GP2 Series

Chilton Keeps Valsecchi At Bay To Claim Maiden Win

3 Mins read
Max Chilton - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Max Chilton has claimed his maiden win in GP2 in the feature race at the Hungaroring. The British driver successfully converted pole position into victory, despite pressure late-on from Davide Valsecchi.

Carlin driver Chilton made a good start to retain his lead with Valsecchi in second. Chilton began on the harder prime tyres with Valsecchi on the softs, and the pair both came in on lap 13 for their mandatory pitstops. While Valsecchi had all four of his tyres changed for the harder compound, Chilton only had new hards fitted on the rears and rejoined ahead.

At that stage there were a group of six cars out front who had not yet made their mandatory stop. By lap 23 Chilton was up into third, but was unable to find a way past Julian Leal, as his rivals started stacking up behind him.

Leal eventually pitted and Chilton quickly opened up a gap over Valsecchi, then inheriting the lead as Simon Trummer stopped from the lead. Valsecchi reeled Chilton back in with a few laps to go though and was right on his tail during the final lap, but had to settle for second place as Chilton won on his 55th start in the category, and also gave the Carlin team its first win in GP2.

Points leader Luiz Razia moved up from fifth to third on the first lap of the race and would finish in the same position, though had a sniff of second at one point but was unable to pass his rival Valsecchi.

James Calado started fourth but got pushed out wide at the first turn and crossed the line fifth at the end of the first lap having been passed by Razia and teammate Esteban Gutierrez, who was the man on the move on the first lap. Gutierrez was unable to sustain that pace though, and Calado quickly took fourth place back and maintained that position at the end.

Esteban Gutierrez - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Gutierrez moved up to fourth on the first lap, but was soon re-passed by Calado – Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Gutierrez stayed out longer than those around him and took the lead of the race for a period, but that strategy did not work out and he rejoined some way down the order. Johnny Cecotto was making progress during the early laps and passed Giedo van der Garde for P6 on lap four. He then began chasing after Gutierrez but went straight on at turn one and crashed into the tyre barriers on the following lap.

Van der Garde took fifth at the flag thanks to Gutierrez's poor strategy, ahead of Jolyon Palmer. The Briton had started third but went backwards on the opening lap and was ninth by the end of lap four. He made his stop early and came back to finish sixth.

Josef Kral was poised to finally score his first points of the season in seventh place before his car slowed. Nathanael Berthon inherited the place, while Gutierrez took eighth place and the reverse grid pole. The Mexican was passed by Felipe Nasr and Fabio Leimer after running wide at the final turn, but repassed Leimer before Nasr had a similar accident to that of Cecotto at the first corner.

Stefano Coletti joined Gutierrez in staying out longer, and finished up in the same tenth place that he held before the first pitstops were made. His Coloni teammate Fabio Onidi finished 11th, ahead of Rio Haryanto who recovered after being spun around by Rodolfo Gonzalez at the start of the second lap. He held off Trummer, who recorded the fastest lap after his late stop, and Nigel Melker, who spun his teammate Victor Guerin around in the closing stages. As the yellow flags flew for that incident, Sergio Canamasas was spun around by Daniel De Jong, who finished one place behind fellow Dutchman Melker.

Leal was 16th at the finish, just a tenth ahead of Trident teammate Stephane Richelmi. Ricardo Teixeira was 18th, ahead of Marcus Ericsson who stalled at the start, and Giancarlo Serenelli. Guerin, Canamasas and Gonzalez finished a lap down.

1882 posts

About author
Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
Related posts
Formula 2GP2 Series

FIA announce GP2 re-branding as FIA Formula 2 Championship

1 Mins read
The FIA Formula 2 Championship has been born following the re-branding of the GP2 Series, starting with the 2017 season.
Formula 2GP2 Series

ART Grand Prix bring Albon into GP2 Series line-up

1 Mins read
Alexander Albon will make the jump from GP3 to GP2 in 2017, remaining with the ART Grand Prix squad he finished second with last season.
Formula 2GP2 Series

Ghiotto joins Markelov at Russian Time for 2017

1 Mins read
Luca Ghiotto will move from Trident to Russian Time in 2017, where he will join Artem Markelov.