Following on from the stand-alone races at Bahrain two weeks ago the GP2 teams are back to their normal timetable for this weekend’s Spanish GP round at Barcelona.
After the opening three rounds of the 2012 GP2 Series the Racing Engineering team are lying 5th in the Team Championship with their young Swiss driver, Fabio Leimer, in the same position in the Driver Championship.
Although the previous round at Bahrain saw mixed results for Racing Engineering with the highlight being Leimer’s second place in the Feature Race, the team have shown in all of the races held so far that they have a very good race set-up and are capable of winning.
Following his strong showing at Sepang and both of the Bahrain weekends Fabio Leimer will be a very strong contender for victory this weekend and he will be looking to improve his points tally and to move up the Championship standings.
Although Nathanaël Berthon has so far not shown his full potential in qualifying, his race pace and ability to overtake means that the young Frenchman is capable of making it onto the podium and, as his experience grows, he is sure to move up the grid.
As the Circuit de Catalunya track was used for out of season testing in March, the GP2 teams and drivers are familiar with its layout and how to set up their cars. For this weekend Pirelli will be supplying three sets of the harder compound and one set of the soft compound tyres for each driver.
Below Fabio Leimer looks forward to this weekend’s racing:
After three events in the 2012 GP2 Series, how would you sum-up the seasons so far?
I am very satisfied and think everyone can see that we are consistently fighting for top positions, which is very important for me. It is crucial for the championship to always score points, but I am also convinced that we can improve even further and I am confident that we will achieve this.
This weekend the 2012 GP2 Series celebrates its first European round at Barcelona. Can you explain the main characteristics of this race track are and what are its principle challenges?
I am really happy we are racing in Europe now as I know all tracks very well and this is for sure an advantage over the championship rookies. Barcelona is a great start for the European rounds as it offers everything a driver likes. But the most important thing is to keep the rhythm as there are many corners one after the other.
Tyre wear and degradation will be crucial points this weekend as Barcelona is one of the tracks on the calendar demanding the most from the Pirellis. Keeping this in mind, what are your expectations for this race weekend?
We are ahead of a very difficult but also challenging situation as it's the first time we will drive the soft compound in Barcelona and until now no driver has had the chance to test this tyre. I am sure it won't be an easy race. Tyre management is already a decisive factor in this season; the soft tyres will make it even more challenging. But let's see what happens. Timetable
Practice: Fri 11 May 2012, 12:00 (GMT+2)Qualifying: Fri 11 May 2012, 16:00 (GMT+2)Race 1: Sat 12 May 2012, 15:40 (GMT+2)Race 2: Sun 13 May 2012, 10:35 (GMT+2)