Chilton Wins In Singapore As Valsecchi Becomes Champion

Max Chilton - Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service

Max Chilton did everything he could to prove he deserved to be made Marussia’s reserve driver by winning the GP2 feature race in Singapore. Meanwhile, Davide Valsecchi secured the championship with one race to spare by finishing in fourth place, one spot ahead of his rival Luiz Razia.

Chilton took the lead at the start of the race when pole-sitter Luca Filippi got an awful getaway, with Esteban Gutierrez following him through into second. The top two then drove great races to finish first and second, Chilton taking his second win of the season and Gutierrez moving into third place in the points.

Filippi’s poor start dropped him down to seventh, but used an early pitstop to move back up into third. He latched himself onto the lead battle between Chilton and Gutierrez but then paid the price for his earlier change of tyres and struggled badly with degradation. After losing a few spots he made a second change of tyres but things would get worse for the series returnee, first damaging his front wing when he ran into the barrier at turn 18 and subsequently burying his car in the wall at the start of the pit straight and causing the race to end under safety car.

Jolyon Palmer was third during the early running and fourth behind Filippi after the pitstops, but he too suffered badly with tyre wear before retiring. Fabio Leimer inherited the final podium spot ahead of Valsecchi and Razia, who was unable to finish ahead of his Italian competitor and Valsecchi is therefore out of reach in the title race.

Felipe Nasr enjoyed a good race to finish sixth after starting down in 13th, with Marcus Ericsson and Giedo van der Garde also progressing into the top eight after poor qualifying results. Rio Haryanto was ninth with Nathanael Berthon claiming the final point in tenth.

After starting 15th, James Calado ran eighth after the pitstops but then fell backwards with tyre wear and made a second stop before parking up having been suffering from illness. After coming into the weekend in third place, the rookie has now dropped to fifth behind Gutierrez and Chilton.

The sprint race takes place at 09:00 BST on Sunday.