Gutierrez claims third GP2 win of season with dominant performance in Hungary sprint race
|By Charles Bradley
||Sunday, July 29th 2012, 09:46 GMT
Esteban Gutierrez scored a dominant GP2 Series sprint race victory at the Hungaroring on Sunday morning, his third win of the season for Lotus.
Starting from pole position, the Mexican controlled the race from the front. Although fellow front-row starter Nathanael Berthon (Racing Engineering) kept him honest in the early stages, Gutierrez always had pace in reserve. He proved this on lap 15, by pulling out 1.5s on a single tour over Berthon - his laptime over 2s faster than the third-placed man, Giedo van der Garde (Caterham).
Gutierrez won by 3.5s, as title rivals Luiz Razia (Arden) and Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) drove superbly to gain places to maximise their points hauls. Razia passed Jolyon Palmer (iSport) for fourth around the outside of Turn 2 on the opening lap, and pounced down the inside of van der Garde for third at Turn 1 on lap 20.
Valsecchi, who started a position further back than his rival, took his time in getting stuck into those ahead. He passed Palmer for fifth when the Briton outbraked himself attacking van der Garde, scrabbling around the outside of the iSport driver impressively at Turn 2.
Valsecchi repeated this move a lap later on van der Garde, with Palmer following suit. They finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Having started on the super-soft option tyre, van der Garde was gripless in the closing stages and slumped to 10th.
James Calado (Lotus) salvaged sixth after a terrible start, having spent most of the race locked in the battle with the super-soft-shod feature race winner Max Chilton, who slithered to an eventual 11th. Chilton's team-mate Rio Haryanto was seventh, after a clever move on the battling Stefano Coletti and Felipe Nasr gained him two places in one go.
But the drive of the race came from Nasr, who started 25th after suffering brake failure yesterday, as he stormed through to eighth with some stunning overtaking moves.
In the championship, Razia ekes out his points lead over Valsecchi to seven, but it remains finely poised with six races remaining.
Results - 28 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus 43m58.301s
2. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering + 3.565s
3. Luiz Razia Arden + 15.733s
4. Davide Valsecchi DAMS + 29.352s
5. Jolyon Palmer iSport + 30.237s
6. James Calado Lotus + 30.493s
7. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 32.336s
8. Felipe Nasr DAMS + 33.578s
9. Stefano Coletti Coloni + 39.475s
10. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 41.928s
11. Max Chilton Carlin + 44.868s
12. Sergio Canamasas Lazarus + 45.399s
13. Simon Trummer Arden + 45.417s
14. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 46.221s
15. Julian Leal Trident + 46.937s
16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 49.087s
17. Josef Kral Addax + 50.058s
18. Nigel Melker Ocean + 51.753s
19. Daniel de Jong Rapax + 54.037s
20. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 54.870s
21. Stephane Richelmi Trident + 55.887s
22. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 1m04.537s
23. Victor Guerin Ocean + 1m09.900s
24. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 1 lap
Johnny Cecotto Jr Addax 10 laps
Marcus Ericsson iSport 1 lap