Debutant Calado wins final GP2 race
13 November 2011 – James Calado claimed victory in his first ever GP2 weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, taking the chequered flag first in the Sprint Race outing. The British driver, who finished runner-up in GP3 to Finland's Valtteri Bottas, crossed the line ahead of Marcus Ericsson, while fellow series rookie Tom Dillmann completed the podium.
Having inherited pole position on the semi reverse-grid, Calado instantly made his intentions clear with a faultless start when the lights went out. The 22-year-old held onto his lead ahead of Portugal’s António Félix da Costa into Turn 1, with a surging Marcus Ericsson holding the final podium position. The latter two battled for position for a handful of laps, until Ericsson made a move stick on Lap 8 to seize second.
Félix da Costa then fell back into the clutches of Luiz Razia, cutting the circuit during what turned out to be an intense fight, thus promptly earning a drive-through penalty. Brazilian driver Razia didn’t escape punishment however, picking up the same consequence for ignoring yellow flags. Behind, Jolylon Palmer enjoyed a relatively trouble free run to fourth, while a resurgent Esteban Gutiérrez rose from 21st to fifth.
Kevin Ceccon and Alexander Rossi were next up in sixth and seventh, while Razia, Dani Clos and Race 1 winner Fabio Leimer rounded out the top ten. Back at the front, Calado’s win ensured that he picked up the £15,000 Pirelli GP3 prize, with Dillmann backing up his Saturday performance en route to the runner-up spot and £10,000.
The GP2 field will be back in action when testing for the 2012 season resumes