Sunday, April 22, 2012
GP2: Bahrain, One by One
Nearly a month after the first two races of the season, GP2 was back for the second round of the Championship in Bahrain. And it was surely worth the wait, what extraordinary racing battles. Davide Valsecchi is the strongest at the moment after a perfect weekend. But this is only the start and there's still 20 races ahead of us. Luiz Razia is not going to make it easy for Davide. He's also got the experience and the talent. I would also add Esteban Gutierrez to the fight for the top and even though Giedo Van der Garde hasn't had the start we were all expecting, we can't rule him out of the fight this early in the season. But let's go one by one through the 5 big names of this weekend in Bahrain...
Davide Valsecchi. Total Domination. A perfect weekend for him, from start to finish: First in Practice, Pole Position and wins in Race 1 and 2. Unstoppable. He looked after his tyres perfectly, made no mistakes, had the pace, knew when to push and completed amazing overtakings. He is the new leader of the Championship with 70 points, 13 ahead of Luiz Razia.
Felipe Nasr. Raw Talent. He has absolutely amazed me. His debut in Malaysia was already a warning and this weekend in Bahrain he has shown his talent. Race 1 was disappointing as he had to retire after a collision with Johnny Cecotto on lap 16 for which he was penalised... Because of that, today he started from last, stalled during the installation lap and ended up starting from the pits. But the Brazilian never gave up and drove an absolutely amazing race all the way up to P6. He is now 6th in the Championship. Definitely one to watch.
Esteban Gutierrez. Podium Hunter. Two more races and two more podiums for the Mexican. The perfect way to end the weekend 3rd in the Championship. He was very close to winning today but Valsecchi caught him up in the last lap and even though he defended well the Italian was faster. A frustrating way to end the race, but a good amount of points in the bag.
Luiz Razia. In the Fight. He is one of the big names this season and is always at the top. But at the moment he is chasing Davide. He has the experience and the talent and I would say he is the only one that can stop the Italian from an easy drive to the Championship title.
Rio Haryanto. Indonesian Drive. I have to say I have always had an eye on him as he has talent and is a very good racer. This is his first season in GP2 after growing up in GP3 and even though he has a lot to learn, he's already scored his first 4 points in the Feeder Series and I'm sure that as the season goes on he will gain more confidence and demonstrate that he's ready to be at the top.
GP2 stay in Bahrain for another 2 races that will take place next weekend. In theory the perfect scenario for Davide to fly to another two wins but remember, this is GP2 and anything can happen. It's pure racing and whoever shines the most on track will be up there.