Great drive by Razia to win the first race – never headed after taking the lead off Valsecchi at the start.
Valsecchi drove a good recovery race after a miserable start.
Some impressive drives from the rookies as well, particularly Nasr and Calado. The latter was particularly impressive – a driver of van der Garde’s experience should have been able to get past him at the end. Pole for tomorrow’s race is a good reward.
Good recovery drive on the whole from Gutierrez to take seventh from 15th – shame about the mistakes on his way into and out of the pits.
An honourable mention for Crestani giving Venezuela GP Lazarus a point in their first race. And a thoroughly dishonourable mention for team mate Serenelli who was miles off the pace, got in the way while being lapped and broke up some of the battles for position.
Very impressive by Nasr and Calado indeed – I wonder if they’re capable of fighting for podiums, wins and possibly even the championship – it’s too early to say now. Both very talented. The sprint race will be fun, with those two and Gutierrez up front. I reckon he’ll win though.
And it was nice to
see hear D’Ambrosio commentating alongside Buxton – I found him quite interesting.
If Nasr and/or Calado collect solid points early on I could see them sneaking into the title battle as they find their feet around mid-season. While Razia, Valsecchi and Chilton all did good jobs today it was the rookies who stood out for me. Could be a very interesting season as fast new drivers battle series veterans.
I’d like to echo Keith’s praise for Crestani too. I didn’t give him much hope pre-season but that was a really solid performance to take the final point – good job.
Quite liked Buxton’s comms. When Gonzalez dropped it in the wall (after bending much of his car) he and JdA were clearly amused but realised and tried to hide it! He was also quite funny as he berated the totally out of his depth Serenelli.
Oh, and I think we can already rule out Addax retaining the teams’ title with Joey and Johnny on board. Cecotto was going backwards until his wheel abandoned him and Kral was nowhere. I’m sure they’ll improve, but DAMS and Lotus ART look to have the best overall line-ups.
Here’s Gutierrez’s mistake on the way into the pits – fortunately for him, there wasn’t a gravel trap there!
He also made a small mistake on his way out of the pits, locking up. Other than that a good run to make up for his poor qualifying.
And here’s Rodolfo Gonzalez being Rodolfo Gonzalez:
A poor start for Giedo van der Garde:
I thought it was a pretty good race today, I will definitely be getting up to see the sprint race tomorrow!
I enjoyed the race, it’s a shame that Serenelli broke up the leading pack a bit though. Also, does anybody know why Leimer was stuggling so much with his tyres in the first stint?
I went out for dinner at the beginning of the podium national anthem and I got back just in time to see the end. Even the mechanics were laughing as the anthem went on forever…and ever…
And here’s Rodolfo Gonzalez being Rodolfo Gonzalez
Ha ha, that’s probably the best way of putting it.
Honestly what was Tony Fernandes thinking when he took Gonzalez? I can understand teams like Rapax taking Teixeria because they need the money to subsidise the second seat, but Fernandes being Fernandes, you’d think he’d be able to attract someone with a lot more talent.
@prisoner-monkeys Well he had Gonzalez AND Teixeira as ‘test’ drivers for the F1 team last year. And they’ve got Petrov in an F1 seat, which they wouldn’t if he didn’t bring money. Not to say Petrov isn’t talented, but it shows that Fernandes isn’t willing to or can’t invest the kind of money in the main team to run drivers purely on ability, so the GP2 team will obviously be for pay drivers. Van der Garde had to bring a big cheque before he got the ‘reserve’ role/GP2 drive. I’m convinced they’ve only got eyes for Alexander Rossi in the long-term, not any of the drivers they’ve sold the GP2 seats to.
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