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Sauber Formula 1 driver to be Sergio Pérez comfortably controlled proceedings in the penultimate GP2 race of the season at Yas Marina on Saturday morning. The result for the Addax driver confirms that he finishes second behind Champion Pastor Maldonado in this year’s title race.
Pérez crushed his rivals with an unmatched display of speed on his way to a dominant win in today's feature race in Abu Dhabi, securing second place in the championship as he easily led the way home, greeting the chequered flag over twenty seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird.
The Mexican's victory was set up when the lights went out: pole-sitter Turvey bogged down slightly as he got away, allowing Perez an easily line into the lead at turn one. Teammate Davide Valsecchi was also slow to get away, handing Romain Grosjean a simple line inside and through for P4, which improved by one when Fabio Leimer and Turvey touched wheels at the first corner, with the Swiss driver coming off worse.
Further back, Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi came together too; the Dutchman was left stranded on the outside of Turn 1 and when Adrian Zaugg also tipped into a spin a few corners later there was no choice but to bring out the Safety Car.
Bird was lying in tenth after an incredible start from P18 on the grid and when team-mate Bianchi and Max Chilton came together one lap after the restart the Briton was up to an amazing P6 - rhe team made a sharp call into the pits on Lap 6 to see what they could do to help.
Back on-track, Luiz Razia was pushing Grosjean hard for third while Dani Clos and Valsecchi were squabbling over the positions behind; the pit call for Bird was the right one, with his rivals losing time fighting as Bird flew in clear air after his stop.
Razia, Valsecchi and Clos stopped together on Lap 9, with Bird slotting in ahead of the Spaniard and a left-rear tyre problem for Grosjean at his stop a lap later gave him another free position.
At the front of the field Pérez sailed serenely on, with Turvey unable to challenge and stopping for fresh rubber, with the Mexican finally coming in on Lap 12.
Champion elect Pastor Maldonado was the only man left to stop, but a message from the stewards stated that he was going to have to make a Drive Through penalty too, ruining any chance of a fight for points.
A clearly annoyed Maldonado left his stops until the last few laps, but Pérez wasn't waiting around; he reclaimed the lead on track on Lap 18 and was gone, while behind him Turvey drove a strong race for second.
Razia and Valsecchi's races started to unravel under the harsh sun as they were unable to contain the pace of Bird and Clos; the pair had a fierce battle for the final podium position, with the Briton holding on by less than a second.
Valsecchi managed to hold on for fifth place ahead of a fast charging Grosjean, with Razia just hanging on in front of tomorrow's pole man Josef Kral, who secured a splendid P8 on his return to the series.
Sunday’s final race of the season begins at 1:30pm local time (GMT +4)
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|1.||S. Perez||Barwa Addax||59:53.752|
|3.||S. Bird||ART Grand Prix||+29.695|
|4.||D. Clos||Racing Engin.||+30.442|
|8.||J. Kral||Super Nova||+39.724|
|9.||B. Hartley||Scuderia Coloni||+40.679|
|13 May||Haryanto gets grid penalty for Monaco|
|25 Jan||Rosenzweig completes Addax driver line-up|
|18 Dec '12||Haryanto joins Addax for second GP2 season|
|2 Sep '12||Kral picks up maiden victory in Belgium|
|GP2: Abu Dhabi 2010|
|14 Nov '10||Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Yas Marina|
|14 Nov '10||Valsecchi wins last race of the season|
|13 Nov '10||Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Yas Marina|
|13 Nov '10||Pérez dominates Abu Dhabi Feature Race|
|22 May||'Pérez has stepped it up' – Whitmarsh|
|20 May||Button aims for another double points finish|
|12 May||Button praises McLaren strategy choice|
|2 May||Pérez hopes McLaren has turned corner|
|24 May||Bird avoids drama to win opening race|
|24 May||Video: First corner pile-up in Feature Race|
|24 May||GP2 race halted after first corner pile-up|
|23 May||Latest GP2 photos: Thursday in Monaco|
|More Sergio Perez photos|