Tag Archives: Davide Valsecchi

Formula 1

GP2 SERIES CHAMPION DAVIDE VALSECCHI ON TOP IN ABU DHABI YOUNG DRIVER TEST; DAY THREE

The final day of the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi saw reigning GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi top the time sheets in the race winning E20. Davide completed a total of 86 laps, running a comprehensive testing programme and showcasing his talent by quickly getting up to speed with the car and team.

Today signals the end of the Young Driver Test, with Lotus F1 Team having completed a total of 213 laps and gaining valuable data as the focus now turns towards the forthcoming United States Grand Prix next weekend.

Programme Summary:

  • Morning Session: Aerodynamic testing and DDRS iterations.
  • Afternoon Session: Front Drum testing and tyre assessment Programme.
  • Total number of laps: 86
  • Best lap time: 1:42:677
  • Tyres used: Two sets of hard, two sets of medium and two sets of soft compound tyres.

Davide Valsecchi, E20-01
“It’s been a really good experience for me. I was very pleased with my sessions and followed everything the team asked of me without making any mistakes. I took it very easy in the morning so I could get used to the car and soon became more confident, meaning towards the end I was much better in terms of pace.

“The team listened to my feedback and made the changes I suggested, particularly towards the end of running. I want to say thank you to Lotus F1 Team who have been really good; the engineers and the mechanics have all been brilliant and it has been a great day for me.”

Simon Rennie, Race Engineer
“The final day’s running with Davide has been a good end to our Young Driver Test this year. In the morning we completed additional aerodynamic work and looked at further evaluation of our DDRS, providing us with enough data to make an informed decision at a later stage in Enstone. Before lunch Davide completed performance runs as he became accustomed to the set up and quickly explored the limits of the car. Obviously the step from GP2 to Formula 1 is not enormous, but we were impressed with how quickly he was up to speed by this morning.

“For the afternoon session, we looked at developments of our front drums and then completed a tyre programme which gave Davide the opportunity to try out the various compounds. We ran the hard, medium and soft tyres and he found good improvements in terms of grip with each step in the compounds. All in all it’s been a good day, and Davide did a great job.”

 

GP2

SINGAPORE GP2 FEATURE RACE- Chilton wins as Valsecchi is crowned champion-
 
Briton on top step as Italian celebrates with his team
 
Max Chilton has claimed his second win of the season in hot and humid conditions in this afternoon’s feature race in Singapore, leading home Esteban Gutiérrez and Fabio Leimer, while Davide Valsecchi wrapped up the championship by running home just ahead of his title rival Luiz Razia in fourth and fifth positions.
 
The Englishman’s win was set up at the start when poleman Luca Filippi bogged down as the lights went out, handing Chilton an easy run to the first corner ahead of Gutiérrez, Leimer and Jolyon Palmer, with Valsecchi next across the line and relieved to see the cars of Johnny Cecotto, Filippi and Stefano Coletti between him and his championship nemesis.
 
Gutieérrez had a look up the inside at turn 3 but couldn’t make it stick, giving Leimer the chance to squeeze by the Mexican at turn 7: he couldn’t make it stick either, and that gave Palmer all the space he needed to blast by at the corner before the safety car came out to allow the removal of Rene Binder and Victor Guerin’s stricken vehicles, and to give everyone a bit of a breather after a frantic first lap.
 
Chilton easily gapped his rivals at the restart, and it was clear that everyone was holding station pending the pitstops: Filippi and Cecotto were the highest placed drivers to stop when the pitlane opened on lap 6, putting the fear of being jumped into everyone’s hearts. Leimer and Razia came in on the next lap, with the rest of the front runners in over the following 2 laps: with the stops shaken out Filippi had jumped back up to P3, right on the tails of Chilton and Gutiérrez.
 
The top three had amazing pace, running like a train away from their main rivals on track as the last few stragglers finally came in for their stops. Leimer was the only other man able to compete on pace, and quickly dispatched Palmer as he looked ahead for a podium finish: his job was made easier when Filippi slowed with a mechanical gremlin, and it was only a matter of time before all of the Italian’s good work was in vain.
 
The Swiss driver finally claimed his scalp on lap 20, with Valsecchi also looking for a way past his countryman but not wanting to risk too much, as he now had Razia on his tail and hoping for more: Filippi eventually submitted and came into the pits to let his team have a look at the car before returning to the track, unfortunately prompting another safety car period a few minutes from the end after finding the barriers at the last corner.
 
But Chilton was happy to claim the win after absorbing everything Gutiérrez had thrown at him, and the pair hugged in parc fermé in acknowledgment of an epic battle. Leimer crossed the line a few seconds back, happy with his day’s work, ahead of 2012 series champion Valsecchi, who was shadowed by his vice champion Razia. Felipe Nasr took advantage of an early stop to jump up to sixth place, just ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Giedo van der Garde, who had a few torrid battles for P7 and 8, while Rio Haryanto and Nathanael Berthon rounded out the points positions.
 
Valsecchi was greeted by his team in the pits like a returned hero, and they were already wearing his championship shirts as his 241 points can’t be beaten by Razia (214). Gutiérrez will be hoping to hold on for third place tomorrow, on 172 ahead of Chilton on 169 and Calado on 160. DAMS will be hoping to hold on for the teams’ title, leading Lotus by just 2 points (334 to 332), with Arden looking for third place on 218 points from Carlin on 207 and Racing Engineering on 202 points with just tomorrow’s sprint race remaining in the 2012 calendar.
 
Singapore – Feature Race
Driver
Team
1.
Max Chilton
Carlin
2.
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
3.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
4.
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
5.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
6.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
7.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
8.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
9.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
10.
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
11.
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
12.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
13.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
14.
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
15.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
16.
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
17.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax

GP2

Davide Valsecchi back on top in Monza sprint
 
Davide Valsecchi kept his countrymen smiling by claiming the second Italian win of the weekend with a commanding drive in this morning’s sprint race in Monza, controlling the pace and his rivals to ease home ahead of Fabio Leimer and Jolyon Palmer.
 
The Italian’s win was set up at the start when he split front row starters Stefano Coletti and Palmer with a storming start as the lights went out. Leimer followed Valsecchi after running inside Coletti at turn one and easing into P2, while behind them Esteban Gutiérrez came together with Johnny Cecotto, and Marcus Ericsson missed his braking all together and had to run straight at the chicane.
The Swede eventually dropped back to just behind his teammate, who made short work of Coletti to put himself into a podium position the next time through the first turn. Behind them though, Fabio Onidi came in way too hot and collected Nigel Melker, with both drivers out on the spot, and Esteban Gutiérrez ran too deep trying to pass Giedo van der Garde into the Parabolica and found the wall.
Leimer was throwing everything he had at Valsecchi, who was equally determined to repel the attacks and get his championship bid back on track, and the pair pulled away from Palmer, who had his mirrors full of the Coletti/Ericsson battle behind him. The Swede eventually eased past, making it a 3 way fight for the final podium position.
 
And when the flag finally dropped it was Valsecchi who held on by just 0.4 seconds from Leimer, with the pair saluting each other after crossing the line. Palmer held on for third after Coletti and Ericsson ran side by side through Ascari on the final lap: Coletti hung on for fourth while Ericsson ran wide and lost places to Johnny Cecotto and Max Chilton in the run to the flag, and Julian Leal repelled a long challenge from Sergio Canamasas for the final point.
 
Valsecchi’s win eases the Italian ahead in the driver’s championship: he now leads on 229 points to Luiz Razia’s 204, while James Calado and Esteban Gutiérrez remain unchanged on 160 and 152 points respectively. DAMS take the lead in the team’s championship with 314 points to 312 for Lotus, with Arden third on 208 points as everyone look towards the final round of the 2012 season in Singapore in just 2 weeks time.

GP2

Chilton powers to victory in Budapest…
 
Briton claims maiden win in feature race-
 
Max Chilton has claimed his first GP2 win today, leading from pole in this afternoon’s feature race in Budapest with a strong, mature drive and soaking up race long pressure to claim victory from title rivals Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia.
 
The Englishman made a solid start when the lights went out, with Valsecchi right on his tail into turn one: behind them Razia ran side by side with Jolyon Palmer for the first few corners before latching onto Valsecchi and pushing the Italian for the rest of the lap, allowing Chilton to make a small break and concentrate on the job at hand.
 
Behind them the Lotus teammates were battling hard: Esteban Gutiérrez had a small touch with Razia at the first corner and was soon under pressure from James Calado, who dispatched the Mexican on the next lap before heading off after the top three, leaving his teammate looking in his mirrors at the train forming behind him.
 
Pit strategy was always going to be crucial at the tight circuit, and with Gutiérrez holding up the guys behind him Felipe Nasr, Palmer and Fabio Leimer came in on lap 11 to jump the queue, forcing those around them to react: Razia, Calado and Giedo van der Garde were in next time by, with Chilton and Valsecchi left with no choice by to pit one lap later.
 
Gutiérrez now led the field, ahead of Stefano Coletti, Julian Leal, Simon Trummer, Nigel Melker and Stéphane Richelmi (most of who started on the prime tyres, against the rest of the grid starting on super softs), with Chilton and Valsecchi emerging right behind them. The question now was how many of the late stoppers were going to be able to pace the chasing pack and emerge in the points.
 
The top 2 eventually pitted on lap 22, with the hounds in hot pursuit of the remaining front runners. Leal’s pace was dropping, and while Trummer squeezed by, Chilton was unable to find a path past the Colombian, with Valsecchi and Razia hounding the Briton all around the track. It was only when Leal peeled into the pits 2 laps later that Chilton was able to drive at his own pace, and dictate the terms.
 
In the closing laps he started losing time to his pursuers, leaving a few anxious moments yet for Carlin as Valsecchi threw everything he had at Chilton, not holding back until out of the final turn when Chilton was greeted by the chequered flag just 0.6 seconds ahead of Valsecchi, with Razia right behind the pair. Calado was next across the line in 4th, four seconds to the good over van der Garde and Palmer in P5 and P6.
 
The fight for the reverse pole was monumental: Josef Kral headed a queue and ran in 7th until suffering a mechanical gremlin a few laps from the end, promoting Nathanaël Berthon. Nasr looked to have P8 until he appeared to brake too late and ran into the wall at turn 1, with Gutiérrez squeezing by Fabio Leimer to take tomorrow’s pole, while Coletti rewarding himself with the final point on offer.
 
Razia’s lead in the championship over Valsecchi has now reduced back to 5 points, 186 to 181, while Gutiérrez hangs on in third place on 133. Van der Garde now has a one point lead over Calado, 129 to 128, while Chilton’s win puts him within touching distance of the pair on 124 points ahead of tomorrow’s sprint race.

GP2

Chilton snatches last minute pole in Hungary…
 
Briton on top in dramatic qualifying-
 
Max Chilton claimed his and Carlin’s first ever GP2 pole position in the closing seconds of a dramatic wet/dry qualifying at the Hungaroring, stealing the top spot as the flag dropped to end the session just ahead of James Calado, Davide Valsecchi and Jolyon Palmer.
 
Chilton’s lap of 1:28.980 snatched the top spot from his countryman by just 0.023 in a session that officially started on a wet track due to running water on turn 11 following a heavy storm ahead of this afternoon’s session, with many of the top runners waiting until the sun came out and the track dried enough for them to run on the super soft tyre compound.
 
Rio Haryanto was the first man on the compound to top the timesheets, with title rivals Valsecchi and Luiz Razia soon pushing the times below 1.30. Calado, who will lose two places for impeding Felipe Nasr in free practice, was not waiting around, and looked to have locked off the top spot in the session at the 17 minute mark just as most of the field was coming back for a second set of tyres.
 
With time running out, most of the field was pushing to improve their times in the closing minutes: Jolyon Palmer went P2 to his countryman just before Valsecchi stole the spot from immediately behind him on track, but with all the extra effort a number of drivers went wide or spun, throwing up brief yellows around the circuit.
 
With a minute to go, Chilton was in P22 and looked to be out of the running: he crossed the line with 10 seconds remaining to move up to P6 and hide his blushes, before going even faster next time round, setting personal (but not overall) bests in each sector to claim a popular pole position.
 
Just behind the top three were Palmer, Razia, Giedo van der Garde, Esteban Gutiérrez, Fabio Leimer, Marcus Ericsson and Johnny Cecotto, in a session that saw 20 drivers within a second of the top spot. The pace promises to be faster still in tomorrow’s feature race.
 

GP2

Valsecchi on top in free practice in Hockenheim-
 
Italian leads the way in damp session-
 
Davide Valsecchi has got his weekend under way in fine style by topping the timesheets in a rain (and red flag) affected free practice session this morning in Hockenheim, claiming the top spot just in time to sneak past Luiz Razia and Esteban Gutiérrez.
 
The session got underway under overcast skies but on a dry circuit, with the field storming out on track to make the most of the conditions while the teams kept an eye on the radar screens forecasting rain on the way. Gutiérrez and Marcus Ericsson set the early pace, swapping the top spot each time across the line as many of their rivals went too wide at turn one and paid the price with their times.
 
Around the ten minute mark Giedo van der Garde and Razia got into the mix too, with the Dutchman just catching some traffic in the complex to slow his ultimate lap times, before Valsecchi nailed a lap to steal the top spot. It looked as though this time was going to fall too, but for Giancarlo Serenelli running slightly wide coming into the complex and getting caught on the grass, which flicked the Venezuelan across the track and heavily into the wall, bringing out the red flags instantly.
 
As the marshals retrieved the various pieces of the broken Venezuela GP Lazarus car the rain started to come down, spitting at first and then raining heavier just before the session restarted with six minutes remaining: given the conditions there was no chance of any improvement in times, so Stefano Coletti, van der Garde, Fabio Leimer, James Calado, Max Chilton, Ericsson and Fabio Onidi were unable to take the fight to the top three.
 
With 18 drivers within a second of the quickest lap, and the rain falling even heavier after the session, this afternoon’s qualifying session promises to be more dramatic than ever at the famous German circuit.