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Paddock postcard - welcome back GP2 15 Apr 2007

The podium (L to R): Timo Glock (GER) iSport International, second; Luca Filippi (ITA) Super Nova International, race winner; Andreas Zuber (AUT) iSport International, third. GP2 Series, Rd 1, Race 1, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday 14 April 2007. World © Sutton Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Hiroshi Yasukawa (JPN) Bridgestone Director of Motorsport meet the Crash Test Dummies.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday, 14 April 2007 Nick Mason (GBR) Pink Floyd Drummer is shown Kangaroo TV
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday, 14 April 2007 Nick Mason (GBR) Pink Floyd Drummer and Rory Bremner (GBR) Impressionist (Centre) with Jamie Cullum (GBR) Singer (Right)
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday, 14 April 2007 Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal with Nick Mason (GBR) Pink Floyd Drummer and Jools Holland (GBR) Piano Player.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday, 14 April 2007

Bahrain always gets into party mood for the Grand Prix, and despite a brief rain shower on Thursday night, things got into full swing and the GP2 circus was welcomed back by the Formula One fraternity.

On Saturday afternoon Italy’s Luca Filippi turned pole position into his first series victory, in his Super Nova International machine, after a great start kept him ahead of iSport duo Timo Glock and Andi Zuber. Behind them, debutant Bruno Senna took fourth, Lucas di Grassi fifth and rookie Adrian Zaugg sixth.

There were several incidents, particularly at the start. One saw front row starter Xandi Negrao collide with Glock, damaging the latter’s front suspension. Kazuki Nakajima was also delayed, but set the fastest lap for Dams, but after qualifying well, in 10th place, Britain’s Mike Conway didn’t get beyond the first corner. There is a second race on Sunday morning.

At midday two lucky fans who have entered a BIC Fan TV/Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ticket draw will discover that they will get paddock access to meet Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, and Bahrain International Circuit CEO Martin Whitaker reports: "There is a remarkable buzz about this year's Grand Prix. Tickets sales are up by 17 percent and we are looking forward to the most successful Bahrain Grand Prix on record. We are anticipating the biggest-ever crowd."

Circuit designer Hermann Tilke will be relieved just to be present, after languishing in a police cell for an hour on Thursday evening. The German was pulled over for speeding.

Making an appearance in the paddock were the Crash Test Dummies (no, not the Canadian band), as part of an FIA Institute/UN road safety campaign launched here this weekend. Also seen were Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, international jazz star Jamie Cullum and fellow musician Jools Holland.