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Valsecchi flies to Bahrain feature race pole

Davide Valsecchi looks on a mission at Bahrain, following up his domination of the Friday morning practice session with a comfortable pole position in afternoon qualifying.
DAMS confirmed their impressive pace on the Bahrain International Circuit, when lead driver Davide Valsecchi punched out a lap of 1:41.327s with his first serious effort and then shaved it to 1:41.200s after a brief rest lap to set a benchmark that no one else was able to reach.

"I'm really happy today," said Valsecchi, who also started from pole position in the season opener in Malaysia. "Today, we were the best. I'm really happy. Tomorrow is another day. We need to prove that we have what it takes to stay at the front."

Valsecchi's rookie team mate Felipe Nasr was also impressive, putting in a lap of 1:41.785s which was good enough for third place, but not quite enough to pip Lotus GP's Esteban Gutiérrez for the front row spot alongside Valsecchi. It's the best GP2 starting positions to date for both Gutiérrez and Nasr.

"I have to say that I am really happy with this result today," said Nasr. "I had a great car: the team did a super job to put both cars in front," he added, saying that it made him feel "pretty confident for the rest of the weekend" and was aiming for a podium finish on Saturday.

Sandwiched between the two DAMS drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez felt he could have gone one better if only the track situation had fallen right for him, with his final lap before the mid-session interval frustrated when he came up on the back of his own team mate, rookie James Calado.

"We were improving in the second stint and then we were in traffic," he said. "It happens. We lost two tenths in the last sector. We were fighting for pole definitely, but in the end I am still happy with this result because this is where we belong."

In the end, Gutiérrez' best lap of 1:41.479s was just over a quarter of a second off the pole time, but comfortably ahead of Nasr who was just 0.013s ahead of Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer with whom he will share the second row for the start of Saturday afternoon's feature race.

Leimer set his fast lap in the second half of the session after keeping his soft option tyres for the latter part of the 30 minute qualifying period, while the others ahead of him all opted to go for the faster compound in their first runs.

Nasr - after his flying lap early on - decided to not even try for a second bite at the apple and consequently has an extra set of unused tyres available to him for the remainder of the weekend.




Related Pictures

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Felipe Nasr (BRA, Dams) during practice and qualifying for the GP2 feature race at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) during practice and qualifying for the GP2 feature race at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his pole position during practice and qualifying for the GP2 feature race at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the second of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Thursday, April 17 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on the first of two days of official GP3 pre-season testing on Wednesday, April 16 2014. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) at the start of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 1st, Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), 2nd, & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 3rd, take the chequered flag at the end of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win in parc ferme after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win with his mechanics after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer, Simon Trummer and Julian Leal celebrate on the podium after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), receives his 3rd place trophy after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)

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