GP2 Series

Repeat Performance From Gutierrez In Silverstone GP2 Feature Race

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

For the second GP2 Series feature race in a row, Esteban Guteirrez claimed victory after a safety car period robbed the leader of the win.

This time at Silverstone it was Fabio Leimer who was the unfortunate driver, having taken pole convincingly on Friday and then driven a faultless race on a track that had been wet enough for the start to take place behind the safety car.

Leimer was however caught out when the safety car came out on lap 18, eliminating his lead. The safety car came out after James Calado had stopped next to the pitlane exit, the Briton having made his pitstop out of fifth place the lap before.

Second-placed Johnny Cecotto made his stop just as the safety car was deployed, while Jolyon Palmer had sensibly come in when Calado stopped his car.

Both Cecotto and Palmer rejoined however behind Calado's Lotus GP teammate Esteban Gutierrez, who been the first man to stop and inherited second behind Leimer in the queue behind the safety car.

Gutierrez then took up the race lead when Leimer came in for his stop, which happened when a second safety car was called after Stefano Coletti had gone off and stopped at Chapel.

That gave the Mexican his second straight feature race victory, after winning in Valencia two weeks ago when Calado got caught out by the safety car.

Monaco race winners Cecotto and Palmer completed the podium, though the latter had to hold on under pressure from Nigel Melker at the end.

Dutchman Melker started eighth after a host of exclusions and grid penalties in qualifying, and got by championship contender Luiz Razia at Club at the start of the race proper. He then dived down the inside of Max Chilton at Village.

Up to fourth when Calado retired and then Leimer made his stop, he had to resist attempts from Razia at the end of the race but held on to claim his first points finish in GP2.

Razia was fifth, ahead of fellow Brazilian Felipe Nasr and his DAMS teammate Davide Valsecchi. The DAMS duo started at the back after being excluded from qualifying for running out of fuel, but benefited from making their pitstops just before the safety car came in at the start of the race. Valsecchi has dropped three points behind Razia in the title race, but starts on the front row for the sprint race.

Giedo van der Garde recovered from a grid penalty that dropped him to 18th on the grid to recover to eighth by the finish, getting ahead of Chilton and Fabrizio Crestani after the final safety car and taking the reverse grid pole for Sunday's sprint race.

Crestani, another to benefit by stopping early, lost out on tenth place on the final lap to Rio Haryanto. Haryanto spent much of the race in tenth place and stuck behind Josef Kral, before getting by the Czech driver shortly before making his pitstop.

Nathanael Berthon was 12th, ahead of Fabio Onidi, Stephane Richelmi and a recovering Leimer. Simon Trummer was 16th, ahead of Kral, Victor Guerin, Ricardo Teixeira and Giancarlo Serenelli. Julian Leal and Marcus Ericsson completed those on the lead lap, while Rodolfo Gonzalez finished two laps down after being hit by Daniel De Jong under the initial safety car.

The sprint race takes place at 09:40 on Sunday.

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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_
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