Following on from their success at Sepang for the opening round of the 2013 GP2 Series where Fabio Leimer won the Feature race and Julián Leal finished 5th in his first race for Racing Engineering team, the Spanish team and its drivers now head to Bahrain for the second 2013 race weekend.
Both Fabio and Julián showed in Malaysia that they are amongst the fastest drivers this year and must be considered as strong contenders for podium positions this weekend on the Sakhir International Circuit. Fabio already has a good record at the track finishing second in the Feature Race on the second of the two race weekends held there in 2012.
The 5.412 km Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain is a mixture of slow and medium speed corners, several of which challenge the drivers to the maximum, and together with several fast straights chassis set-up will be important to set fast laps and win the race.
Julian, in Malaysia you started off well achieving your best result in GP2 so far. You were also set for points, maybe even a podium, in race 2, but another driver crashed heavily into your car shortly after the start. Were you nevertheless happy with how the season started? In the end this was a very positive weekend for me as we had a very competitive car and were able to score lots of points. It's important to start off on the right foot as we did it in Malaysia. What happened in race 2 are the things that occur in this sport, but it's already forgotten. The important thing is to look ahead and work on what's coming next.
Between Malaysia and the next event in Bahrain there are a couple of weeks. What did you do during this time and how did you prepare for the Bahrain event? I have dedicated the time between Malaysia and Bahrain to continue with my training, and I had a session with the team in the simulator, which helped me quite a bit to improve some racing lines and ideas for Bahrain.
Talking about Bahrain, do you like the Sakhir circuit and can you tell us what the characteristics/specialties of this track are? Bahrain is a track with technically demanding corners, where you need to have good stability under braking as well as good traction for the exit of several corners. Turn 1 is quite tight requiring strong braking, where the right reference point is very important as it's quite easy to lock the wheels there. But it is also a track with great options to overtake.
The good start in Malaysia put you into 7th position in the drivers' championship. What are your expectations for the upcoming event in Bahrain? For me the important thing is to continue working hard and give my best. I would be happy to have a weekend where I score in both races and don’t make any mistakes.