Coletti keeps points lead despite Leimer?s win

GP2Posted on | Author Bradley Downton

Start, Bahrain, GP2Fabio Leimer stormed to an easy pole position on Friday and converted this into a fairly comfortable win come the feature race.

He couldn?t repeat this in the sprint race however, managing only 9th as Sam Bird made a brilliant start and held off a late charge from Felipe Nasr to win by the smallest margin in GP2 history.

ART endured a poor weekend with James Calado?s penalty meaning their two cars would start 14th and 20th on the grid. After amassing no points at all in the feature race they recovered to finish fifth and seventh in the sprint race with Calado making up many places in the closing laps.

For the second weekend in a row we saw a driver forced off the track in Qualifying and as a result the culprit ?ǣ Sergio Canamasas ?ǣ was excluded and made to start from last.

Qualifying results

Feature Race

Ericsson stalls while Coletti challenges Leimer

Marcus Ericsson was hoping that second on the grid would result in his first points of the year but he stalled on the grid before the formation lap started and was made to start from the pit lane.

Stefano Coletti took full advantage and challenged Fabio Leimer for the lead on the opening lap. The Racing Engineering man held off his Rapax competitor however as a small slip from Coletti cost him the chance to pass Leimer. As the laps went by Leimer pulled out a lead and looked like he had the race under control.

Further back Sam Bird made a scintillating start from ninth on the grid, slicing his way through slower starting cars in front to make it up to third by turn 1.

Bird and Nasr lose ground in the pits

Alexander Rossi was the first man to pit from fifth on lap seven and Jolyon Palmer followed suite on the next lap. Sam Bird and Felipe Nasr pitted together another lap later but both suffered problems in the pits and dropped behind the two men who had pitted earlier.

As Rossi?s pace increased Leimer and Coletti pitted together and just rejoined in front of the Caterham Racing driver, putting Rossi into a provisional podium place on his GP2 debut.

The three of them proceeded to slice their way through the cars who had started on the hard tyres and resumed the top three positions once everyone had completed their pitstops.

Bird and Trummer’s tyre struggle

As the race reached its final stages Sam Bird started to drop back as his tyres began to degrade. Nasr eased past the RUSSIAN TIME driver with the Carlin man?s teammate ?ǣ Jolyon Palmer ?ǣ following him through a few laps later.

Further back Simon Trummer was suffering with tyres as well, falling behind Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and eventually losing eighth place ?ǣ and the reverse grid pole position ?ǣ to Tom Dillmann.

Fabio Leimer claimed his second feature race win in two weekends with Coletti claiming an important second place. Alexander Rossi put in a fantastic performance to score a podium in his debut race in the GP2 series.


Pos Driver Team Time/Lap Retired Grid
1 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 57’21.528 1
2 Stefano Coletti Rapax 1.929 4
3 Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 9.03 7
4 Felipe Nasr Carlin 9.498 3
5 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 15.037 12
6 Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 28.518 9
7 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 33.067 8
8 Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 33.589 5
9 Simon Trummer Rapax 36.246 11
10 Johnny Cecotto Arden international 37.459 13
11 Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 42.502 16
12 James Calado ART Grand Prix 48.084 20
13 Marcus Ericsson DAMS 48.709 PL*
14 Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 53.482 14
15 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 59.146 24
16 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 65.997 21
17 Nathanel Berthon Trident Racing 70.696 22
18 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 71.776 19
19 Julian Leal Racing Engineering 79.886 17
20 Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 80.456 26
21 Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1 Lap 10
DNF Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 28 18
DNF Mitch Evans Arden international 26 15
DNF Stephane Richelmi DAMS 21 6
DNF Pal Varhaug Hilmer Motorsport 5 23
DNF Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 2 25

Fastest Lap: Julian Leal (Racing Engineering) – 1’43.889 (on lap 24)
Fastest Lap Points: Johnny Cecotto (Arden International) – 1’45.115 (on lap 28)

Sprint Race

Bird turns poor start into early lead

Front row men Tom Dillmann and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs made great starts while third placed man Sam Bird appeared to miss the start completely. Wheel spin from the drivers behind ensured Bird kept third however, despite an attempted overtake from fast-starting Stefano Coletti. The Rapax driver was blocked by Quaife-Hobbs however and this allowed Bird into second behind his teammate.

Behind them Jolyon Palmer tipped yesterday?s podium man ?ǣ Alexander Rossi ?ǣ into a spin, and eventually into Fabio Leimer, taking off Rossi?s front wing, while Rio Haryanto missed his breaking point and ploughed into the back of Marcus Ericsson, rounding off a terribly unlucky weekend for the DAMS driver.

Both ART drivers made good starts to jump into 7th and 9th while Sam Bird shot down the inside of teammate Tom Dillmann to take the lead before the first lap had even finished. Dillmann tried to fight back at turn 1 but this eventually cost him second to Coletti and the lap after Dillmann lost another place to Felipe Nasr while Bird started to pull away up front.

Race re-ignites as tyres drop off

The race then remained fairly stagnant until the last five laps when the tyres started to drop off. Quaife-Hobbs ?ǣ running in 5th ?ǣ became the cork in a bottle that would see Leimer lose two places to Palmer and Calado in two corners and the latter eventually fight through into 5th place.

The fight up front was just as intense as Coletti and Nasr began closing on Bird by a second a lap. Coletti looked to have the measure of Bird but a mistake at the final corner on the penultimate lap gifted Nasr second place. Coletti continued to lock up on his worn tyres and made a number of mistakes on the final lap, dropping four seconds back.

Nasr put pressure on Bird for the lead on the final lap but the RUSSIAN TIME driver managed to hold on to claim the first ever win for the new team by the smallest margin in GP2 history, eight hundredths of a second.


Pos Driver Team Time/Lap Retired Grid
1 Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 41’08.133 3
2 Felipe Nasr Carlin 0.08 5
3 Stefano Coletti Rapax 4.206 7
4 Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 10.326 1
5 James Calado ART Grand Prix 19.713 12
6 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 21.773 4
7 Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 24.108 14
8 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 27.722 2
9 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 27.894 8
10 Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 27.997 11
11 Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 28.601 20
12 Johnny Cecotto Arden International 35.477 10
13 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 35.858 24
14 Simon Trummer Rapax 36.346 9
15 Mitch Evans Arden International 36.95 23
16 Julian Leal Racing Engineering 37.671 19
17 Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 41.248 22
18 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 44.757 26
19 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 47.006 16
20 Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 52.044 6
21 Pal Varhaug Hilmer Motorsport 54.74 25
22 Nathanel Berthon Trident Racing 55.332 17
23 Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 62.964 21
24 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 77.388 15
25 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1 Lap 18
DNF Marcus Ericsson DAMS 6 13

Fastest Lap: Nathanael Berthon (Trident Racing) – 1’45.301 (on lap 17)
Fastest Lap Points: Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME) – 1’45.465 (on lap 4)

Drivers? championship points

Despite not winning a race Stefano Coletti held onto his championship lead by ten points from Fabio Leimer. The Racing Engineering driver looked dominant through practice, qualifying and the feature race but another no-score in the sprint race cost him ground.

Pos Driver Points
1 Stefano Coletti 64
2 Fabio Leimer 54
3 Felipe Nasr 48
4 Sam Bird 33
5 James Calado 24
6 Jolyon Palmer 22
7 Alexander Rossi 15
8 Stephane Richelmi 12
9 Tom Dillmann 12
10 Mitch Evans 11
11 Julian Leal 10
12 Johnny Cecotto 9
13 Simon Trummer 8
14 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 7
15 Conor Daly 2
16 Daniel Abt 2
17 Rene Binder 1

Image ?? GP2/Dunbar

Posted on Categories GP2Tags

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  • 3 comments on “Coletti keeps points lead despite Leimer?s win”

    1. Rossi was very impressive in his first race weekend in GP2. Definitely someone to watch. Leimer had a fantastic race in the feature race. Nasr was fairly solid as usual and came extremely close to taking the win in the sprint race, but Russian Time have been very impressive in their first season in GP2 and I’m happy they took the win.

    2. Will Buxton’s commentary was absolute rubbish. Jerome d’Ambrosio had to correct him about 50,000,000 times. Jerome did okay; I feel like the language barrier is the only thing stopping him from being a good secondary commentator.

    3. Will’s usually on point and their commentary has really turned me on to watching the GP2 series last year on Sky. I thought Frijns and Richelmi were unlucky – were they headed for a good points finish and thus top 5 starting places in race 2? Along with Ericsson’s stall (what an unlucky start to the season so far) and Rossi being hit into losing his front wing at the start of race 2 – 4 drivers that lost points I’d say. Frijns was very close to almost as impressive a first GP2 weekend as Rossi, but it looks like he is a Hamilton style racer – and will have to learn how to handle managing tyre deg with the Pirelli over the race distance.

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