Racing Engineering’s Fabio Leimer has won his third GP2 feature race of the season at Monza and has taken the GP2 series lead.
Following behind on the podium were Russian Time’s Sam Bird and Tom Dillmann, the former had started from pole but couldn’t stop Leimer from charging through from the outside of the grid and pass him inside going into the first chicane.
Another man who made a lightning approach to the chicane was American Jake Rosenzweig who managed to get past both Stefano Coletti and Dillmann.
Coletti, aiming to get his championship charge back on track, did everything he could to try and get closer to both Leimer and Bird – eventually pushing his way past Rosenzweig who unfortunately had to retire with damage a few laps later.
The Monegasque pitted on lap seven, seemingly getting the jump on Marcus Ericsson who pitted a lap later – however, Coletti was given a drive through for speeding in the pit lane which effectively put his challenge to bed finally finishing his race unclassified.
Also experiencing pit stop woes was Jolyon Palmer – although he pitted cleanly, his rear tyre detached going through the Lesmos meaning he ground to an excruciating halt whilst running third, at least before his pit stop.
However, the eyes of the crowd were on the cut throat battle involving Bird and Leimer – Bird looked like challenging for the lead until he pitted on Lap 20 and came out four seconds behind, after that the result was near enough beyond doubt.
Crossing the line in fourth was Stephane Richelmi, followed closely by Julian Leal and James Calado.
In the GP2 points, Leimer leads on 153 points eight points ahead of Bird who is 10 points ahead of non finisher Felipe Nasr.
After the second GP2 race in Monza, there will only four more races to decide who will become the 2013 champion.