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May 09, 2014 - 04:18 PM
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Nasr And Leal In The Hunt
Posted by: newsla on May 09, 2014 - 04:13 PM
GP2 News
Nasr And Leal In The Hunt


Carlin drivers Felipe Nasr and Julian Leal qualified in the top seven today, ahead of round two of the 2014 GP2 Series in Barcelona, Spain. Nasr was a front runner in practice and went on to qualify fifth, while Leal made a big step forward from practice to qualify seventh.

 

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The GP2 drivers had their first experience of the Circuit de Catalunya this morning during free practice. Nasr showed that his F1 commitments had little effect on his performance in the GP2 car, setting the second quickest time in GP2 practice just minutes after finishing first free practice in the Williams Martini Racing F1 car. Team mate Leal, struggled initially with understeer, but following changes made mid-session felt that the car balance had been improved despite running on worn tyres.

When track action recommenced again later on in the day, it was for the all-important qualifying session. Conditions remained dry and warm. As usual the session was effectively split into two parts, with most drivers heading out on track straight away before pitting mid-session for a quick debrief and new rubber. In the early stages both Carlin drivers were in the top ten, with Nasr third fastest and Leal seventh, although the Colombian was relegated to eighth after Stoffel Vandoorne posted a late first effort.

After several minutes in the pits and shod with new rubber, both Nasr and Leal were back out on track. Despite setting competitive times, Nasr couldn’t quite find the extra pace to improve further and dropped to fifth. Leal also dropped down the order and with only a few minutes to go was eleventh, but the Carlin man withstood the pressure to put in a last lap effort and jump back up to seventh.

Reflecting on his session, Nasr said, “I’m a little disappointed with our qualifying position after being further up in practice but I’m confident that we still have a car capable of challenging for the win in race conditions.”

“I’m quite pleased because we made a step forward again”, said Leal. “My engineer understands what I want and we’re able to work together and make the changes needed. The car felt better on my first qualifying run than it had in practice and then we made some further changes before my second run which made the car better again. Obviously I would like to be further forward but we can do a lot from seventh and we know we have good race pace.”

Track action will recommence at 10.20 for race one tomorrow morning.


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