Fabio Leimer has started the final weekend of the 2013 GP2 Series in fine style after claiming the top spot in this morning’s free practice session at Yas Marina Circuit, stealing the spot in his final lap to head title rival Sam Bird and Dani Clos.
The points leader set a time of 1:51.766 on his final lap to claim best time from Bird, but the Englishman appeared to be on a faster lap before slowing slightly in the final sector, relinquishing the position he had held for much of the session in the process.
The practice session took place under blazing skies, with times tumbling throughout as the drivers came to grips with the circuit and their tires: Jolyon Palmer set the first competitive lap before Bird claimed the top spot just 8 minutes in, improving his time later before Clos took over on the leaderboard with just over ten minutes remaining.
As the pace improved a number of drivers ran wide, showing just how hard they were working to improve their times: Bird regained the top spot with four minutes remaining, but Leimer laid down a marker for the championship battle as the checkered flag came out.
Rookie points leader Alexander Rossi, James Calado, Tom Dillmann, Jon Lancaster, Stephane Richelmi, Johnny Cecotto and Felipe Nasr filled the timesheets behind the top three, with just one second covering the first 11 drivers: the pace promises to heat up even more when qualifying starts a few hours from now.
Abu Dhabi – Free Practice
|1.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:51.766||10|
|2.||Sam Bird||RUSSIAN TIME||1:51.924||13|
|3.||Dani Clos||MP Motorsport||1:52.019||11|
|4.||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:52.061||13|
|5.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:52.162||11|
|6.||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||1:52.175||12|
|7.||Jon Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||1:52.543||12|
|9.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:52.583||12|
|11.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:52.709||14|
|14.||Nathanael Berthon||Trident Racing||1:52.853||13|
|15.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:52.870||11|
|16.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:52.973||12|
|17.||Sergio Canamasas||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:53.225||13|
|19||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:53.472||13|
|20.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:53.552||12|
|21.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||Hilmer Motorsport||1:53.638||11|
|22.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:53.750||11|
|24.||Vittorio Ghirelli||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:54.435||14|
|25.||Gianmarco Raimondo||Trident Racing||1:55.291||14|
|26.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||2:00.043||10|