At last the wait is over as, this weekend, the GP2 teams arrive in Abu Dhabi for the final round of the 2013 GP2 Series. After 20 races, beginning at Sepang in March, both the Driver and Team Championships will be decided in the final two races of the season, to be held on the Yas Marina circuit.
Racing Engineering’s Fabio Leimer is currently leading the Drivers’ Championship by seven points from Sam Bird whilst, in the Team Championship, Racing Engineering lie third, twenty three points behind the leaders, RUSSIAN TIME. With a maximum of 48 points available to a driver either of the top two men can claim the title and it is still mathematically possible, although unlikely, for the drivers currently lying third, fourth and fifth to win.
The 5.554km Yas marina circuit with its 21 corners is popular with the drivers for the challenge it presents but it is vital for a team to provide a setup that allows the driver to get the most from his car on the different sections of the track and for Racing Engineering the priority for this weekend is to work with Fabio to ensure he starts from the front of the grid and that he has a car that allows him to take the championship victory.
Below Fabio Leimer looks forward to this weekend’s races:
Fabio, last time you raced in Abu Dhabi you had fantastic results, pole position and victory. Is Yas Marina a circuit that you particularly like?
Yes. I like the Yas Marina Circuit a lot. I drove my first ever GP2 race in Abu Dhabi and actually finished on the podium, and last time we drove here things went pretty well for me as well. Even though I normally prefer the fast tracks, Abu Dhabi is one of my favourite venues, I could not say why in particular. Just the whole layout is amazing and I am really looking forward to the races there.
Yas Marina is a tough track from a technical point of view. In your opinion, which would you say is the most crucial part or sector for a driver to watch out for?
I would say everything is really difficult when racing at the Yas Marina Circuit. It is a challenge for drivers as well as engineers. While the first part is quite quick, sector 3 is really slow and actually similar to a city circuit. So the big challenge is to find the right balance between the different areas of the track, while in sectors 1 and 2 you push, you need a different approach in sector 3.
Since the last race in Singapore you have had a very decent break. What have you done during this time and how do you prepare yourself for the next challenge in Abu Dhabi?
Yes, it was a quite long break, but nothing changed. My preparation is still the same as it was at the beginning of the season. I do not like the idea of changing something during a season when it has worked well so far.
Fabio, you have done pretty amazing starts and you have hown us you are very good at saving tyres, putting this together with the seven point lead you have in the GP2 championship, the chances to bring the title back home are quite high. Would you say this could be the most exciting race of you career?
It's good to go to Abu Dhabi with a 7 point lead, but we have to focus on the race weekend and not the championship. We will concentrate on doing a good job, as we have done all year long. Pressure is not a problem because we have been working for this for several years. There is no reason to become nervous when you finally get the chance to achieve what you have worked for so hard for.