GP2’s Championship Contenders!

It’s a good probability that either Racing Engineering driver Fabio Leimer or Russian Time driver Sam Bird will be the 2013 GP2 Series champion.  Seven points separate the Swiss driver from the Brit, with just the season finale in Abu Dhabi to come.

There are three other drivers with an outside bet of the championship, however they all would require perfect weekends and would also need Leimer and Bird to have nightmare ones.  Carlin driver Felipe Nasr, Rapax driver Stefano Coletti and ART Grand Prix driver James Calado all are within the 48 points available in Abu Dhabi.

 

Starts

Wins

Feature Poles

Fastest Laps

Points

Fabio Leimer

20

3

1

1

179

Sam Bird

20

5

2

3

172

Felipe Nasr

20

0

0

0

148

Stefano Coletti

20

3

1

4

135

James Calado

20

1

0

2

134

The Five Championship Contenders

Fabio Leimer leads the championship going into the season finale, having won the season opening race in Malaysia, the feature race in Bahrain, and again in the feature race at Monza.  Since Germany, he has scored points in every race, all by finishing in the top six including three podiums, and leads the championship on merit. 

Leimer

Sam Bird did not have a drive a few weeks before the beginning of the season before joining Russian Time.  He has won five times this season, including races in Monaco, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.  He has only failed to score points on four occasions, and sits only seven points behind going into Abu Dhabi.

Bird 5

It is a big surprise that Felipe Nasr has yet to win a GP2 series race.  He came close to victory in Singapore but was beaten by team-mate Jolyon Palmer.  He has finished second four times, and third twice more.  He sits 31 points behind the championship leader.

Nasr

Of all of the championship contenders, Stefano Coletti had the best start to the season, winning three of the first eight races, and scoring points in all of them.  Since his win in his home race in Monaco however (Round 8), he has only scored points once, a podium finish in Germany.  The Monegasque driver sits 44 points behind Leimer.

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James Calado started the season with a podium finish in Malaysia, but did not see the podium again until round ten at Silverstone.  Since then he has finished three more times on the podium and won the sprint race in Spa-Francorchamps.  He is the outsider for the championship, 45 points behind with only 48 available.

james-calado

So Who Will Win?

The odds are in favour of the 2013 GP2 series championship going to Fabio Leimer or Sam Bird.  Both Racing Engineering and Russian Time have shown they can provide their drivers with good cars all season long.  Even their team-mates, Julian Leal and Tom Dillmann have visited the podium this season. 

For Felipe Nasr, Stefano Coletti and James Calado, all they and their teams can do is have a perfect weekend and hope Leimer and Bird fail to score. 

With 25 points available for a win in the feature race (plus four points for pole position and two points for fastest lap), plus 15 points for a win in the sprint race (plus two more points for fastest lap), that leaves 48 points available.  No driver has won both races in a weekend this year; in fact it is very rare to see a driver score a double podium.  That does not bode well for the three outsiders for the championship.

So will it be Leimer, or will it be Bird?  Let the battle of Abu Dhabi commence!

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