Coletti retains lead after sharing wins with Frijns

GP2

Start, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, GP2, 2013Stefano Coletti went into the third round of the GP2 championship with a ten-point lead over Fabio Leimer. He left it with a much increased lead after several of his closest rivals hit trouble.

Marcus Ericsson looked on course to bounce back from a troubled start to the season when he claimed his first pole position for the feature race. But an early retirement meant he came away from the track with nothing more than the four points he earned on Friday.

Meanwhile Leimer tangled with James Calado at the start of the feature race which ruined both of their weekend.

That allowed Robin Frijns in to claim an impressive first win for him and Hilmer Motorsport in only his third start. Remarkably he came close to repeating it in the sprint race as well.

Feature race

Calado and Leimer collide again

Marcus Ericsson, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, GP2, 2013Marcus Ericsson was surely hoping that starting from the front row again wouldn?t result in the same result as Bahrain, when he stalled on the grid. Thankfully the DAMS driver suffered no such bad luck, and made a fantastic start to lead the field away. His team mate Stephane Richelmi wasn?t so lucky, as he lost places to Coletti and Felipe Nasr with a poor start.

Further back both Calado and Leimer had only produced fairly average qualifying performances, leaving them in the midfield. Sam Bird got a fairly poor start and Leimer attempted to jink left around him. Calado ?ǣ trying to avoid a slow starter in front of him ?ǣ ended up pulling across straight into the path of Leimer, effectively eliminating them both from the race.

Frijns and Palmer make gains in the pits

Robin Frijns, Jolyon Palmer and Alexander Rossi were the first to pit as soon as the window opened on lap six. Ericsson, Bird and Jon Lancaster ?ǣ who had replaced Pal Varhaug at Hilmer Motorsport ?ǣ were forced to respond the lap after. The extra lap on the hard tyres and in clean air had helped the first men who pitted however, added with a slow stop for Ericsson meant the DAMS man held only a slight lead from Frijns.

The remaining front runners pitted soon after leaving those who had started on the hard tyres at the front of the pack. But with fresh tyres the front runners started to come back at the leaders.

With so many close in such close company the racing started out superb, with drivers giving each other just enough room. It got too close into the final chicane however as Giovesi baulked Ericsson and Bird was forced around the outside. The Russian Time driver clipped the rear of the DAMS car and Ericsson was forced to retire.

Nasr storms through

Robin Frijns, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, GP2, 2013Frijns eventually took the lead of the race from Palmer, Bird and Coletti as Mitch Evans became the last man of the leaders to pit on lap 28. But Felipe Nasr was soon closing on the Hilmer driver, having saved his tyres, and began slicing his way through the field. He was soon up with Palmer and clipped his team mate as he fought his way past, fortunately without losing his front wing.

Bird tried to get passed Palmer too but the Carlin man pushed Bird off the circuit and the Russian Time driver’s day ended in the gravel four laps from home.

Frijns held on up front to claim a fantastic first win for himself and Hilmer, followed closely by Nasr with Palmer joining them on the podium in third. But Palmer was later demoted however for his incident with Bird which promoted Jon Lancaster, making it a double podium for Hilmer Motorsport.

Result

Pos Driver Team Time/Lap Retired Grid
1 Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1hr 00’38.896 8
2 Felipe Nasr Carlin 3.316 3
3 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 12.609 15
4 Stefano Coletti Rapax 13.329 5
5 Tom Dillmann Russian Time 14.325 14
6 Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 17.16 17
7 Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 17.504 9
8 Johnny Cecotto Arden international 24.013 23
9 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 32.024 22
10 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 32.290* 11
11 Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 32.823 12
12 Mitch Evans Arden international 35.748 19
13 Julian Leal Racing Engineering 39.922 18
14 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 40.999 16
15 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 42.69 2
16 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 43.102 26
17 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 54.532 25
18 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 56.946 6
19 Simon Trummer Rapax 57.935 24
20 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1 Lap 20
21 Sam Bird Russian Time 34 4
DNF Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 12 10
DNF Marcus Ericsson DAMS 11 1
DNF Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 6 13
DNF Nathanel Berthon Trident Racing 5 21
DNF James Calado ART Grand Prix 2 7

*Jolyon Palmer was given a 20-second penalty for forcing Sam Bird off of the track.

Fastest Lap: Simon Trummer (Rapax – 1’33.409 (lap 33)
Fastest Lap Points: Jon Lancaster (Hilmer Motorsport) – 1’34.352 (lap 9)

Sprint Race

Coletti and Frijns fly from the start

Stefano Coletti, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, GP2, 2013Johnny Cecotto got a decent start from pole position while fourth-place Tom Dillmann stalled on the grid. Coletti got a flyer to move into second but the real surprise was Robin Frijns, who was up into third by turn one.

Cecotto tried to hold on but Coletti was around the outside and into the lead. The Arden man tried to fight back but a small mistake cost him further ground to Frijns and Nasr.

Cecotto causes mayhem

From then on the race became about saving the tyres until lap 20, when Palmer finally fought his way past Cecotto?s damaged Arden. With Cecotto so slow a train of more than ten cars formed up behind him as they began the last few laps.

Kevin Ceccon and Alexander Rossi both failed to pass Cecotto but it was Sergio Canamasas who got the best run on the exit of turn 12. Cecotto attempted to shove him wide, causing a domino effect behind them and left Rio Harayanto with nowhere to go.

He drove straight into the back of Canamasas while several drivers cut the final chicane in a desperate bid to avoid the mayhem. It was an unfortunate end to the race for Canamasas who’s been involved in a similar incident with Berthon the day before.

Up front Coletti held off the fast-closing Frijns to claim his second win of the season. Felipe Nasr rounded off the podium in third, meaning he has now finished all six races in the top four without winning one of them.

That consistency means Nasr is now Coletti’s closest rival in the championship. But the driver who scored the biggest points haul this weekend – Frijns – does not even know how many more races he will compete in this year.

Result

Pos Driver Team Time/Lap Retired Grid
1 Stefano Coletti Rapax 41’49.895 5
2 Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 0.691 8
3 Felipe Nasr Carlin 7.212 7
4 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 12.129 10
5 Johnny Cecotto Arden International 35.593 1
6 Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 36.991 3
7 Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 38.483 2
8 Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 39.645 11
9 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 40.664 18
10 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 41.353 6
11 James Calado ART Grand Prix 41.464 24
12 Sam Bird Russian Time 41.876 25*
13 Mitch Evans Arden International 42.52 12
14 Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 44.19 23
15 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 44.277 15
16 Simon Trummer Rapax 44.487 19
17 Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 44.628 21
18 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 46.041 16
19 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 48.132 20
20 Marcus Ericsson DAMS 53.65 22
21 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 53.938 17
22 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1’02.518 14
23 Nathanael Berthon Trident Racing 1’06.632 26**
24 Rio Harayanto Barwa Addax Team 1’25.590 9
25 Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1’35.223 13
26 Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1 Lap 4

*Sam Bird was handed a 5-place grid penalty for a collision with Marcus Ericsson in the feature race.
**Nathanael Berthon was handed a 10-place grid penalty for a collision with Sergio Canamasas and Tom Dillmann in the feature race.

Fastest Lap: Tom Dillmann (Russian Time) – 1’33.337 (on lap 14)
Fastest Lap Points: Stefano Coletti (Rapax) – 1’33.727 (on lap 3)

Drivers? championship points

Pos Driver Points
1 Stefano Coletti 93
2 Felipe Nasr 76
3 Fabio Leimer 54
4 Robin Frijns 37
5 Sam Bird 33
6 Jolyon Palmer 31
7 Alexander Rossi 27
8 James Calado 24
9 Tom Dillmann 22
10 Johnny Cecotto 19
11 Jon Lancaster 17
12 Stephane Richelmi 12
13 Mitch Evans 11
14 Julian Leal 10
15 Simon Trummer 8
16 Kevin Ceccon 8
17 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 7
18 Marcus Ericsson 4
19 Daniel Abt 3
20 Conor Daly 2
21 Rio Harayanto 2
22 Rene Binder 1

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14 comments on Coletti retains lead after sharing wins with Frijns

  1. RagingInferno (@raginginferno) said on 12th May 2013, 12:44

    Is it just me or does “Wins with Frijns” sound like really cheesy sitcom name?

  2. aditya (@agara) said on 12th May 2013, 12:48

    what a weekend, happy to see my countryman (its Haryanto btw) finally get his first point after a poor start of the season. too bad he have to be a victim of Ceccoto madness! what was he thinking?!

  3. ^Mo^ said on 12th May 2013, 12:48

    I seriously don’t get why Frijns is having so much trouble getting a seat. These are the guys you want to be racing. Why aren’t companies lining up to sponsor him? I think it’s a very impressive result to get a win and a second place in just his second GP2 race. It would be a disgrace if he doesn’t get a permanent seat, but I guess money talks.

  4. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 12th May 2013, 13:31

    Frijns showing his worth once again :D

  5. JCost (@jcost) said on 12th May 2013, 14:59

    That end of the race was ridiculous, those drivers should show more respect to each other at that stage of their careers.

  6. Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 13th May 2013, 7:43

    To me, Cecotto not receiving a race ban is an equal big surprise as to Frijns winning (is that correct English?). Cecotto has some serious issues and should get himself checked.

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 13th May 2013, 9:35

      @matthijs It is Cecotto 3de “mad man” incident of the season. A one race ban would be nothing more then pure justice.

    • RagingInferno (@raginginferno) said on 13th May 2013, 10:49

      I think it would be “an equally big surprise as Frijns winning”. I agree with you on Cecotto, something really has to be done. It’s no wonder drivers like Maldonado and Grosjean move up from GP2 to F1 and get involved in clumsy incidents if they haven’t been properly disciplined.

  7. Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th May 2013, 10:52

    The incidents this weekend were shockingly awful. I don’t normally watch the gp2 races so I have no idea if this stuff is par for the course or not, but drivers like cecotto have no business in any open wheel formula.

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