The STORY SO FAR
One week after the second round of the 2012 GP2 Series™ season, the thirteen teams are back at the Bahrain International Circuit for the third round of the season, and for a standalone race weekend. One man has clearly become everyone’s target: new Series leader Davide Valsecchi dominated in a crucifying manner the rest of the field in free practice, qualifying, Feature and Sprint Race at the Bahraini track. The Italian had an almost perfect race weekend missing only the two bonus points for fastest laptime on Sunday to complete an otherwise faultless performance. He stole the lead in the Drivers’ Standings from Luiz Razia, and lies thirteen points ahead of the Brazilian.
This week’s event will all be about who can match Valsecchi’s pace and there are a handful of contenders to do just that, starting with Esteban Gutiérrez who pocketed two podium finishes last weekend. The mighty Mexican has scored points every race this season so far along with Razia, teammate James Calado and Max Chilton. Two other drivers will surely be strong this week: Fabio Leimer and Felipe Nasr. The Swiss who was leading the Sprint Race was handed a drive though penalty for ignoring yellow flags, but has clearly the pace and skills to challenge Valsecchi. As for Nasr, the rookie did not fail to impress last week especially during the sprint race when he started from the pitlane and fought his way back through the field to take sixth place.
This third round will take place over just two days including a busy Friday with Free Practice, Qualifying and the Feature Race. The Series sole tyre supplier Pirelli will provide each team with Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option) compounds. The 2012 season has generated some heart-stopping action and drama. Once again, all the ingredients are in place this week to produce the perfect GP2 recipe: young blood eager to succeed, whilst being put to the test racing machinery that will accept nothing but the very best from the drivers.