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GP2 Asia Pre-Season Testing (Yas Marina, February 3rd)

February 3, 2011

Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Sometimes when time is precious, it often slips from our fingertips, whittled away by circumstances beyond our control.

Yesterday, at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, the lingering effects of a sandstorm halted running for long periods, before rain showers interfered further with track time. During a period when the new GP2/11 cars needed to be on track to gain valuable information, fog set in.

One hour had passed before any cars could venture out and when they did, it was Ferrari-junior driver, Jules Bianchi that set the fastest pace of the morning (1:50.007). The Frenchman in his Lotus-ART machine found himself only marginally quicker than the Barwa Addax pilot, Giedo van der Garde, with Sam Bird (3rd, 1:50.120) and Charles Pic (4th, 1:50.166) shadowing.
The loss of time severely limited running for much of the field, with Bianchi banking the highest number of laps before lunch (27); however most of the entrants completed between 14 and 19 tours of the circuit. Three red flags during the morning did not help matters as the field endured a stuttered session.

The afternoon stint was a much cleaner affair; however the top-four from morning repeated this feat later in the day, albeit in a slightly different order. This time around van der Garde led the way with a 1:48.499 – a clear three-tenths ahead of iSport’s Sam Bird. Again, neither driver held out for significant stints (17 and 14 laps respectively); however they did secure more track time than 3rd place Bianchi – the Frenchman completed only 12 laps.

Pic was next up, as he notched up 23 laps with a best time of 1:49.156 in his Barwa Addax machine. Romain Grosjean (DAMS) and Max Chilton (Carlin) were the busiest during the afternoon; both completed 25 laps as they attempt to understand the new GP2 car – the pair finished approximately one second off of van der Garde’s pace in 7th and 8th places respectively.

The day was cut 15 minutes early when Scuderia Coloni driver, James Jakes damaged the barriers in an accident. By the time the GP2 cars fire up at the next test on Sunday, hopefully all the poor weather and bad luck will have dissipated.

Morning session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:50.007 27
2. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:50.066 18
3. Sam Bird iSport International 1:50.120 11
4. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:50.166 19
5. Max Chilton Carlin 1:50.276 13
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:50.343 24
7. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:50.539 15
8. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:50.544 15
9. Josef Kral Arden International 1:50.561 18
10. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:50.616 14
11. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:50.641 24
12. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:50.787 16
13. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:50.894 20
14. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:5-.969 16
15. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:51.122 15
16. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:51.190 16
17. Julian Leal Rapax 1:51.198 18
18. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:51.347 20
19. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:51.369 16
20. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.456 19
21. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:51.482 21
22. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.571 6
23. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:51.615 16
24. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:51.760 14
25. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:51.802 21
26. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:52.141 19

Afternoon session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:48.499 17
2. Sam Bird iSport International 1:48.778 14
3. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:48.868 12
4. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:49.156 23
5. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:49.185 20
6. Josef Kral Arden International 1:49.220 13
7. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:49.340 25
8. Max Chilton Carlin 1:49.413 25
9. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:49.431 20
10. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:49.474 14
11. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:49.591 20
12. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:49.627 19
13. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:49.740 15
14. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean racing Technology 1:49.888 23
15. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:49.914 24
16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:49.945 14
17. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:49.956 19
18. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.982 19
19. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:50.129 9
20. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:50.207 16
21. Julian Leal Rapax 1:50.310 15
22. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:50.495 22
23. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:50.566 20
24. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:50.703 13
25. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:50.727 16
26. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:50.995 17
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