Guerrieri triumphs after epic battle
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, September 19th 2010, 13:53 GMT|
Esteban Guerrieri delivered a stylish response to his race one disqualification at Silverstone by emerging with victory from an enthralling duel with Daniel Ricciardo in race two.
The result sets up a thrilling three way title decider for the Barcelona finale. Both men will be out to reel in championship leader Mikhail Aleshin, who endured a drama filled day. The Carlin man finished out of the points after twice being punted into spins, but was fortunate to pick up 12th after narrowly surviving a collision with a backmarker.
The final laps of today's race were among the most exciting of the season. Following the mandatory pitstops, ISR's Guerrieri was faced with a five second deficit to leader Ricciardo.
The Argentinean clawed his way back on terms, passing Ricciardo at The Loop on the penultimate lap. Ricciardo immediately stole the position back, only for Guerrieri to claim the lead for keeps at Brooklands two corners later.
"I think we were both struggling for tyres, it was like a rally in the last couple of laps." said a pumped up Guerrieri. "We lost 15 points yesterday, now we have come back with a win, and that's all that counts."
Ricciardo's second place closes him to within three points of Aleshin in the points race, but the Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver was unusually subdued having come so close to victory.
"After the pitstops, I thought that's it, unless something falls off the car I should win," said Ricciardo. "But I was held up by a couple of people, and couldn't then find my rhythm immediately when I finally did get by."
Ricciardo's Tech 1 team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne continued his excellent adaptation to the category by netting the final spot on the podium.
Guerrieri's ISR stable-mate Filip Salaquarda edged out KMP's Anton Nebylitskiy for fourth place, while Daniel Zampieri put a controversial weekend behind him with a fine sixth for Pons Racing.
Front row starter Brendon Hartley (P1) was among those to make contact with Aleshin. The Kiwi was forced very wide at Vale on the opening lap by a charging Vergne, and later tagged Aleshin at the new complex.
Greg Mansell was a first-lap retirement. The Comtec driver's rear wing was removed in an accident with Carlin's Spa pole-sitter Jake Rosenzweig.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Esteban Guerrieri ISR 46m02.792s 2. Daniel Ricciardo Tech 1 + 0.575s 3. Jean-Eric Vergne Tech 1 + 7.589s 4. Filip Salaquarda ISR + 13.357s 5. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP + 14.052s 6. Daniel Zampieri Pons + 15.165s 7. Brendon Hartley P1 + 19.805s 8. Sten Pentus Fortec + 20.665s 9. Albert Costa Epsilon Euskadi + 23.504s 10. Nelson Panciatici Junior Lotus + 24.682s 11. Julian Leal Draco + 29.391s 12. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin + 33.800s 13. Stefano Coletti Comtec + 37.713s 14. Keisuke Kunimoto Epsilon Euskadi + 38.630s 15. Walter Grubmuller P1 + 42.042s 16. Bruno Mendez FHV Interwetten + 45.417s 17. Jon Lancaster Fortec + 50.543s 18. Federico Leo Pons + 1m01.230s 19. Daniil Move Junior Lotus + 1m02.237s 20. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin + 1m38.763s 21. Victor Garcia KMP + 1m39.199s Retirements: Nathanael Berthon Draco 15 laps Sergio Canamasas FHV Interwetten 2 laps Greg Mansell Comtec 1 lap