Leimer and Racing Engineering on the podium with 3rd place in the Hungaroring Sprint Race

The team now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the next round of the 2013 GP2 series at Spa Francorchamps in four weeks’ time.

It was another very hot day at the Hungaroring for today’s 28 lap Sprint Race with an air temperature of 31° and a track temperature of 45°. A number of drivers had opted to run two sets of the medium tyres in yesterday’s Feature Race which meant they would be handicapped by having to run the softer option Pirelli tyres on a very hot track for the entire race. Following yesterday’s Feature Race Fabio Leimer would be starting from 5th on the reversed grid and Julián Leal was in 15th place.

Third place Fabio Leimer
Third place Fabio Leimer

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

As the lights went off Fabio made a superb start from the third row of the grid to pass Trummer and Richelmi into the first corner but an incident at the back of the field meant the Safety Car was deployed for the next two laps. When racing resumed Fabio was chasing Evans with Ericsson right behind the Racing Engineering car and for the next three laps it looked as if Ericsson might find a way to pass Fabio but the young Swiss increased his pace and by lap 7 he was 2.2 seconds ahead of the Swede.

Fabio now began to preserve his tyres and by lap 8 he was now 5.8 seconds behind Evans and the gap continued to increase for the next seven laps. By lap 18 Fabio had increased the gap back to Ericsson to 4.4 seconds and on lap 20 he began to push setting his fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:33.444s lap. Although Fabio was now lapping faster than the two cars ahead he was unable to close the gap by more than a few seconds in the remaining laps and he had to settle for third at the chequered flag.

Julián made a great start and almost immediately several cars around him made contact and spun but he was able to avoid the trouble to finish the first lap in an excellent 10th place. The Racing Engineering car now began an intense battle with Richelmi who was just 0.3 seconds ahead and Rossi who was 0.5 seconds behind and the three drivers were in the middle of a large group running from 5th to 11th.

Just as Julián was looking to pass Richelmi, Rossi tried diving down the inside of the young Colombian on lap 15 and the American’s front wing made contact with the right rear tyre of the Racing Engineering car causing a puncture and as Julián braked for the next corner he ran wide and spun off and had to head slowly back to the pits.

Julián was able to resume racing after having a new tyre fitted but he was now a lap down in 23rd place with no chance of scoring a good result, he continued to push hard for the rest of the race, setting lap times as fast as the leaders, but was unable finish higher than 21st position as two cars ahead of him retired.

It was a mixed weekend for Racing Engineering with Fabio adding a lot of points in both races to move him closer to the Championship lead but sadly Julián was unable to show his true pace. The team now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the next round of the 2013 GP2 series at Spa Francorchamps in four weeks’ time.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: "Really good starts from both our drivers. Julian made up 5 positions and was safely running in 10th as there was very little activity on track with most drivers concentrating on making their tyres last. Rossi touched Julian's car with his front wing and this resulted in a puncture. Julian had to come into the pits and we used the remainder of the race to test some things on his car. Fabio took 3rd at the start.

From then on his race was not very spectacular as the high temperatures at the track meant that tyre management was the key point. We were maybe a little bit too conservative at the beginning as towards the end Fabio was able to decrease the gap to the two cars in front of him. Generally, in Julian's case it was a difficult weekend as he was the victim of circumstances and he was not able to show the real potential there was.

In regards to Fabio, we must be satisfied with the overall outcome. We have scored ! good points in both races and made up ground in the championship compared to the drivers ahead of him and we are very confident that he will keep up the momentum during the upcoming races."

Fabio Leimer: "We can be very satisfied with today's race. I had a really good start immediately moving from 5th to 3rd. This was very important as overtaking is more difficult during the sprint races. The first two drivers pushed a lot at the beginning; whereas I was waiting a bit as I wanted to really make sure the tyres lasted well until the end.

The race wasn't very exciting and even though towards the middle and end of the race I was pushing, I had to also reduce my speed so my tyres would last. We scored many points this weekend even though this track is not really my favourite one, but it's really good starting point for the races after the summer break."

Julián Leal: "The start was very nice. I was able to pass 5 cars and was already in P10 after turn 2. I then kept my position and tried to put pressure on Richelmi. While I was waiting to overtake him, Rossi touched my car with his front wing and this caused a punctured rear right tyre. After this incident, we only tested some things on the car."

Racing Engineering

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Series GP2
Article type Race report
Tags gp2, hungaroring, leal, leimer, racing engineering

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