Valsecchi makes it two wins from two in Bahrain

Give that he was starting from 8th on the grid, it might have been expected that Davide Valsecchi would only be able to make a few places and settle for that.  Instead, he blew the field away, winning in stunning style in a thrilling race.

The drama began when Felipe Nasr, starting last thanks to a 5-place grid penalty for his collision with Johnny Cecotto, Jr., stopped a few meters away from his grid position, causing the start to be abandoned.  As the cars took off for a second formation lap, Tom Dillmann stalled from 3rd, and joined Felipe Nasr starting in the pitlane.

When the race started it was James Calado who got the best start, leaping from 4th on the grid (though effectively 3rd thanks to Tom Dillmann’s removal) to 1st before turn 1.  His Lotus GP team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez also had a good start, moving from 6th to 3rd.  Valsecchi began scything his way through the field, overtaking Luiz Razia for 6th.

At turn 2 Gutiérrez passed Fabio Leimer for 2nd position, and quickly began catching his team-mate.  Calado attempted to keep Gutiérrez behind, and the two made contact.  Fabio Leimer caught the pair, passing Gutiérrez on lap 3.  Leimer soon caught Calado, passing him on lap 5, with Gutiérrez also getting past his team-mate.  Calado’s mirrors were soon full of Max Chilton’s Carlin, but Chilton was unable to find a way past, and instead got caught and passed by Valsecchi on lap 14, who then pulled off a pass on Calado for 3rd position.

Leimer began to build his lead over the chasing pack, but was given a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellows, allowing Gutiérrez the lead.  The Mexican driver looked to be nailed-on for victory in the sprint race, as he began the final lap ahead of Davide Valsecchi.  The DAMS driver had not given up, however, and passed Gutiérrez to cross the finish line in 1st, just under 4 tenths of a second ahead.  Calado made sure that both Lotus GP drivers were on the podium, finishing 3rd.  Felipe Nasr, who had to start from last place in the pitlane, drove brilliantly to finish 6th.  Jolyon Palmer managed to pick up his, and iSport International’s, first points of the season, finishing 7th.  Finishing 8th in the last points position was Simon Trummer, who scored his first ever points in GP2 Series.  Giedo van der Garde prevented Valsecchi from taking all points available this weekend by setting the fastest lap on lap 3.

Results of the Bahrain Sprint Race

1. Davide Valsecchi 39:22.363
2. Esteban Gutiérrez +0.399
3. James Calado +10.617
4. Luiz Razia +12.463
5. Max Chilton +13.573
6. Felipe Nasr +15.414
7. Jolyon Palmer +22.950
8. Simon Trummer +30.425
9. Giedo van der Garde +31.976
10. Tom Dillmann +32.545
11. Dani Clos +32.632
12. Fabio Leimer +32.856
13. Ricardo Teixeira +36.275
14. Fabio Onidi +36.477
15. Rio Haryanto +39.988
16. Marcus Ericsson +40.386
17. Julián Leal +47.410
18. Nigel Melker +56.196
19. Fabrizio Crestani +59.488
20. Rodolfo González +1:52.968
21. Giancarlo Serenelli +1:53.295
22. Johnny Cecotto, Jr.1 Retired
23. Stefano Coletti1 Retired
R. Nathanaël Berthon Retired
R. Brendon Hartley Retired
R. Stéphane Richelmi Retired
1 Johnny Cecotto, Jr. and Stefano Coletti both classified as they completed 90% of the race winner's distance

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