A somewhat processional sprint race was won by James Calado. It was an impressive performance from the rookie who kept team mate Esteban Gutierrez behind at the start and managed his pace to win.
This was Calado’s second win in his first four GP2 races – he also won one of the end-of-season non-championship races in Abu Dhabi last year.
The top three on the grid finished in the order they started with another rookie, Felipe Nasr, a strong third in his second GP2 start.
Giedo van der Garde made a rapid start from ninth on the grid to take fourth and finished there. Feature race winner Luiz Razia repelled attacks from Davide Valsecchi and Max Chilton before passing Fabio Leimer for fifth.
After trying and failing to pass Razia at turn four, Valsecchi tangled with Marcus Ericsson and was launched into a frightening barrel-roll at turn five. Fortunately he was unhurt:
I watched the race later, not knowing about Valsecchi, and I was scared to see his crash. An upside-down car is never a nice sight, and he was slow to exit the car; but watching a replay I saw the crash wasn’t as bad as it seemed. The marshals also first assisted Ericsson, which seemed strange to me.
I didn’t want to check out the result on the Internet before seeing the race, unlike what I’d done yesterday, but the F1 cmmentator said Calado had won ahead of Gutierrez… what a pity. Luckily I didn’t know the other placings, but as F1 lasted longer than expected I missed the first half of the sprint race which was shownd simultaneously.
Ten-place penalty for Ericsson. Interesting quote from Paul Jackson of iSport:
“Disappointingly, the stewards attached blame to Marcus and handed him a 10-place grid penalty for the next race. Interestingly, there was no bad feeling with Davide and he was puzzled by the steward’s decision. We will now analyse this incident to try and understand such a strange judgment.”