Rosberg Annihilates Rivals in France

Nico Rosberg has destroyed his competition in race two at Magny Cours, running almost a second a lap faster than fellow podium finishers Hiroki Yoshimoto and Heikki Kovalainen to take an easy victory in France

Rosberg Annihilates Rivals in France

The win will go some way towards making up for yesterday's dramas, where his ART team failed to call either Rosberg or teammate Alex Premat into the pits during a safety car period, effectively handing the race to Kovalainen.

The win was decided at the start, when polesitter Clivio Piccione was slow off the line, handing the lead to fellow front row starter Rosberg, who was followed through into the first turn by Yoshimoto from third on the grid.

Piccione dropped to fifth place, headed by Neel Jani and Adam Carroll and being pushed hard from behind by Jose Maria Lopez and Heikki Kovalainen.

At the front Rosberg was tearing away from Yoshimoto, four seconds to good after just three laps while a train was forming behind Jani. Three laps later Kovalainen made the first of many overtaking moves - Lopez ran wide and the Finn was through for sixth place.

Just one lap later he was by Piccione and adding to his points tally. Piccione looked very slow and was clearly unhappy with the handling of his car, having dropped six places in seven laps.

With his teammate clearly the fastest man on track Premat decided to show that he had some speed as well - he took both Lopez and Piccione to get into the points on lap 11, with Lopez following him through.

Five laps later the moment that everyone was waiting for had arrived - Championship leader Kovalainen was all over the tail of his closest challenger Carroll, and their fight was epic.

Out of the chicane Carroll ran slightly wide and Kovalainen slipped up the inside before running wide himself and putting two wheels in the dirt. Carroll hit back and the pair were side by side for a number of corners, sliding in tandem before Kovalainen just put his nose ahead and was able to take fourth place.

A lap later Premat tried to repeat the move on Carroll but locked up and slid into the Ulsterman, spinning at the hairpin and allowing Lopez to sail by and into the points. Ahead of them Kovalainen had easily caught Jani and was through into a podium finish at the final corner.

On lap 23 a moment of madness disposed of two drivers, with Lopez making a run at a sliding Carroll into the hairpin, locking his brakes and sliding himself, with Premat running into him and tapping Lopez into a spin. Lopez was out on the spot, while Premat limped back to the pits and retirement with broken suspension, handing sixth place to Nicolas Lapierre.

Over the closing laps Kovalainen hunted down Yoshimoto, who had driven a solid but lonely race in second, but time was not on his side - Rosberg crossed the finish line more than 25 seconds ahead of Yoshimoto, who just held onto second with Kovalainen on his tail.

Jani did enough to claim fourth place, while Lapierre found a way by Carroll with a lap to go to claim fifth place. Nelson Piquet Jr took the fastest lap on his final trip around, with Ferdinando Monfardini running off the track and solidly hitting the wall and Ernesto Viso tapping Olivier Pla into a spin at the final chicane to take eight place behind Giorgio Pantano.

On the podium Rosberg acknowledged the cheers for his dominant performance, beaming and clearly thrilled - no one else had an answer for his performance today.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver      Team                       Time
 1.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix             41:30.173
 2.  Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion           +   25.366
 3.  Kovalainen  Arden International       +   25.884
 4.  Jani        Racing Engineering        +   35.059
 5.  Lapierre    Arden International       +   39.406
 6.  Carroll     Super Nova International  +   42.259
 7.  Pantano     Super Nova International  +   46.210
 8.  Viso        BCN Competicion           + 1:02.230
 9.  Pla         DPR                       + 1:05.821
10.  Fauzy       DAMS                      + 1:06.424
11.  Bruni       Coloni Motorsport         + 1:07.819
12.  Garcia      Racing Engineering        + 1:10.005
13.  Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports      + 1:11.753
14.  Hernandez   Campos Racing             + 1:20.316
15.  Lauda       Coloni Motorsport         + 1:28.595
16.  Artam       iSport International      + 1:31.786
17.  Monfardini  Durango                   +  1 Lap
18.  Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports      +  1 Lap
19.  Piccione    Durango                   +  2 Laps
20.  Speed       iSport International      +  2 Laps

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver      Team                  On Lap
     Premat      ART Grand Prix          23
     Alvarez     Campos Racing           23
     Lopez       DAMS                    22
     Sharp       DPR                      6

Fastest lap: Piquet Jr., 1:27.263 on lap 26

Championship Standings, Round 5 (race 9):

Drivers' Championship     Teams' Championship
 1.  Kovalainen    52     1.  Arden International      64
 2.  Carroll       34     2.  Super Nova International 44
 3.  Bruni         29     3.  ART Grand Prix           43
 =   Rosberg       29     4.  Coloni Motorsport        32
 =   Speed         29     5.  iSport International     31
 6.  Lopez         25     6.  DAMS                     25
 7.  Piquet Jr.    20     7.  Hitech Piquet Sports     21
 =   Jani          20     8.  Racing Engineering       20
 9.  Premat        14     9.  Durango                  10
10.  Lapierre      12     =   BCN Competicion          10
11.   Pantano      10    11.  DPR                       4
12.  Piccione       9    12.  Campos Racing             3
13.  Yoshimoto      8
14.  Hernandez      3
 =   Lauda          3
16.  Pla            2
 =   Artam          2
 =   Viso           2
 =   Sharp          2
20.  Monfardini     1
 =   Negrao         1
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