James Calado Storms To GP2 Victory In Abu Dhabi


Calado emerged ahead of a first corner collision (Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)

James Calado gave the rest of the field what for in the GP2 sprint race after making a lightning get away and never looking back throughout the 22 lap race.

Starting from the second row, the ART Grand Prix driver flew past pole sitter Johnny Cecotto and second placed Felipe Nasr to take the lead before the first corner.

However, he needn’t have bothered trying so hard as Nasr tried a stupidly wild dive on the inside of Cecotto at turn one where they both promptly span out. Nasr lost half of his front wing and Cecotto retired with suspension after being tagged by yesterday’s race winner Alexander Rossi – who also retired with wheel damage.

That brought out the safety car to clear up the damage, but Calado wasn’t phased and made a controlled restart to leave Dani Clos looking at a cloud of smoke that once resembled a GP2/11.

The big mover in the restart was Russian Time‘s Sam Bird who spotted an opportunity and used it to get past Daniel Abt for fourth place.

That was enough to see Russian Time named team’s champions in their first season of GP2 competition. They were level on points with Carlin, but due to the squads poorer win count they were relegated to vice champions.

Back to the sharp point of the field and Calado built such a lead that he was able to slow down for the remaining laps and keep his tyres in some sort of good condition. However, even though he wasn’t a threat, Clos was still visibly happy with his second place – it was the highest result he has achieved all season and indeed his only visit to the podium this year.

In the final driver’s points standings Fabio Leimer has 201 points with Bird ten back on 191. With his cracking result today, Calado has leap frogged Nasr into third place with 157 points to the Brazilian’s 154.