GP2 Pre-Season Testing (April 5th, Silverstone)

GP2 tested at Silverstone yesterday.

Fresh from his GP2 Asia Series success last month, former Renault Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean topped yesterday’s testing at Silverstone.

The cold, windy and wet conditions provided a tricky day’s running for the twenty-six car field and saw many of the drivers struggle to break the two minute barrier.
It would be an important session though – running the new wet Pirelli’s has been something of a rarity and the drivers were out to nail as many laps as possible while the conditions permitted.

Come lunchtime, it was Lotus ART pilot Jules Bianchi that led the standings with a very late best of 1:55.769, following his 29 lap stint. The Frenchman took the top by a clear four-tenths as Arden’s Jolyon Palmer lined up 2nd on the slowly changing track surface.
Esteban Gutierrez set the pace early on in the session, only for the Lotus ART driver to later slip back to 3rd, while Charles Pic (Barwa Addax) secured 3rd and 4th respectively, albeit half-a-second off of Bianchi’s pace.
Next up was the second Barwa Addax pilot, Giedo van der Garde – the Dutchman ran a solid 22 lap session, taking a best of 1:56.496 in the process.

Max Chilton (Carlin) and Luiz Razia (Team AirAsia) ran well, notching up 6th and 7th respectively. They headed Colombian racer Johnny Cecotto, who was sitting in at Ocean Racing Technology for the first time.
Racing Engineering’s Dani Clos registered 9th with a best 1.5 seconds shy of Bianchi, while Fairuz Fauzy (Super Nova) rounded out the top-ten. His best of 1:57.452 came during a 19 lap morning.
Michael Herck made the most of the morning though – although the Romanian took 18th spot, the Scuderia Coloni pilot clocked up an impressive 40 laps as he builds to his 2011 campaign.

The afternoon proved to be a much drier affair with Grosjean smashing the morning pace. The Frenchman took the top spot with a best 1:40.725 – a full six tenths clear of Arden’s Josef Kral, although Kral only managed eleven laps to Grosjean’s seventeen tours.
Fabio Leimer (Rapax), Sam Bird (iSport) and Bianchi filled out the top five ahead of the returning Christian Vietoris. The Racing Engineering driver decided to give the GP2 Asia series a miss – he would finish his first day back some nine-tenths down on Grosjean in 6th spot.
Luca Filippi completed a 14 lap run in the afternoon behind the wheel of his Super Nova machine to claim 7th. Julian Leal (8th, Rapax), Herck (9th) and van der Garde (10th) all fell just shy of Filippi, if some distance short of Grosjean.

Indeed, it was an afternoon of precious little running, with several teams either working on pitstop practices or digesting the morning’s running
It was a tactic that would disadvantage Chilton and Davide Valsecchi (Team AirAsia) – both completed only three and nine laps each, before red flags finished the session early.
On track, Fauzy lost control of his Super Nova machine, spinning off the circuit, bringing the session to a halt as the afternoon sun began to withdraw slowly from sight.

Morning times

Driver                       Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Jules Bianchi           Lotus ART                  1:55.769   29
 2.  Jolyon Palmer           Arden International        1:56.146   22
 3.  Esteban Gutierrez       Lotus ART                  1:56.236   21
 4.  Charles Pic             Barwa Addax                1:56.244   29
 5.  Giedo van der Garde     Barwa Addax                1:56.496   22
 6.  Max Chilton             Carlin                     1:56.841   21
 7.  Luiz Razia              Team AirAsia               1:57.027   25
 8.  Johnny Cecotto          Ocean Racing Technology    1:57.270   21
 9.  Dani Clos               Racing Engineering         1:57.296   25
10.  Fairuz Fauzy            Super Nova Racing          1:57.452   19
11.  Oliver Turvey           Carlin                     1:57.472   11
12.  Romain Grosjean         Dams                       1:57.576   24
13.  Christian Vietoris      Racing Engineering         1:57.788   29
14.  Kevin Mirocha           Ocean Racing Technology    1:57.850   27
15.  Julian Leal             Rapax                      1:57.871   20
16.  Marcus Ericsson         iSport International       1:58.027   17
17.  Sam Bird                iSport International       1:58.289   19
18.  Michael Herck           Scuderia Coloni            1:58.293   40
19.  Rodolfo Gonzalez        Trident Racing             1:58.319   14
20.  Pal Varhaug             Dams                       1:58.439   30
21.  Davide Valsecchi        Team AirAsia               1:58.770   10
22.  Josef Kral              Arden International        1:58.048   21
23.  Davide Rigon            Scuderia Coloni            2:00.070   17
24.  Fabio Leimer            Rapax                      2:00.228   26
25.  Stefano Coletti         Trident Racing             2:00.299   13
26.  Luca Filippi            Super Nova Racing          --         2

Afternoon times

Driver                       Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Romain Grosjean         Dams                       1:40.725   17
 2.  Josef Kral              Arden International        1:41.361   11
 3.  Fabio Leimer            Rapax                      1:41.480   14
 4.  Sam Bird                iSport International       1:41.525   14
 5.  Jules Bianchi           Lotus ART                  1:41.555   15
 6.  Christian Vietoris      Racing Engineering         1:41.639   15
 7.  Luca Filippi            Super Nova Racing          1:41.651   14
 8.  Julian Leal             Rapax                      1:41.781   15
 9.  Michael Herck           Scuderia Coloni            1:41.819   20
10.  Giedo van der Garde     Barwa Addax Team           1:41.900   13
11.  Oliver Turvey           Carlin                     1:42.103   17
12.  Johnny Cecotto          Ocean Racing Technology    1:42.147   17
13.  Stefano Coletti         Trident Racing             1:42.231   18
14.  Marcus Ericsson         iSport International       1:42.360   18
15.  Davide Rigon            Scuderia Coloni            1:42.376   21
16.  Dani Clos               Racing Engineering         1:42.399   16
17.  Davide Valsecchi        Team AirAsia               1:42.488   9
18.  Jolyon Palmer           Arden International        1:42.508   12
19.  Luiz Razia              Team AirAsia               1:42.509   16
20.  Charles Pic             Barwa Addax Team           1:42.929   13
21.  Esteban Gutierrez       Lotus ART                  1:43.125   14
22.  Pal Varhaug             Dams                       1:43.450   17
23.  Rodolfo Gonzalez        Trident Racing             1:43.479   18
24.  Fairuz Fauzy            Super Nova Racing          1:43.919   16
25.  Kevin Mirocha           Ocean Racing Technology    1:44.029   21
26.  Max Chilton             Carlin                     1:55.587   3

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