Haryanto triumphs in dramatic opening race
23 July 2011 – Marussia Manor Racing driver Rio Haryanto kept his composure during a late downpour to take a well-deserved victory at the Nürburgring this afternoon, fending off MW Arden driver Lewis Williamson in a tense battle for the top spot. Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas completed the podium, crossing the line just ahead of team-mate James Calado.
A late call from pole-sitter Mitch Evans saw the young New Zealander start on wet tyres, with rain beginning to fall lightly at the German venue. As the lights went out, he made a strong getaway and maintained his lead, while Félix da Costa - who also switched to wet tyres moments before the start - soon slipped back as the rainfall began to ease.
Evans led Haryanto and Williamson after the first few laps, with the trio quickly being joined by Bottas who made a blistering start from 11th place. However, drive-through penalties for failing to have their respective tyres fitted in time saw Evans and Félix da Costa slip a long way down the order, handing the lead over to Williamson.
A late downpour prompted numerous drivers to pit for wet tyres, but Williamson, Haryanto and Bottas all decided to stay out on-track. A thrilling battle for the lead ensued, with Haryanto eventually claiming the win after a series of lead changes. Behind Lotus ART drivers Bottas and Calado, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs held his nerve to grab fifth, while Carlin’s Conor Daly was best of the rest in sixth place.
Sunday’s Race 2 begins at 9.20am local time (BST +1)