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Leimer blazes to Sakhir pole position
Fabio Leimer stuns rest of field
Fabio Leimer has once again proclaimed himself as the man to beat this weekend as he dominated today’s qualifying session at Bahrain International Circuit. The Swiss driver set an impressive lap time of 1:39.427, nine tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson. Felipe Nasr finished third.

All the drivers had opted for soft Pirelli tires for this session. Simon Trummer was the first man to top the timesheet on his second lap, but his lap time was soon improved by Stefano Coletti, Alexander Rossi and Ericsson successively. It was then time for Leimer to remind the rest of the field of his presence. On his third lap he clocked in a time of 1:40.044 good enough to beat Ericsson by three tenths. Behind the pair, Nasr moved up to third.

Halfway through the session, the drivers made their way back to the pits for some fresh rubber and rushed back out on the track to try and find some extra pace. That was the case notably for rookie Robin Frijns who jumped from P18 to P6. Meanwhile, Leimer calmly waited in the pitlane, preserving his new set of soft tires. He rejoined the action with six minutes left on the clock.

The closing stages of the session heated up as Ericsson set the quickest first sector, a time immediately matched by Leimer. The Swiss crushed his rivals spirits and hopes by lighting up the other two sectors in purple. Ericsson settled for second ahead of Nasr whilst Series leader Coletti will start from fourth place on tomorrow’s starting grid. Tom Dillmann, Stéphane Richelmi, Rossi, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (today’s best rookie), Sam Bird and Frijns rounded up the top ten. James Calado who finished the session in eleventh place will be dropped ten places on tomorrow’s grid following a penalty picked up in Kuala Lumpur’s Sprint Race.

Having already added a feature race win to his GP2 record this season in Malaysia, Leimer will be looking to repeat the performance tomorrow in Sakhir, a plan that his rivals will try to stop. With 32 laps to run in high temperatures and on an abrasive track, a cool head, a good strategy and tire management will be key.


Pos Driver Team Time Behind
1. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m39.427s +0.000s
2. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m40.420s +0.993s
3. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m40.520s +1.093s
4. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1m40.585s +1.158s
5. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m40.689s +1.262s
6. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m40.704s +1.277s
7. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m40.756s +1.329s
8. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP 1m40.769s +1.342s
9. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m40.842s +1.415s
10. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m40.865s +1.438s
11. James Calado ART 1m40.878s +1.451s
12. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m40.892s +1.465s
13. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m41.033s +1.606s
14. Johnny Cecotto Arden 1m41.043s +1.616s
15. Daniel Abt ART 1m41.070s +1.643s
16. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m41.229s +1.802s
17. Kevin Giovesi Lazarus 1m41.236s +1.809s
18. Mitch Evans Arden 1m41.237s +1.810s
19. Kevin Ceccon Trident 1m41.243s +1.816s
20. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m41.504s +2.077s
21. Rene Binder Lazarus 1m41.553s +2.126s
22. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m41.687s +2.260s
23. Nathanael Berthon Trident 1m41.730s +2.303s
24. Pal Varhaug Hilmer 1m41.980s +2.553s
25. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m41.981s +2.554s
26. Daniel de Jong MP 1m42.284s +2.857s

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