With an all new season of GP2 about to get underway in 2013, it is important to get the new young drivers acclimatized to the car and operational procedures of the teams, if the driver is new to the series. For the veterans, the preseason is just an opportunity to get back into the groove and understand the tires.
The first preseason test took place in Jerez and concluded today. There were some notable participants in the test in the form of Sauber reserve driver and 2012 FR3.5 champion Robin Frijns and Ma Qing Hua, former HRT reserve driver. These two are looking to secure seats in the competitive feeder series for 2013 to keep their racing options open.
These two drivers would not feature at the top of the time sheets during the test, through Robin did impress considering this was his first taste of GP2 machinery.
The first two days were dominated by Frenchman Tom Dillmann. The young driver was a race winner in last year’s championship and is looking to secure a full time race seat for 2013.
The final day was topped by sophomore driver, James Calado. The Brit impressed in his rookie year last season by taking 5th in the championship. Staying in ART Grand Prix machinery certainly makes him a favorite for the championship in 2013, and the best poised driver to break into F1 in the near future.
GP3 graduates Daniel Abt and Mitch Evans were also present for what was their first taste of GP2 machinery as well. They will have a steep learning curve this year but are well poised to succeed in the championship. The former is lucky enough to James Calado as his teammate.
Here are today’s times:
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:24.659 54
2. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:25.045 26
3. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:25.133 27
4. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:25.138 35
5. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:25.148 38
6. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:25.269 39
7. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:25.276 38
8. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:25.309 41
9. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:25.318 44
10. Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:25.497 40
11. Robin Frijns Trident Racing 1:25.572 23
12. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:25.695 56
13. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:25.829 37
14. Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 1:25.833 47
15. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:25.862 17
16. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:25.883 33
17. Ma Qing Hua Caterham Racing 1:25.896 43
18. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport` 1:25.959 31
19. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:26.031 39
20. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:26.049 21
21. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:26.133 43
22. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:26.767 38