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Grosjean tops first GP2 test day of 2011

Romain Grosjean laid down a statement of intent for the 2011 GP2 championships by topping the timesheets on the first day of testing at Abu Dhabi.
Romain Grosjean made his return to the GP2 Asia series that he won in 2008, and laid down the gauntlet straight away by becoming the only driver to to dip under the 1m 50s mark on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Dams driver was almost half a second faster than the nearest competition, which was Jules Bianchi in the Lotus ART who had opted to sit out the morning session and wait for improved conditions later in the day.

But it was GP2 newcomer Stefano Coletti who put in the most surprising performance of the opening day for Trident, topping the morning's timesheets on a very dusty track and then ending third in the afternoon session's much faster timings despite running only nine laps after lunch.

All 13 teams were present at the test session and all got some runs in. Sam Bird only managed one formation lap in the morning and four laps in the afternoon, but that included briefly topping the timesheets as conditions improved steadily as the day wore on.

Initially the track suffered from the after effects of an overnight sandstorm that caused the organisers to truncate the morning session by half an hour to allow them to spend more time cleaning the surface. The afternoon was then beset by some initial light rain, and it wasn't until later on that drivers were able to set their fastest times as the track dried. The session was extended by an additional hour to allow the teams to get the most testing in the improved conditions.

As a result the morning was more about checking basic set-up and to gather some initial valuable data on the new Dallara chassis rather than set fast times. The afternoon session started slowly because of the rain with only eight cars out in the first hour, including Grosjean, Bianchi and Coloni's Michael Herck.

Bianchi and Grosjean continued to trade fastest laps through the remainder of the day, later joined by Addax's Charles Pic who briefly held second spot and also by Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde.

With thirty minutes of the session remaining, Trident's GP3 series graduate Stefano Coletti pushed hard to bring his times down and briefly claimed second place behind Bianchi, before Romain Grosjean came out for his final run of the day and to set an unbeatable 1:49.768 on the chequered flag.

Testing resumes tomorrow, Thursday February 3, commencing at 9am local time.

The full Abu Dhabi test times for February 2 are available in the results section.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Grosjean - ART Grand Prix   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR, Rapax) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Friday 25 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) elebrate at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at the Hungaroring, Hungary 2014 GP3 Series Round 5. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) wins at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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Nanbawan - Unregistered

February 03, 2011 12:49 AM

Grosjean was in the title fight for GP2 in 2009 when he answered the call to replace Piquet in the conditions we know. A really hard deal that almost killed his nascent career. He entered AutoGP last year at the 6th round (I think) and still won the championship, he's been competitive in all the other series he's entered in even in Andros Trophy ice racing. Hopefully he'll get on the final podium of this GP2 championship and relaunch his elite racing hopes.



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