Two victories, pole position and fastest lap in the races for Davide! It was a clean sweep for the DAMS team leader on the Bahrain circuit in the second round of the GP2 Championship. Added to Felipe Nasr's sensational comeback in the second heat (from 26th to 6th place), the DAMS team has given a clear sign of its potential even though it is facing top-class opposition.
Davide Valsecchi dominated free practice (over 6/10s quicker than his nearest rival), and he confirmed his speed with his second pole position on the trot. This time the Italian made no mistakes at the start and raced off to his first victory of the season without ever coming under threat despite the intervention of the safety car. What was perhaps even more stunning was his performance on Sunday when his second win gave him a rare double in GP2. Starting eighth he picked off the cars in front of him one by one while nursing his tyres and passed Gutierrez on the last lap to take the chequered flag. This has given him a solid lead in the GP2 Championship as he has 13 points in hand over Luiz Razia.
Felipe Nasr was among the front-runners right from the start of free practice, and did even better in qualifying with third place overall. Unfortunately, he was involved in a collision in the first race for which he was declared responsible. The DAMS rookie was given a penalty that put him in last place on the grid for race 2, but the Brazilian drove an incredible race to fight his way back up to sixth place at the flag! Thanks to its two brilliant drivers, a faultless strategy and perfectly executed pit stops, DAMS has consolidated its position as leader in the 2012 GP2 drivers' and team' championships.
Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: "I'm delighted for the whole team and I'd like to congratulate everybody. A double during the same weekend is very rare in GP2 and everybody, engineers, drivers and mechanics, did a great job. Bravo to Davide and also to Felipe who made an exceptional comeback on Sunday. However, it's only the start of the championship and we're fighting top-class rivals. We're staying fully concentrated on the coming races."
Davide Valsecchi: "It's the best weekend of my career! A big thanks to the whole team who gave me a fantastically well-prepared car for practice and the races with an impeccable pit stop. On Saturday and Sunday I made great starts and I fought hard to achieve this happy end! With the DAMS team I can fight with the best and we're going to make sure this continues starting from next week."
Felipe Nasr: "I'm split between satisfaction with my great second race and the frustration at not finishing yesterday's. But I'd like to thanks the team for giving me an exceptional car. Today, I had the potential to go for the podium, and maybe even the victory if I'd started from higher up on the grid. I'm going to make up for this next weekend."
Next event: Bahrain, 27-28 April. Race 1 results: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 59m31.115s 2. Luiz Razia Arden + 7.770s 3. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus + 13.528s 4. Max Chilton Carlin + 14.088s 5. James Calado Lotus + 16.278s 6. Tom Dillmann Rapax + 16.559s 7. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 17.243s 8. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 28.109s 9. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 32.846s 10. Brendon Hartley Ocean + 36.093s 11. Stephane Richelmi Trident + 37.377s 12. Julian Leal Trident + 38.677s 13. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 40.627s 14. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 41.009s 15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 44.028s 16. Simon Trummer Arden + 44.552s 17. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 47.776s 18. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 52.464s Retirements: Dani Clos Addax 30 laps Nigel Melker Ocean 30 laps Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 29 laps Johnny Cecotto Addax 16 laps Felipe Nasr DAMS 16 laps Giedo van der Garde Caterham 16 laps Stefano Coletti Coloni 2 laps Jolyon Palmer iSport 0 laps
Race 2 results: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 39m22.363s 2. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus + 0.399s 3. James Calado Lotus + 10.617s 4. Luiz Razia Arden + 12.463s 5. Max Chilton Carlin + 13.573s 6. Felipe Nasr DAMS + 15.414s 7. Jolyon Palmer iSport + 22.950s 8. Simon Trummer Arden + 30.425s 9. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 31.976s 10. Tom Dillmann Rapax + 32.545s 11. Dani Clos Addax + 32.632s 12. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 32.856s 13. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 36.275s 14. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 36.477s 15. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 39.988s 16. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 40.386s 17. Julian Leal Trident + 47.410s 18. Nigel Melker Ocean + 56.196s 19. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 59.488s 20. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 1m52.968s 21. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 1m53.295s 22. Johnny Cecotto Addax + 1 lap 23. Stefano Coletti Coloni + 2 laps Retirements: Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 15 laps Brendon Hartley Ocean 2 laps Stephane Richelmi Trident 0 laps