GP2 »

Abu Dhabi: Leimer and Bird set for final showdown

The final weekend of the 2013 GP2 Series sees a down-to-the-wire fight between Fabio Leimer and Sam Bird, with a similarly tight battle in GP3 for Facu Regalia and Daniil Kyvat.
In contrast to the F1 world championship, which is over and done with despite three races remaining in the 2013 season, the title battles in the GP2 and GP3 series have come all the down to the season finale - with the outcomes in both still very much on a knife-edge.

In GP2, Racing Engineering's Rabio Leimer has a seven point lead over Russian Time's Sam Bird coming into this weekend's final round in Abu Dhabi, but with as many as 48 points available (for a sweep of pole, feature and sprint wins and fastest laps in both races) it's clear that that sort of margin could be lost by a single mishap as early as Friday morning.

"It's good to go to Abu Dhabi with a seven point lead, but we have to focus on the race weekend and not the championship," insisted Leimer, all too aware of how precarious a grid has has on the top spot. "We will concentrate on doing a good job, as we have done all year long."

"In the end a championship is not won or lost during one weekend," commented Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering. "It's the result of the work done throughout the entire season and I have to say that our boys have worked hard to achieve the results so far. For Fabio and the entire team it would simply be perfect to snatch the title and, in this fashion, finish off a season full of dedication and hard work."

Not helping Leimer or anyone else come to that has been the interminable six-week wait for the finale since the penultimate round in Singapore, but Leimer said that it's simply one of those things that has to be coped with.

"It was a quite long break, but nothing changed. My preparation is still the same as it was at the beginning of the season," he said. "I do not like the idea of changing something during a season when it has worked well so far.

"Pressure is not a problem because we have been working for this for several years. There is no reason to become nervous when you finally get the chance to achieve what you have worked for so hard for," Leimer added.

While the pressure might be on Leimer and his team, that seven point advantage they hold over Bird could still mean that it's possible they could clinch the 2013 championship as early as Saturday afternoon if Leimer wins the race and Bird suffers a nightmare. Not that Bird is the only challenger left in the running - Carlin's Felipe Nasr has an outside chance of catching the lead duo, and even Stefano Coletti (Rapax) and James Calado (ART) are not yet mathematically eliminated - although in reality it would take a turnaround of truly epic proportions for them to triumph.

This weekend all the drivers will have a selection of Pirelli's P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft compounds - the very first time that this tyre nomination has been used in the 2013 GP2 season, and this could prove to be a pivotal factor in the title decider.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Robert Cregan (IRL) at Monza in 2012 while competing with Ocean Racing Technology. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic)
Facu Regalia (ARG, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his Saturday race 1 victory on the podium - Nurburgring, July 6 2013. (World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, MW Arden) celebrates his victory on the podium after race 1 at Spa on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) celebrates his victory on the podium after the Spa feature race on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates his victory on the podium after the feature race in Monza - Saturday, September 7 2013. (World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) vie for the 2013 GP2 Series championship title. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Saturday 19 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) during practice at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), takes the flag to win at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) crosses the line to win his first race at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) celebrates winning his first race at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) celebrates on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.