Esteban Gutierrez on top in 2011 GP2 Final practice
Mexican ace dominates at Yas Marina Circuit
Abu Dhabi 11 November 2011: It was the perfect start to the 2011 GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi for Lotus ART’s Esteban Gutierrez. In the forty five minute long practice session, the Mexican crushed the rest of the field after he clocked in a best laptime of 1:50.458 in the first third of the session with his closest rivals unable to match his pace.
The teams were greeted by dry and warm conditions this morning for the practice session of their last outing in 2011. All twenty six cars fed onto the track as soon as the lights turned green. The first fifteen minutes saw a three-way battle for the top spot between Dani Clos at Rapax, Fabio Leimer at Racing Engineering and iSport’s Tom Dillmann. The GP3 graduate eventually topped the timing sheet just as Julian Leal lost control of his Trident car and slid into the barrier at Turn 19 which ended his session prematurely, prompting the yellow flags.
When the track was clear again, Gutierrez had completed five laps and was sitting at the back of the timesheet. On his next lap, he lit all sectors in purple and went top, 1.5s quicker than Dillmann. The Mexican’s laptime was then never bettered. In spite of their best efforts, Gutierrez’s closest rivals never found the extra pace that would knock him out of P1 and they were left to try and reduce the gap as much as possible. At the chequered flag, it was Leimer who managed to get the closest to Gutierrez, 0.5s off.
Dillmann did not fail to impress on his first GP2 outing lying third ahead of Max Chilton, Clos, Luiz Razia, Nathanaël Berthon, Marcus Ericsson and Giacomo Ricci. The Italian however is under investigation along with rookie Nicolas Marroc for ignoring waved yellow flags.
The cars will be back in action this afternoon for the qualifying session at 14.55 local time.
2011 GP2 Final – Free Practice
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:50.442 16
2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:50.957 17
3. Tom Dillmann iSport International 1:50.999 16
4. Max Chilton Carlin 1:51.018 15
5. Dani Clos Rapax 1:51.093 17
6. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 1:51.288 13
7. Nathanaël Berthon Racign Engineering 1:51.411 14
8. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:51.527 14
9. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:51.746 15
10. Giacomo Ricci Super Nova Racing 1:51.847 17
11. Kevin Ceccon Scuderia Coloni 1:51.917 17
12. Jolyon Palmer Barwa Addax Team 1:51.932 17
13. Nigel Melker Dams 1:52.137 17
14. Alexander Rossi Caterham Team AirAsia 1:52.258 11
15. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:52.287 18
16. Rio Haryanto Dams 1:52.350 19
17. Josef Kral Arden International 1:52.585 16
18. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:52.646 18
19 James Calado Lotus ART 1:52.665 17
20. Antonio Felix Da Costa Ocean Racing Technology 1:52.674 21
21. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:52.779 16
22. Jan Charouz Carlin 1:52.856 11
23. Nicolas Marroc Ocean Racing Technology 1:53.042 17
24. Fabio Onidi Super Nova Racing 1:53.130 16
25. Mihai Marinescu Rapax 1:53.446 18
26. Julian Leal Trident Racing 2:02.583 3