Raimondo continues GP2 journey
Following on from a successful GP2 debut in Singapore Gianmarco Raimondo returned with the Trident team to compete in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi GP2 event presented a different challenge to Gianmarco but the continuity of a second race left Gianmarco more prepared, ‘It was a great weekend. It was a perfect improvement from the performance in Singapore….starting from practice we saw that the performance was already at a higher level and that we could work a lot more efficiently with my driving as I had a better understanding of the basics of the car. The track itself is relatively easy as it isn’t difficult to put all 3 sectors together. The lap is longer and hotter than Singapore so basically you need to save the tires soon at the end of your qualifying push lap!â€ .
Being that this is the first “proper” race track with normal to high grip I’ve driven, there was so much more speed in the car than I could imagine. Definitely not comparable to Singapore as that track was always dirty and never has any rubber laid on it. So basically from my practice time to qualifying , we gained 3 seconds a lap. So to get everything out of the car was hard work. Despite starting from pit lane, we still made up good positions during the first race! We were able to keep it clean and get somewhat of a decent pace with also the possibly to challenge the champion for position during the race! We were however fortunate that we had 2 safety cars to bunch the grid up all again, but we still needed the grip in the tires to pass the 3 other cars we did in the final 5 laps. So a good step was made after race 1. Physically I was much better in the car, despite that it was nearly 40 degrees, I still felt much better than Singapore. I spent the whole month in between races training like crazy to really prevent the scene from Marina Bay…and we did just that.
Race 2 was definitely the best race for me so far. Finishing in the top 15 was a great achievement for us as we were able to finally find the pace to challenge and most importantly (keep challenging later on in the race) for valuable position! Getting your head around the tire is the most important aspect of this championship because it is the limiting factor for results in the end. We were able to do that this race and were only 2 positions behind my experienced teammate.
All in all we are very happy about how the weekend went here at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. It has proven that I have the capability to drive and race GP2 and to constantly learn and improve, which isn’t always easy. Now we are working to grab a seat in the prestigious championship and hopefully continue the success shown this weekend.’