Find out more about our subscriptions

Barcelona GP2: Robin Frijns and Hilmer take first win in thriller

Robin Frijns wins Barcelona GP2 raceReigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns gave Hilmer Motorsport its first GP2 Series victory at Barcelona, making it the second race in succession that a new-for-2013 team has won.

Frijns and his team executed a perfect race strategy, switching from the soft tyres to the hard compound at the first opportunity on lap six.

Thanks to a fast stop, this gave him track position over everyone save for poleman, and early leader, Marcus Ericsson of DAMS.

But when the frontrunners tripped over cars on the divergent strategy of a long first stint on the hard tyre, Frijns grabbed the virtual lead as Ericsson collided with Sam Bird's Russian Time car. Ericsson was forced to retire as a result of the damage.

Frijns then did a perfect job of managing his tyres and the traffic, and kept his cool when second place Jolyon Palmer got to within 0.7 seconds of him with 10 laps remaining.

In the final laps, Frijns proved he had pace to burn, extending an eventual 3.3s margin of victory over Felipe Nasr, who bounced back from a terrible start to finish second after passing Carlin team-mate Palmer, with contact, at Turn 3 with four laps to go.

Palmer hung on to finish third after what he admitted was "a crazy race", but is under investigation from stewards for pushing Bird onto the grass exiting Turn 4, which caused Bird to spin into retirement during the frantic battle.

Series returnee Jon Lancaster made it a double celebration for Hilmer with fourth place, ahead of points leader Stefano Coletti and Tom Dillmann.

Stephane Richelmi collides with Tom Dillmann, Barcelona GP2 raceDillmann went for a hard/hard-tyre strategy, and could have finished on the podium but for running wide at Turn 3 on the final lap.

He earlier escaped when Nathanael Berthon flew over the back of his car and Sergio Canamasas at Turn 10.

News update: Palmer, Bird and Berthon penalised

Championship frontrunner Fabio Leimer had a disastrous race, finishing 18th after being forced to pit for a new front wing after a startline clash with James Calado, which put the Briton out on the opening lap.

To compound a miserable race for DAMS, following the reigning champion team's front-row lock-out, Stephane Richelmi trailed home 15th after a drive-through penalty for punting Dillmann into a spin at Turn 4 (pictured above).

Results - 37 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team                     Time/Gap
 1.  Robin Frijns         Hilmer               1h00m38.896s
 2.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin                   + 3.316s
 3.  Jolyon Palmer        Carlin                  + 12.290s
 4.  Jon Lancaster        Hilmer                  + 12.609s
 5.  Stefano Coletti      Rapax                   + 13.329s
 6.  Tom Dillmann         Russian Time            + 14.325s
 7.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham                + 17.160s
 8.  Kevin Ceccon         Trident                 + 17.504s
 9.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Arden                   + 24.013s
10.  Rio Haryanto         Addax                   + 32.024s
11.  Daniel Abt           ART                     + 32.823s
12.  Mitch Evans          Arden                   + 35.748s
13.  Julian Leal          Racing Engineering      + 39.922s
14.  Jake Rosenzweig      Addax                   + 40.999s
15.  Stefano Richelmi     DAMS                    + 42.690s
16.  Daniel de Jong       MP Motorsport           + 43.102s
17.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  MP Motorsport           + 54.532s
18.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering      + 56.946s
19.  Simon Trummer        Rapax                   + 57.935s
20.  Rene Binder          Lazarus                   + 1 lap
21.  Sam Bird             Russian Time             + 4 laps


        Driver             Team                        Laps
        Kevin Giovesi      Lazarus                       11
        Marcus Ericsson    DAMS                          10
        Sergio Canamasas   Caterham                       5
        Nathanael Berthon  Trident                        4
        James Calado       ART                            1
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Coletti holds off Frijns in sprint race
Ericsson leads all-DAMS front row
Nasr dominates practice for Carlin