Stefano Coletti wins GP2 Sprint Race in Spain
But race will be remembered for chaotic finale
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:23pm
Stefano Coletti took victory in GP2 Sprint Race in Spain, but the contest will be remembered for a chaotic last two laps.
There had been drama immediately at the start when Tom Dillmann stalled from fourth on the grid, but somehow everyone avoided the RUSSIAN TIME driver and he would eventually get going, albeit last and a long way behind.
Coletti had made a great start from fifth on the grid to get into the lead and Saturday's race winner Rob Frijns had also had a good get away as he moved up from eighth to third at the first corner. Another to make a flying start was Jolyon Palmer, who was eager to bounce back from his Feature Race penalty which demoted him to 10th, and made his way up to fifth.
At turn nine, Johnny Cecotto made a mistake and that allowed Frijns and Felipe Nasr past before things started to settle down as the drivers tried to preserve their tyres.
With ten laps to go, Palmer started to pick up his pace and caught and passed Cecotto to move up to fourth, but there was nothing he could do to catch his team-mate ahead of him.
Another to start applying pressure was Frijns, who cut the gap to Coletti at the front to under a second, but was unable to find a way past the Rapax driver.
Things then kicked off with two laps to go. Sergio Canamasas got on the inside of Cecotto at turn 12 and rather than concede the place, the Venezuelan inexplicably turned into the side of the Caterham driver as he tried to run him off the track.
That bunched everyone up and Rio Haryanto then ran into the back of Canamasas at the final chicane, climbing over the back of the Caterham and destroying the rear of the car. Haryanto retired from the race, whilst Canamasas limped around the final lap, minus a rear wing. After the race, Haryanto was handed a ten-place grid penalty for the Feature Race in Monaco.
But that was not to be the end of the Spaniard's woes, as he then came together with another Venezuelan, Julian Leal, on the run to the turn 10 hairpin which sent the Racing Engineering driver spinning off the track.
Despite his part in the mayhem, Cecotto managed to finish fifth, but given he has already been warned about his conduct having run Sam Bird off the track in Malaysia during qualifying, was lucky to not just avoid a penalty in this race, but to be allowed to race in Monaco.
GP2 Spain - Sprint Race Results
1) Stefano Coletti (MON) - Rapax - 41:49.895
2) Robin Frijns (NDL) - Hilmer Motorsport - +0.691
3) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin +7.212
4) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - Carlin - +12.129
5) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - Arden - +35.593
6) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham - +36.991
7) Kevin Ceccon (ITA) - Trident Racing - +38.483
8) Daniel Abt (GER) - ART Grand Prix - +39.645
9) Fabio Leimer (SWI) - Racing Engineering - +40.664
10) Jon Lancaster (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - +41.353
11) James Calado (GBR) - ART Grand Prix - +41.464
12) Sam Bird (GBR) - RUSSIAN TIME - +41.876
21) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - MP Motorsport - +53.938