GP2 Round 3 preview – Monaco

The 2008 GP2 Series prepares for the third Round of the Championship which will happen in Monte Carlo this weekend. It  is  finally  that  time  of  the  year! 

All  eyes  will  be  turned  this  weekend  towards  one  unique  and sparkling  rock.  Monaco  is  definitely  the  jewel  in  the  crown  of  the  GP2  Series  Calendar  and  it  is often considered as the most prestigious event of the season.

This gives all the more reasons for the  26  GP2  drivers  to  give  their  best  along  the  3.340km  street  circuit  and  in  front  of  the  F1 Paddock. For the first time since its inception, the GP2 Series will race twice at the Monaco event, with the first Race taking place on Friday morning and the second one on the following day at 16:00.

After two   exciting   rounds,   veteran   Giorgio   Pantano   and   Racing   Engineering   are   leading   the championships ahead of Romain Grosjean and ART Grand Prix while Sébastien Buemi and Trust Team Arden complete the Top 3. The 2008 season has seen four different winners in four races, including  three  rookie  wins  –  Parente,  Kobayashi  and  Grosjean.  But  there  is  one  driver  who  has every intention to glint at the wheel of his Piquet Sports car: Sophomore Pastor Maldonado, also the first poleman of the season, in Barcelona. In   2007,   the   Venezuelan   ace   dominated   the   Monaco   race   scoring   his   first   GP2   win.  

He commented: “To win in Monaco is fantastic. It’s the most important race in the whole season and the most difficult circuit of the year. You cannot make any mistakes, not even the slightest - it is so narrow and reaction times are so short.” Pastor added: “Remember, this is a street circuit and so the  track  surface  has  very  little  grip,  you  slide  a  lot  and  it’s  very  bumpy.  For  these  reasons,  the setup we use for the car in Monaco is a one-off. We’ll set the car very high off the ground, with very soft  dampeners,  and  using  maximum  aerodynamics  on  the  wings.  As  it’s  incredibly  difficult  to overtake at Monaco, the most important thing is qualifying; if you are on pole position and at the front of the field, you have 80 per cent of the race in your pocket.”

He concluded: “Perhaps staying focused is the hardest thing of all, especially during the race. You cannot relax for one second, the barriers are so close at all times. Your concentration needs to be 110%, and at the end of the race you must feel totally drained – but mentally, rather than physically. When it’s like this, you know you have done it right, you have given your maximum.”

Schedule Thursday 22nd May 12.00 – 12.30 Practice 16.00 – 16.30 Qualifying Friday 23rd May 11.15 Race 1 Saturday 24th May 16.00 Race 2

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