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GP2 NEWS 

Bianchi beats Grosjean to GP2 win

Jules Bianchi takes the lead at the start of the Abu Dhabi GP2 Asia feature raceFerrari Formula 1 junior driver Jules Bianchi claimed a vital maiden GP2 win to start his Asia series campaign in perfect style.

Bianchi beat polesitter Romain Grosjean off the line at the start of the Abu Dhabi evening race, and withstood intense pressure from his fellow Frenchman throughout the race.

Grosjean's DAMS team brought him in for his mandatory stop a lap earlier than Bianchi's ART squad, and what could have been an inspired decision fell flat when Grosjean was slow away, which condemned him to following the incoming Max Chilton down the pitlane.

Both Charles Pic and Fabio Leimer left their stops until late as fears over the longevity of the Pirelli tyres proved unfounded, but once they finally pitted Bianchi and Grosjean had a straight fight to the flag.

A series of fastest laps from Bianchi broke Grosjean's resolve and his victory was secured. Davide Valsecchi had a quiet run to third, a brilliant return for the AirAsia team on its debut.

iSport's Marcus Ericsson stole fourth from Addax's Giedo van der Garde on the final lap of a race than ran to time rather than its full distance due to a huge accident at the start. Dani Clos stalled on the line and his Racing Engineering car was hit at full pelt by AirAsia's Luis Razia, who was briefly launched into the air. Pal Varhaug (DAMS) was also eliminated in the chaos, from which all three drivers emerged unscathed.

Josef Kral was sixth for Arden, Sam Bird (iSport) seventh and Chilton (Carlin) eighth, which gave him reversed-grid pole for tomorrow. However, he passed Trident driver Stefano Coletti for the place by cutting the chicane so could well be penalised.

Pos  Driver               Team                    Time/Gap
 1.  Jules Bianchi        ART                 1h22m04.643s
 2.  Romain Grosjean      DAMS                    + 6.681s
 3.  Davide Valsecchi     AirAsia                + 12.794s
 4.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport                 + 14.001s
 5.  Giedo van der Garde  Addax                  + 15.198s
 6.  Josef Kral           Arden                  + 20.601s
 7.  Sam Bird             iSport                 + 24.412s
 8.  Max Chilton          Carlin                 + 31.866s
 9.  Stefano Coletti      Trident                + 36.809s
10.  Charles Pic          Addax                  + 37.411s
11.  Fabio Leimer         Rapax                  + 40.252s
12.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Trident                + 48.587s
13.  Michael Herck        Coloni                 + 59.963s
14.  Jolyon Palmer        Arden                + 1m07.206s
15.  Johnny Cecotto       Super Nova           + 1m08.136s
16.  Andrea Caldarelli    Ocean                + 1m37.978s

Retirements:

     James Jakes          Coloni                  32 laps
     Oliver Turvey        Ocean                   32 laps
     Nathanael Berthon    Racing Engineering      24 laps
     Julian Leal          Rapax                   19 laps
     Fairuz Fauzy         Super Nova              19 laps
     Esteban Gutierrez    ART                     18 laps
     Mikhail Aleshin      Carlin                  10 laps
     Dani Clos            Racing Engineering       0 laps
     Luiz Razia           AirAsia                  0 laps
     Pal Varhaug          DAMS                     0 laps
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