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Tyre Strategy At The Centre Of A Thrilling GP2 Series Weekend In The Extreme Heat Of Sepang


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Thermal tyre management was at the heart of the GP2 action which peaked at more than 60 degrees on Friday: the highest ever seen in recent history.

Antonio Giovinazzi took another Feature Race victory while Luca Ghiotto took his first win in the Sprint Race.

The GP2 drivers had the two hardest compounds at their disposal: P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium. The top six Feature Race finishers all started on the medium tyre and then switched to the hard.

The race was shortened by two extra formation laps to retrieve a stranded car, with Raffaele Marciello leading into the first corner after Pierre Gasly made a poor start, but Marciello was then passed by Giovinazzi through turn two.

Sergey Sirotkin subsequently tried to challenge Giovinazzi for the lead, and when he could not catch up, pitted on lap eight of 29 to switch to hard tyres and try to undercut his rival. Giovinazzi pitted three laps later, emerging behind Sirotkin, but then passed him again to claim his fifth win of the year.

An alternative strategy was adopted by Luca Ghiotto, who started from 11th on the grid with the hard tyre and ran a long first stint, moving into the lead before switching to the medium on lap 18 and eventually finishing seventh.

Ghiotto – the runner-up in last year’s GP3 Series – was on the top step of the podium after an action-packed sprint race on Sunday, having taken the lead at the start and defended it following a re-start after an early safety car.

(gp2series.com/seangp.com/ARL/MB)

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