GP2 polesitter Romain Grosjean believes that the drivers will take more risks with their tires at Imola this weekend than they did in the Asia series opener in Abu Dhabi.
The new Pirelli tires were a major concern in Abu Dhabi last month, with drivers taking a conservative approach to make sure their rubber lasted the distance. But Grosjean believes that the lower temperatures at Imola, plus the fact that there were not any major issues last time out, will mean that everyone is more aggressive in the early stages this weekend.
"People were talking about us having to make two stops in Abu Dhabi but it never happened," said Grosjean. "Everyone preserved the tires well.
"We don't know how they will behave in the race tomorrow, so it is going to be tough. But maybe we can be less careful and go for it in the beginning of the race here."
Grosjean left it very late to snatch pole position from Sam Bird, who was already in parc ferme celebrating as the session came to a close. The Frenchman, who crashed in practice this morning, pointed out that a last gasp effort was not his plan.
"The team did well to repair the car – last in practice to first in qualifying is a good recovery," he said. "But I knew it would be tough. When we put the last set of tires on I got blocked on my flying lap, so on the last lap I just had to go for it."
Thanks to the two bonus points for pole, Grosjean now shares the championship lead with Jules Bianchi heading into this second and final weekend of the Asia series. Bianchi will start fourth, but Grosjean insists that he is not worrying too much about the championship.
"We always said that Asia is training for the main series," said the Renault Formula 1 reserve driver. "This is all about gathering as much data as possible about a new car and the new tires. Of course, I hope to stay at the front, but we will just have to wait and see what happens in the championship."