GP2 series heads to Monaco with wide opened throttle

Jolyon Palmer currently lead the Championship standings.

In the first four races of the 2014 season, we witnessed four different winning drivers (Stoffel Vandoorne, Jolyon Palmer, Johnny Cecotto and Felipe Nasr) with Series leader Palmer enjoying four podium finishes.

The Briton has clearly become the man to beat so far whilst title rivals Julian Leal and Nasr also look strong and consistent behind the wheel of their Carlin car. The Brazilian shone two weeks ago in Barcelona after he finally pocketed his maiden GP2 win. With the monkey off his back, Nasr is ready to tackle the next challenge in Monte Carlo.

Another man will be the centre of attention in the streets of Monaco: Johnny Cecotto brilliantly won the last feature race from P16 on the starting grid. The Venezuelan has previously shown that he’s quite at ease on the Monegasque twisty and tricky circuit where he scored two pole positions and a victory (2012). He will surely be fighting for more glory this weekend, but he will not be the only one: from the men in top form to those who still have to prove their worth, the third round of the season promises to be another classic!

With Monaco being the slowest and most twisty track of the year, GP2 has been allocated Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres: just like Formula One. This street circuit demands a tyre with a rapid warm-up that is capable of delivering consistent mechanical grip throughout each of the many corners.

André Negrão re-joins Arden International after he was declared fit to drive. This will be the only driver change from Barcelona.

“The championship has got off to a great start, and we’ve seen how the introduction of new rules obliging drivers to use both compounds during the race, just like Formula One, has led to some very creative and well-planned strategies. Monaco has a reputation for being one of the most unpredictable races of the year, but also for being very hard to overtake on: especially in GP2 where all the cars are identical. So it’s going to be interesting to see if drivers can use strategy in the feature race to gain track position and boost their prospects. Qualifying will be very important: the key to that will be seeing which drivers and teams get up to speed with the characteristics of the supersoft most quickly. This is a very fast tyre, but of course it does not last as long as the soft. We think the soft will be the main race tyre, although some drivers may choose to qualify on it and save the supersoft for the race. Drivers can use the supersoft for a good number of laps in both races if the degradation is not so high. Drivers will also have to use their allocation wisely and hope for a clear lap in the traffic, which is why qualifying is uniquely split into two sessions on Thursday.”

Stefano Coletti - Racing Engineering
“The whole weekend is very glamorous compared to others. The track is phenomenal to drive and I think that’s why it’s so special for us drivers to come and race here. Everything is difficult in Monte Carlo. You have to remain focused from the first lap to the last one.

There’s no margin for error. The track is very bumpy and quick at the same time. The walls are very close so you’re not allowed one mistake. “Compared to other tracks, Monaco is not too aggressive on the tyres. It should be the same as last year: degradation should not be a big problem there.

“There is a few overtaking spots, but it’s very difficult: if the driver in front of you is on the same pace as you or even just a bit slower, it’s almost impossible to pass him, but maybe the easiest place to do so is the braking after the tunnel and entering the chicane. You can also try to overtake at the braking point at Mirabeau at the top, but that’s not easy.”

GP2 Series

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Johnny Cecotto , Stefano Coletti , Julian Leal , Jolyon Palmer , Felipe Nasr , Andre Negrao , Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams Carlin , Racing Engineering , Arden International
Article type Preview
Tags felipe nasr, johnny cecotto, jolyon palmer, monaco gp, monte carlo, stoffel vandoorne