Jani Takes Maiden Win in Hungary

Neel Jani held his nerve after sustaining almost race long pressure from his fellow podium finishers to take his first GP2 win in race one at the Hungaroring, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Giorgio Pantano

Jani Takes Maiden Win in Hungary

Jani, who started from pole after Nico Rosberg lost the position because his car was found to be illegal by the race stewards, made a strong start to lead Pantano into turn one, with Scott Speed passing a slow Kovalainen on the dirty side of the track and following the pair through.

The fast starting Olivier Pla was the next man by, moving up from eighth to fourth off the line and leading Gimmi Bruni and Ernesto Viso through turn one. Behind them Hiroki Yoshimoto was in the wars, having stalled the car and needing to be pushed into the pitlane, along with Nicolas Lapierre and Ferdinando Monfardini.

But at the front Jani was starting as he meant to go on, setting the early fastest lap and easing a gap back to Pantano as Nelson Piquet, Nico Rosberg and Gimmi Bruni peeled into the pitlane for early stops.

Juan Cruz Alvarez, up to sixth place early in the race, was piling on the pressure to Pla, and after a few laps he claimed his scalp - Pla ran slightly wide and Alvarez was through and off after a fast charging Ernesto Viso.

On lap thirteen Speed was the first of the front runners into the pits, coming in from third but coming out behind Rosberg after initially stopping in the wrong pit and having to push up to his iSport mechanics.

He made up slightly for the error three laps later after taking Rosberg, who just put a wheel on the grass and lost three seconds in his lap. Kovalainen and Pantano were into the pits in the interim, with the Finn winning the battle of the pit crews.

But the one that everyone was waiting for came on lap 18 - Jani had a strong lead as he dived into the pitlane, and after a solid pitstop was able to emerge just ahead of Kovalainen and Pantano at turn one.

Behind them Negrao was the only man not to pit, and he was running fourth and twenty seconds behind the top three with a train of drivers behind him - Alex Premat, Jose Maria Lopez, Rosberg, Bruni and Piquet were all looking for a way past the Brazilian, who was clearly running at a slower pace than the others.

Premat, Lopez and Rosberg muscled his way past on lap 24, and one lap later Negrao released the remainder as he finally stopped. It came too late for Alvarez, who was now running right on Piquet's rear wing but stopped two corners later and parked on the side of the road.

There were now two distinct races being run simultaneously - Jani, Kovalainen and Pantano was the main event, while Viso tacked on to the end of the battle for fourth place behind them.

Viso was clearly on a charge - on lap 29 he forced his way through Piquet for eighth place, and one lap later he stormed past Bruni and started to close on Rosberg.

The Venezuelan driver was forced to slow down when, two spots ahead of him, Lopez lost the rear of his car into the final corner and had a big impact with the pit wall, bringing out the safety car for four laps.

Everyone's lead was closed at a stroke, with Premat gaining the twenty seconds he lacked to the front three. A dramatic final eight laps was in a certainty.

And so it proved. Jani was strong at the restart but Kovalainen threw himself up the inside to push just ahead into turn one. The Finn was unable to slow down sufficiently for the corner, however, and Jani was back inside and past him into turn two and trying to rebuild his lead again.

Behind them Piquet was unable to find a line past Can Artam, who was two laps down but in the middle of the action on track, and the Brazilian had lost four places the next time around. More bad luck came three laps later, when his car slowed and stopped by the side of the track.

Adam Carroll looked to have a good reward out of the restart when he took eighth place from Bruni, while Yoshimoto gave himself a gap and set the fastest lap of the race, albeit one lap down on the leaders.

At the front Kovalainen and Pantano were climbing all over the rear wing of Jani, but the Swiss driver was equal to the task - he took the chequered flag to win race one, with the gap to Pantano in third place just 1.7 seconds.

Premat and Rosberg, making the most of a race started on the back row of the grid, were next through, with Viso and Pla right on the tail of Rosberg. The luck of the Irish had deserted Carroll, however, as Negrao just got by him on the final lap to claim the final point of the race and pole for race two tomorrow.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver      Team                      Time
 1.  Jani        Racing Engineering        1h 11:11.253
 2.  Kovalainen  Arden International       +      0.430
 3.  Pantano     Super Nova International  +      1.739
 4.  Premat      ART Grand Prix            +      7.302
 5.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix            +     10.471
 6.  Viso        BCN Competicion           +     10.579
 7.  Pla         DPR                       +     11.278
 8.  Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports      +     21.110
 9.  Carroll     Super Nova International  +     23.036
10.  Bruni       Coloni Motorsport         +     33.223
11.  Garcia      Racing Engineering        +     39.431
12.  Lapierre    Arden International       +     1 Lap
13.  Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion           +     1 Lap
14.  Artam       iSport International      +     2 Laps
15.  Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports      +     5 Laps

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver      Team                    On Lap
     Lopez       DAMS                      29
     Alvarez     Campos Racing             25
     Hernandez   Campos Racing             24
     Monfardini  Durango                   21
     Speed       iSport International      18
     Lauda       Coloni Motorsport         18
     Fauzy       DAMS                      16
     Mondini     DPR                       11
     Piccione    Durango                   8

Fastest Lap: Yoshimoto 1:34.170 on lap 39

2005 Championship Standings, Round 8 (Race 14)

Drivers:              Teams:
 1.  Kovalainen  77   1.  ART Grand Prix            104
 2.  Rosberg     67   2.  Arden International        89
 3.  Speed       50   3.  Super Nova International   58
 4.  Jani        37   4.  iSport International       52
 =   Premat      37   5.  Racing Engineering         41
 6.  Carroll     34   6.  Coloni Motorsport          36
 7.  Bruni       33   7.  Hitech Piquet Sports       26
 8.  Lopez       25   8.  DAMS                       25
 9.  Pantano     24   9.  DPR                        20
 =   Piquet Jr.  24  10.  BCN Competicion            15
11.  Pla         18  11.  Durango                    13
12.  Piccione    12  12.  Campos Racing               3
 =   Lapierre    12
14.  Yoshimoto   10
15.  Viso         5
16.  Garcia       4
17.  Hernandez    3
 =   Lauda        3
19.  Artam        2
 =   Negrao       2
 =   Sharp        2
22.  Monfardini   1
shares
comments
Carroll Hits Financial Trouble
Previous article

Carroll Hits Financial Trouble

Next article

I've Delivered, Says Jani

I've Delivered, Says Jani
The next steps for France's latest F1 hopeful after an F2 title miss Plus

The next steps for France's latest F1 hopeful after an F2 title miss

Theo Pourchaire entered the 2022 Formula 2 season a firm favourite for the title after remaining with ART Grand Prix for a second season. But an unexpected charge from Felipe Drugovich and MP Motorsport meant the Frenchman was forced to settle for second. What went wrong for the Sauber protege, and where does he go from here?

FIA F2
Nov 16, 2022
The remarkable career turnaround of an ever-improving F2 talent Plus

The remarkable career turnaround of an ever-improving F2 talent

Sixth in the F2 standings heading into this month's final round, but within touching distance of third, Enzo Fittipaldi has quietly put together a strong first full season in the Formula 1 support series, recovering well from the scary Jeddah start crash that cut his 2021 campaign short. It marks a turn in fortunes for the Brazilian who thought he'd bid hopes of a career in Europe goodbye two years ago

FIA F2
Nov 5, 2022
What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground Plus

What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground

Despite having two talented drivers, albeit at very different stages of their careers, Prema Racing has had mixed fortunes in FIA Formula 2 this year. Both drivers told Autosport how they rate their seasons so far – and their next steps beyond 2022

FIA F2
Aug 24, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders Plus

The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders

Two feature race wins in as many rounds have helped Logan Sargeant to emerge as the closest challenger to runaway Formula 2 points leader Felipe Drugovich. The Williams F1 junior couldn't have timed his rise better, with interest in grand prix racing on the rise in his US homeland, and he could be his country's best shot at getting a driver on the grid for the first time since 2015

FIA F2
Jul 16, 2022
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022