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GP2
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pic 03/04/14 GP2 Series Round 1, Bahrain Preview.

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The 2014 GP2 series gets underway this weekend at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain. This year the Series will comprise of 11 rounds and, for the first time, the GP2 teams will be racing in Austria and Russia.

Racing Engineering will start the season with two new drivers, Stefano Coletti from Monaco and Raffaele (Lello) Marciello, the Swiss-born Italian. Stefano already has GP2 experience having first raced in the Series in 2011 and last year he took three race wins including one at his home track of Monaco and he was a contender for the Drivers’ Championship until the end of the season. Lello will have his first GP2 race in Bahrain but he has already proven his ability taking twenty wins in the FIA Formula 3 European championship in two seasons as well as taking the championship in 2013.

For this race Pirelli will be providing both their hard and soft compounds and, in a change to this year’s regulation, the GP2 teams must use both nominated compounds during the race. However, the tyre allocation for GP2 is a lot lower: three sets of the hard prime compound and two of the soft option per car per race weekend. With two races over the weekend, as well as Free Practice and Qualification, selection of the tyres and when to use them will be crucial to success.

Practice: Fri 04 Apr 2014, 12:00 (GMT+3)
Qualifying Session: Fri 04 Apr 2014, 20:00 (GMT+3)
Race 1: Sat 05 Apr 2014, 13:10 (GMT+3)
Race 2: Sun 06 Apr 2014, 14:15 (GMT+3)
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Round
Length of lap:
5.411 km
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2013 best result Racing Engineering:
Pole position and victory 2013
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Tyre Wear:
High
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Brake Wear:
High
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Downforce:
Medium
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Throttle Average:
70%
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Fastest turn:
T12
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Hardest Braking Point:
T1
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Gear shifts per lap:
46
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Top Speed:
300 km/h
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Average Speed (Qualifying) 2013:
195.954 km/h
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Average Speed (Race) 2013:
180. 901 km/h
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Pole Position Time 2013: 1:39.427 Fabio Leimer (0.993 seconds faster than Ericsson in P2)
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Facts
1. Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering had a fantastic weekend in 2013 at the Bahrain International Circuit. Already fastest in Free Practice, Fabio took pole by almost a second and celebrated a dominant win.

2. The Bahrain International Circuit has six potential layouts. Alongside the Grand Prix and Endurance layouts, there is an Inner Circuit, Outer Circuit, Paddock Circuit and Flat Oval.

3. The Bahrain International Circuit is the 6th longest race track on the 2014 calendar with a length of 5.411km.

4. The 1000m start/finish straight leads into another 500m straight and a short straight between turn 10 and 11, with a final long straight between 13 and 14. As a result, Sakhir can be considered as average in regards to stress put on the engines.

5. It’s the first time there will be F1 and GP2 track activity at night at the Bahrain International Circuit. This will greatly influence the conditions as the track temperature will drop once the sun is gone. This will affect GP2 qualifying.

6. The Bahrain circuit has its own drag strip with a very specific and sticky tarmac, just in front of the support pitlane.

7. The circuit is located in the middle of the desert, so dirt and sand are often blown onto the race track and consequently the racing line.

8. Due to the higher ambient temperatures, tyre degradation is expected to be critical in Bahrain.

9. The mix of slow-speed corners at the end of long straights means that Sakhir is one of the most demanding circuits when it comes to brakes all season.

10. The elevation change at the Bahrain International Circuit is minimal.
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GP2
1. F1 engines are at full throttle for 50% of the lap in the race whereas the full throttle average of a GP2 engine is 70%.

2. F1 top speed (including DRS) estimated for 2014 is 306km/h – GP2 (without DRS) is 300 km/h.

3. For F1 Sakhir hasn’t been particularly favourable to drivers starting from pole position - only four times in eight events has the pole-sitter won the race. In GP2 our driver Fabio Leimer showed that you can take pole and victory the same weekend.

4. Race distance is different: F1 go around the circuit for 57 laps and GP2 does a total of 55 laps during two days - 32 laps in the Feature Race and 23 in the Sprint Race.

5. In 2013 the F1 Pole position was set at 1:32.330 – Fabio Leimer took the 2013 GP2 pole position with a time of 1:39.427.

6. F1 drivers will change gears 52 times per lap while GP2 drivers have to do so 46 times.