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Preview: second race weekend in Bahrain for GP2

The F1 teams may have flown out of Bahrain, but the GP2 field is still in residence - and about to stage its second consecutive weekend of racing in Sakhir.
While F1 is taking a bit of a break, the GP2 teams will be back in action this weekend and holding the second consecutive round of races at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir.

The chief differences for the GP2 teams this time around are that they'll be operating from the main pit lane complex now that the F1 teams no longer need them; and that the schedule no longer needs to fit around the Grand Prix practice and qualifying track activity.

This week's GP2 practice and qualifying still take place on Friday, but are being condensed into the morning (at 7.55am and 9.25am BST) so that the feature race can be brought forward and run on Friday afternoon (1.55pm BST). The sprint race then follows on Saturday at 11.55am BST, allowing the teams to take their leave on Sunday.

The big challenge for the GP2 teams other than DAMS is to see whether they can do anything about the irresistible form of championship leader Davide valsecchi, who dominated last weekend's event. After dominating practice and qualifying, we romped home to a feature win and then followed it up with a hard-fought victory from an eighth place start in the sprint place.

"It's the best weekend of my career!" said a jubilant Valsecchi, looking back. "A big thanks to the whole team who gave me a fantastically well-prepared car for practice and the races with an impeccable pit stop.

"I fought hard to achieve this," he added. "With the DAMS team I can fight with the best and we're going to make sure this continues."

"A double during the same weekend is very rare in GP2 and everybody, engineers, drivers and mechanics, did a great job," said DAMS CEO Jean-Paul Driot. "Bravo to Davide - and also to Felipe who made an exceptional comeback on Sunday. However, it's only the start of the championship and we're fighting top-class rivals. We're staying fully concentrated on the coming races."

Valsecchi's double top means that he surged ahead of Arden's Luiz Razia in the championship, and the Brazilian is determined to fight back this weekend.

"Clearly we still have some work to do to narrow the gap to DAMS," he said. "The tyres are incredibly sensitive and tiny set-up alterations can make a difference of a few seconds over a race distance." He called last week's races "another encouraging weekend" and added: "It was a good result, but a difficult race."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Dani Clos (ESP, Barwa Addax Team) in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Brendon Hartley (NZL, Ocean Racing Technology) in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Barwa Addax Team) in Bahrain. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Racing Engineering mechanics push Nathanael Berthon (FRA, Racing Engineering) car back into the garage. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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