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Rosberg Leads 1-2 in Race One

Nico Rosberg destroyed the field in race one at Hockenheim, finishing 14.6 seconds ahead of teammate Alex Premat and Nelson Piquet to lead home an ART one-two, the first for any team in the GP2 series

Rosberg had a strong start from pole to lead fellow front row starter Scott Speed, who was slow away, through turn one, while Premat was side by side with the American before yielding second at the next turn.

Behind them Piquet also had a good start, moving up from eighth on the grid to fifth and starting his charge up the field. The grid was clumped together for much of the first lap, and the inevitable happened at the hairpin when Ferdinando Monfardini slowed, causing Fairuz Fauzy to run over his rear tyre and Xandi Negrao to break his suspension after being left with nowhere to go.

The safety car was called for but stood down as the Brazilian's broken car was removed in time, allowing everyone to get through the tricky corner cleanly next time around. Neel Jani and Heikki Kovalainen were in to the pits just in case, with the Swiss driver coming out on top after they exited together.

Back at the front Rosberg was flying, taking the fastest lap of the race with a lap time that was not going to be beaten and stretching out a gap back to second. Gimmi Bruni, however, was having a tougher day at the office - he was into the pits a number of times before stopping, losing most of the race there before rejoining towards the end.

Kovalainen was pushing Jani hard for 12th position, and the pressure paid off when he was through and gone on lap six at the hairpin, with teammate Nicolas Lapierre trying but failing to follow him through.

Giorgio Pantano, Alex Premat and Olivier Pla all stopped around this time, with Pantano just ahead of Kovalainen. Jani was unable to stay with the Finn, however, as cruel luck forced him back into the pits for good on lap ten.

At the front of the race the order now was Rosberg and Speed, with Ernesto Viso and Borja Garcia, both defying the odds and running strongly after their good qualifying performances yesterday, moving up after Piquet went in for his stop.

It was to last for one lap - on lap 12 Rosberg, Viso and Garcia all came in for their stops, handing the lead to Speed for two laps before the American also came in. He rejoined just behind Premat for third, and the chase was on.

Speed hounded Premat for second position, sitting on the Frenchman's tail for lap after lap but not looking to make a move. It was Speed's modus operandi - he has spent a number of races this year sitting behind a driver and waiting for the pressure to force him through, but the Frenchman was equal to the challenge and looked solid in front of him.

All of which meant two things - Rosberg was able to pull away even further from his teammate out in front, and behind them in fourth Piquet was able to close the gap to the pair, adding some more spice to the grouping.

Further back Kovalainen, who had also been piling on the pressure to the man in front, Giorgio Pantano, saw his opportunity on lap 22 and he took it - the Finn was through at the hairpin and streaked away, with Viso behind him but unable to follow him through.

Meanwhile the gap between Speed and Piquet was tumbling, and Piquet had no intentions of sitting and waiting for a gap. On lap 34 the Brazilian was close enough that when Speed ran slightly wide at turn one he was beside him into the corner.

Speed pushed back strongly, running Piquet across the track, but the Brazilian had the momentum and was cleanly by and chasing Premat for second.

There weren't enough laps to make a move, however, and with a dominant Rosberg through almost fifteen seconds previously, Premat, Piquet and Speed crossed the line almost nose to tail to round out the podium.

Behind them Kovalainen led Pantano, Viso and Garcia through for the final points paying positions, with Pla 0.3 seconds behind Garcia but unable to take his second Sunday pole in succession, while in the pitlane the ART team were ecstatic at yet another commanding performance by their drivers.


Pos  Driver      Team                      Time
 1.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix            59:30.442
 2.  Premat      ART Grand Prix            +  14.642
 3.  Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports      +  15.378
 4.  Speed       iSport International      +  15.854
 5.  Kovalainen  Arden International       +  24.644
 6.  Pantano     Super Nova International  +  34.531
 7.  Viso        BCN Competicion           +  35.113
 8.  Garcia      Racing Engineering        +  41.323
 9.  Pla         DPR                       +  41.716
10.  Lapierre    Arden International       +  48.090
11.  Alvarez     Campos Racing             +  48.316
12.  Sharp       DPR                       +  53.039
13.  Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion           +  69.006
14.  Lopez       DAMS                      +  1 LAP
15.  Lauda       Coloni Motorsport         +  1 LAP


     Driver      Team                      On Lap
     Bruni       Coloni Motorsport           20
     Artam       iSport International        17
     Piccione    Durango                     15
     Jani        Racing Engineering          10
     Carroll     Super Nova International     7
     Fauzy       DAMS                         6
     Hernandez   Campos Racing                4
     Monfardini  Durango                      1
     Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports         0

Fastest Lap: Rosberg, 1:27.672 on lap 3

2005 Championship Standings, Round 7 (Race 12)

Drivers:                Teams:
 1.  Kovalainen   68     1.  ART Grand Prix            90
 2.  Rosberg      58     2.  Arden International       80
 3.  Speed        46     3.  iSport International      48
 4.  Carroll      34     4.  Super Nova International  47
 5.  Bruni        33     5.  Coloni Motorsport         36
 6.  Premat       32     6.  Racing Engineering        26
 7.  Lopez        25     7.  DAMS                      25
 =   Jani         25     8.  Hitech Piquet Sports      25
 9.  Piquet Jr.   24     9.  Durango                   13
10.  Pantano      13    10.  BCN Competicion           12
11.  Piccione     12    11.  DPR                       11
 =   Lapierre     12    12.  Campos Racing              3
13.  Pla           9
14.  Yoshimoto     8
15.  Viso          4
16.  Hernandez     3
 =   Lauda         3
18.  Artam         2
=    Sharp         2
20.  Monfardini    1
 =   Garcia        1
 =   Negrao        1

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