Perez wins Hockenheim sprint race
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, July 25th 2010, 09:39 GMT|
Sergio Perez took his third win of the season in today's GP2 Series sprint race at Hockenheim, while points leader Pastor Maldonado was eliminated in a late crash.
Perez's victory came fairly easily, the Addax driver picking off Trident's Adrian Zaugg and iSport's Oliver Turvey to take the lead on lap 10, and then building a gap that had grown to 6.3s by the time he took the flag.
Polesitter Turvey was initially beaten off the line by Zaugg and Super Nova's Marcus Ericsson, but the Briton reclaimed second from Ericsson on the opening lap and then passed Zaugg for the lead a lap later. Zaugg had no answer to Turvey's pace, but he still had enough to hold onto third and give Trident its first podium since Mike Conway won in Monaco in 2008.
But the real story of the race was Romain Grosjean's drive from the back of the field; the Franco-Swiss driver methodically gaining places to eventually find himself on the end of a four-way scrap for fifth with Racing Engineering's Dani Clos, ART's Sam Bird and Maldonado.
Grosjean passed Maldonado for seventh with a couple of laps remaining, but things came to a head when Bird dived inside Clos for fifth at the hairpin. Grosjean tried to follow the Briton through and looked to have succeeded, but the opportunistic Maldonado had simultaneously tried to slip to the inside of both of them.
Bird made his move stick, but Grosjean and Maldonado collided at the exit of the corner, putting both out of the race. The crash will be subject to a post-race investigation by the stewards.
Bird's drive to fifth had been almost as impressive as Grosjean's effort given that he's started from 14th, and he finished just behind team-mate Jules Bianchi. Clos held on for the final point.
Results to follow