Davide Valsecchi - Career - GP2 Series

GP2 Series

For 2008, Valsecchi competed in both the GP2 Series and the new GP2 Asia Series for the Durango team, alongside Alberto Valerio. In qualifying for the second round of the GP2 Series at Istanbul, he crashed heavily at 175 mph, but escaped serious injury. However, he did not take part in the rest of the race meeting. Although the car was badly damaged in the crash, GP2 technical director Didier Perrin suspected a braking problem. Valsecchi's evacuation from the wreckage was also hampered by his crotch strap becoming wedged between the foam seat and the chassis, resulting in a technical bulletin being circulated amongst the GP2 teams with instructions on how to fit the strap correctly. Valsecchi suffered mild concussion and a spinal injury, and subsequently missed the next two rounds of the championship. His seat was taken first by compatriot Marcello Puglisi, and then by Ben Hanley. He returned to racing action for the race meeting at Silverstone, where he scored a point in the sprint race. He later crashed his car heavily during the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps, necessitating another visit to hospital, but this time he was uninjured and scored a point in the sprint race the next day. At Monza, Valsecchi won the sprint race, his first GP2 victory.

Valsecchi remained with Durango for the 2008–09 GP2 Asia Series season and the start of the 2009 GP2 Series season, where he was partnered by Carlos Iaconelli/Michael Dalle Stelle and Nelson Panciatici respectively. He also took part in the Renault Driver Development programme. In August 2009 he moved to the Barwa Addax team to replace Formula One-bound Romain Grosjean, alongside Vitaly Petrov. He finished the season in 17th place.

Valsecchi joined iSport International for the 2009–10 GP2 Asia Series season and for the 2010 GP2 Series season, where he was partnered by Oliver Turvey. Valsecchi won the Asian title, with three races to spare, after taking three wins and two second places in the first five races of the season. In the main series, he dropped behind Turvey, but scored his first pole position and won the final race of the season to take eighth in the drivers' championship, his best performance so far.

For 2011, Valsecchi signed for the new Team AirAsia alongside Luiz Razia, as part of both drivers' test drive deals with the Lotus Formula One team. He finished seventh in the Asia series, losing his championship to Romain Grosjean. In the main series, he took the team's first victory in the Monaco feature race, and also set his first fastest lap in the category. After another double points finish at Valencia, however, he failed to score in the remaining ten races, slipping back to eighth in the championship and equalling his previous year's result.

Valsecchi moved to the DAMS team—which had won the drivers' championship in 2011 with Grosjean—for the 2012 season, where he partnered Felipe Nasr. A strong performer from the start of the year, he established a championship lead by winning three out of the four races held in Bahrain. He lost ground mid-season to former team-mate and title rival Razia, who briefly took the championship initiative, but a strong end to the season, including a win at his home round of the championship at Monza, saw him retake the lead in the standings and ultimately win the drivers' championship with 247 points to Razia's total of 222.

Read more about this topic:  Davide Valsecchi, Career

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