th place yesterday that secured the 2013 Drivers Championship, Fabio Leimer was starting from 5th on the reversed grid whilst teammate Julián Leal was back in 16th following a difficult day for the 22 lap Sprint race.
On the second lap the Safety Cars was deployed for just one lap closing the field up again and as the cars resumed racing again Fabio immediately began to apply pressure to Clos with Bird one second behind in 4th.
The Safety Car was deployed again on lap 10 to allow the recovery of Lancaster who had spun on the track and once again the field closed up. The Safety Car returned to the pits on lap 11 and the cars resumed racing with just 10 laps to the finish and Fabio was soon looking for a way to pass Clos whilst having to watch Bird who was right behind him.
As the race entered the last 5 laps Fabio began to drop away a little from Clos as his tyres suffered from having to run so close to another car for so many laps but the young Swiss was able to pull away from Bird to allow him to secure another podium in his Championship winning season.
Julián made a great start and was 11th as the cars exited the first corner, he dropped a place further round the track to finish the first lap in 12th, 0.6 seconds behind Coletti and 0.5 seconds ahead of Binder. The Racing Engineering driver was running quickly and on the second lap he passed Haryanto for 11th and two laps later he was up to 10th as he got ahead of Palmer. By lap 9 Julián was battling hard with Coletti and he was now part of a big battle for 6th with just 3.5 seconds between 6th and 12th.
Following the second Safety Car incident Julián continued his battle with Coletti but he was passed by Palmer but the young Colombian immediately fought back and for several corners the two cars were side by side but contact between the Racing Engineering car and the Carlin car saw damage to Julián’s front wing as he dropped back to 11th. With five laps to go Palmer suffered a puncture allowing Julián to regain 10th spot which would be his final position as he crossed the finishing line just 0.3 seconds behind Coletti.
A great end to the season for the Racing Engineering team with yet another podium finish for Fabio and a battling race from Julián allowing him to get very close to the points scoring positions.
Although the racing season is now over the GP2 teams will be staying in Abu Dhabi for three days of testing on the Yas Marina circuit starting on Tuesday.