Leimer leads the way in GP2 practice, Rossi 4th

Fabio Leimer

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

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
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
8. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1:52.573 14
9. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:52.583 12
10. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:52.697 14
11. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:52.709 14
12. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:52.801 13
13. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:52.822 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
18. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:53.383 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
23. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:53.986 10
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

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