Asia: Bahrain: FMSI weekend summary

After a six week break, the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series resumed this weekend as the paddock fraternity made its first of two planned visits this season to the Bahrain International circuit. For the third round of the championship Fisichella Motor...

After a six week break, the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series resumed this weekend as the paddock fraternity made its first of two planned visits this season to the Bahrain International circuit. For the third round of the championship Fisichella Motor Sport International was pleased to introduce Rodolfo Gonzalez to the team to drive alongside Kevin Chen.

Free practice and qualifying both took place on Thursday, with Rodolfo and Kevin producing consistent results throughout the day. After completing 15 laps of practice, Rodolfo headed into his first GP2 qualifying session and set a fastest lap of 1:43.702 in the 30-minutes, recording the 22nd fastest time and setting himself up on the 11th row of the grip for Saturday's Feature race. Kevin completed 17 laps of practice and qualified two rows behind Rodolfo after setting the 25th fastest time with a lap of 1:45.281.

In a relatively incident-free Feature race on Friday, which saw just four retirements, both Rodolfo and Chen made steady and consistent progress. After 34 laps, Rodolfo took the chequered flag in 16th position, an improvement of six places from his starting slot. Kevin also improved four positions, despite stalling on the start line, and crossed the line in 21st place.

Ahead of Saturday's Sprint event, Rodolfo was penalised after an incident on Friday involving Sakon Yamamoto and subsequently began the race from 18th. He made an excellent start and over the opening laps had moved up to 11th position and was looking strong to have a top ten finish. Unfortunately a brake disc failure put an end to the prospect of a promising result for him. Kevin began the race from 21st and crossed the line after 23 laps in the position that he started.

The fourth round of the series will take place 6-7 February when Qatar's Losail International Circuit will host a groundbreaking night race for races seven and eight.

Paolo Coloni, Team Principal: "I am actually very pleased with the weekend. On Friday in his first race, Rodolfo went off track twice but still crossed the line in 16th after starting 22nd and he showed very good pace. Kevin stalled at the start but again demonstrated a much improved pace and drove a steady race. On Saturday Kevin was getting better and better. Rodolfo made a very good start and was up to 11th but he made a mistake, which is normal due to his inexperience with the car, and it caused overheating of the brakes. We had to stop after a brake disc failure but I have to be impressed with his first weekend considering he didn't know the car, the team or the circuit and continued to make steady progress."

-credit: fmsi

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Rodolfo Gonzalez , Sakon Yamamoto , Paolo Coloni , Kevin Chen