The lords of the Ring
Two weeks ago, in Silverstone, two Frenchmen conquered the home of British motorsport, with the youngest Jules Bianchi breaking his duck with a first win in GP2 SeriesTM. The Lotus ART man and 2010 best rookie took a lights-to-flag victory despite tremendous pressure from Christian Vietoris in the final stages of the race. The Racing Engineering ace fought tooth and nails to deny Bianchi the win, but the Frenchman managed to keep the German at bay. The sprint race was all about Series leader Romain Grosjean whose British race weekend had started on the wrong foot: carrying over a grid penalty from Valencia, the Dams racer had to fight his way up the field from thirteenth to fourth in the Saturday race. On Sunday, Grosjean was unstoppable and crossed the finish line seven seconds ahead of Dani Clos. If people were talking about a curse this season for whomever was leading the Series, Grosjean seems to have finally broken it.
But the Frenchman is far from being safe with Giedo van der Garde, Sam Bird and Davide Valsecchi still hot on his tail and determined not to let the Dams man too far from their sights. While all three men had a rather disappointing race weekend in Silverstone – although van der Garde and Bird managed to salvage a few precious points – Grosjean is still reachable and this weekend will be crucial in the hunt for the next GP2 SeriesTM crown. The sixth round of the 2011 GP2 SeriesTM season will take place this week at the Nürburgring circuit, a demanding track where one of the key factors will be the very changeable weather conditions, and where relatively high downforce is required to achieve the best grip possible. There are two notorious overtaking places: the fast downhill corners at Turns 1 and 13. The braking and turning required for these high-speed corners is always a challenge for the drivers and will require them to carefully manage their tyres.
Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola explains: “At Nürbrurgring we will bring our GP2 soft tyres which are the best option to combine grip and performance on this technical track which is characterised by medium speed levels and a good mix of slow and fast corners. The main challenge will be the weather which is quite unpredictable just like at Silverstone. The tyre choice for this round aims to provide drivers with a consistent tyre which gives good grip and road-holding. As the surface is not too abrasive, tyre wear will not be an issue, though the drivers will have to manage their tyres properly if they want to enjoy some great overtaking and racing.”
The main challenge will be the weather which is quite unpredictable just like at Silverstone.
“Having tyres with variable durability, GP2 drivers will have to fine tune their strategy and take good care of their rubber during racing. In Germany, tyre management will play a key role as the soft compound tyres are designed to be less durable and will gradually start dropping off after a few laps. Because of the high aerodynamic loads and hard breaking areas, GP2 drivers will have to drive smoothly and try not to be too aggressive on their tyres, avoiding to stress them excessively especially in the several heavy braking areas where good balance and stability are required,” adds Mario Isola.
There will be two driver changes this weekend: Adam Carroll joins Super Nova Racing in replacement of Luca Filippi. The Italian moves to Scuderia Coloni, replacing Kevin Ceccon.
by: GP2 Series