Stefano Coletti takes GP2 Sprint Race victory in Malaysia
Felipe Nasr and Mitch Evans complete podium
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:18pm
Stefano Coletti made up for the disappointment of Saturday to take victory in the GP2 Sprint Race in Malaysia and with it the lead of the Championship.
There was drama before the race even got underway, however, with Jolyon Palmer stalling on the formation lap - forcing him to start from the pitlane.
When the field did take the start, Coletti made a lightening getaway form sixth on the grid, braving it out around the outside of pole man Stephane Richelmi to take the lead at turn two - a lead he would never relinquish.
Behind them James Calado made a terrible misjudgement on the run to turn four - running into the back of Feature Race winner Fabio Leimer and dislodging the front wing on his ART. Worse was to follow, however, as that wing lodged itself below his Dallara chassis, meaning the British driver had no steering and limited braking capabilities as he ploughed into Julian Leal and Sam Bird - forcing all three out of the race.
Richelmi dropped to third on lap two when Felipe Nasr pulled off a late braking manoeuvre at turn 1, as the field started to settle down.
Well, mostly settle down - Nasr's Carlin team-mate Palmer was on a charge. The 22-year-old showed outstanding pace and racecraft as he recovered from his pitlane start eventually finishing just outside the points in ninth. Given the pace the British driver showed, he surely would have challenged for the win had he started from his third placed grid slot.
With six laps to go, Richelmi outbraked himself at the final hairpin allowing Mitch Evans to nip past to take the final podium spot in only his second GP2 race.
At the front Nasr stared to close the gap to Coletti in the final laps, but it was to little too late as the Rappax driver picked up his third career win in the Series.
GP2 Malasyia Sprint Race Result
1) Stefano Coletti - Rapax
2) Felipe Nasr - Carlin
3) Mitch Evans - Arden International
4) Stephane Richelmi - DAMS
5) Johnny Cecotto- Arden International
6) Simon Trummer - Rapax
7) Conor Daly - Hilmer Motorsport
8) Rene Binder - Venezuela GP Lazarus
9) Jolyon Palmer - Carlin
10) Kevin Giovesi - Venezuela GP Lazarus
11) Tom Dillmann - RUSSIAN TIME
12) Fabio Leimer - Racing Engineering
13) Marcus Ericsson - DAMS
14) Daniel De Jong - MP Motorsport
15) Sergio Canamasas - Caterham Racing
16) Daniel Abt - ART Grand Prix
17) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs - MP Motorsport
18) Rio Haryanto - Barwa Addax Team
19) Pal Varhaug - Hilmer Motorsport
20) Jake Rosenzweig - Barwa Addax Team
21) Nathanael Berthon - Trident Racing
22) Kevin Ceccon - Trident Racing
Sam Bird - RUSSIAN TIME
Julian Leal - Racing Engineering
James Calado - ART Grand Prix
1) Stefano Coletti - 36
2) Fabio Leimer - 25
3) Felipe Nasr - 24
4) James Calado - 18
5) Stephane Richelmi - 12
1) Rappax - 42
2) Racing Engineering - 35
3) Carlin - 32
4) ART - 18
5) Arden - 17