Grosjean starts GP2 season with win
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, May 9th 2009, 15:49 GMT|
Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov earned a Barwa Campos one-two in the opening race of the GP2 season at Barcelona today.
Grosjean controlled the race from start to finish and crossed the line 2.4 seconds clear of his team-mate, although the gap would have been greater had there not been a late safety car period to clean up an accident involving Grosjean's main title rival Lucas di Grassi.
By the time he retired the Brazilian was already well out of contention for a podium, with DAMS' Jerome D'Ambrosio having staked his claim for third.
Di Grassi's exit came when he was engaged in a three-car fight for fifth. Arden's Edoardo Motara had just passed the Racing Engineering car and ORT's Alvaro Parente was attempting to do the same when he snagged di Grassi's right-rear, triggering a collision that put both out on the spot - and left Parente's car perched atop di Grassi's.
It was a frustrating end to an already difficult afternoon for di Grassi, who was passed on the outside by Petrov at Turn 1, and also marked a painful start to the fledgling Ocean Racing Team's GP2 career, with Karun Chandhok having spun into retirement a few laps earlier.
Super Nova's Luca Filippi rebounded from the penalty that left him ninth on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Pastor Maldonado (ART), but more impressive were the efforts of those immediately behind them. Kamui Kobayashi's seventh for DAMS was a dramatic recovery from starting 22nd, and it was matched by iSport driver Giedo van der Garde's effort in getting up to sixth from 18th.
ART rookie Nico Hulkenberg was ninth after an eventful outing that included bogging down at the start, and making an extra pitstop near the end.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Romain Grosjean Barwa Campos 1h02m22.709s 2. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Campos + 2.459s 3. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS + 6.349s 4. Luca Filippi Super Nova + 8.346s 5. Pastor Maldonado ART + 8.741s 6. Edoardo Mortara Arden + 12.529s 7. Giedo van der Garde iSport + 12.748s 8. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS + 14.063s 9. Nico Hulkenberg ART + 14.260s 10. Javier Villa Super Nova + 15.200s 11. Diego Nunes iSport + 16.669s 12. Nelson Panciatici Durango + 17.756s 13. Michael Herck DPR + 18.445s 14. Sergio Perez Arden + 18.595s 15. Alberto Valerio Piquet + 31.629s 16. Luis Razia Fisichella + 1 lap 17. Davide Rigon Trident + 1 lap Retirements: Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering 32 laps Alvaro Parente Ocean 32 laps Dani Clos Racing Engineering 31 laps Karun Chandhok Ocean 27 laps Roldan Rodriguez Piquet 25 laps Davide Valsecchi Durango 16 laps Ricardo Teixeira Trident 11 laps Andi Zuber Fisichella 5 laps Giacomo Ricci DPR 1 lap