Monza GP2 series preview

The edge of gloryWith only three rounds left in the season, the title race has become a frenzied fight between five hungry men: Series leader Stefano Coletti who has enjoyed a perfect start of the year leaving almost nothing but crumbs to the rest of the field has had a very challenging second half of the season. The Monegasque driver has failed to score points in the past five races which has allowed his closest rivals to dangerously close in on him in the drivers’ standings. First in line is Felipe Nasr. The young Brazilian has always been a title contender in 2013: his incredible consistency in qualifying and during the races has put Nasr near the front of the standings since the beginning of the season. He is now six points behind Coletti, but only one point ahead of Fabio Leimer. The Swiss who was this year’s first race winner is also impressive in terms of consistency never having qualified below sixth and having retired only once (in Monaco). Leimer is a force to be reckoned with this season just as Sam Bird is who records the most wins in 2013 so far with a total of four victories (including the last round in Belgium) and only one DNF. The mighty Brit will put his experience to good use in the final rounds whilst countryman James Calado has survived a challenging start to his season: the sophomore who has just been named Force India’s third driver finally enjoyed a well-earned first win in Spa two weeks ago and gets back in the game with one aim: the GP2 crown.

This week, the paddock sets up camp in Parco di Monza also known as the Temple of Speed, one of the fastest tracks in the world with some fast corners, flat-out straights and the infamous Parabolica: a long open corner which puts drivers, machines and tyres to the test.Pirelli have selected nominated the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White Medium compounds for this weekend. Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: "This is the race we’ve all been waiting for. Not only is Monza the home round for Pirelli, which makes the whole atmosphere electric, but it is also one of the most challenging circuits of the year for the tyres. Tyre degradation is generally low but there are some key areas on the circuit the drivers must watch out for such as Parabolica, which places a lot of energy on the front-left tyres in particular and can sometimes cause blistering, as well as all the long and fast straights. The hard and medium compound is the most sensible option for the GP2 crews but it still leaves room for tyre strategy with a performance gap of around 0.5 seconds per lap between the two compounds: a factor that the drivers will have to consider wisely this weekend.”