Valsecchi dominates Bahrain Feature Race

Valsecchi dominates Bahrain Feature Race

21 April 2012 – Davide Valsecchi has driven a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the first GP2 race of the weekend in Bahrain, leading home Luiz Razia and Sauber F1 reserve driver Estefan Gutiérrez. It was a bittersweet affair for reigning Champions DAMS, as Felipe Nasr was taken out by the Addax of Johnny Cecotto Jr.

When the lights went out, Valsecchi made the perfect start and kept the lead from Gutiérrez. Further down, Cecotto made his way to P3 whilst Razia moved up from eighth on the grid to P5, sneaking in behind Nasr. From then on, Valsecchi pulled away and started to build up a gap that none of his closest rivals could ever reduce.

James Calado was the first of the top ten drivers to pit, on Lap 8. On-track, Razia was on a mission and passed Nasr for P4 at Turn 1. At the front, Valsecchi was already 6.4 seconds ahead of Gutiérrez, so the Mexican decided to pit and so did Razia, but a problem on the Lotus’ right-rear tyre meant that, when he rejoined the track, had dropped behind Calado, Razia and Max Chilton (who had pitted one lap earlier).

When Valsecchi pitted on Lap 13, he handed the lead to Fabio Leimer, but the Italian was back in control of the pack a lap later when the Racing Engineering man re-entered the pits. Nathanaël Berthon, then in P2 and who still had to take his mandatory pit-stop, was much slower than his pursuers and Chilton - the closest contender – was eager to pass him, but it was Calado who took advantage of the battle in front of him to sneak ahead of the pair.

The battle for P6 intensified and ended in tears for Nasr and Cecotto; the two cars collided and stopped on-track, calling for a Safety Car period. Valsecchi’s effort to build a comfortable gap of 11.4 seconds has been reduced to nothing and at the restart he pulled away again from Calado. The British rookie started to struggle on his tyres and it became more and more difficult to fend off Razia’s attacks; the Brazilian finally got through to claim P2.

In response, Valsecchi pushed even harder and set the fastest lap. Chilton and Gutiérrez also overtook Calado and started a fight of their own for P3 that lasted until the last lap; the Carlin racer tried with all his might to block the Lotus man, but Gutiérrez eventually passed in a gutsy move to step onto the podium.

At the chequered flag, Valsecchi crossed the finish line ahead of Razia and Gutiérrez. Chilton was fourth ahead of Calado. Tom Dillmann - from 15th on the grid - was sixth and scored his first points in GP2, a just reward for a fantastic race from the French rookie. Leimer was seventh ahead of Fabio Onidi, Rio Haryanto and Brendon Hartley, the latter who had started from last on today’s grid. Onidi will start from tomorrow’s Sprint Race from the reverse pole position.


The Sprint Race begins at 10:35am local time (BST +2) on Sunday

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 28 August 2015

  2. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel 16:08

    Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is "convinced" that he would have passed Sebastian Vettel for third at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  4. 15:12

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  5. Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice 15:03

    Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice

    Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo edged out Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez during second practice for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  6. Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car 14:01

    Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he "expected more" from the Williams FW37 this season, but he is hopeful that progress will be…

    F1
  7. GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions 12:02

    GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions

    Earlier in the season, GPUpdate.net gave readers the chance to quiz Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus driver Romain…

    F1
  8. Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone 10:50

    Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez topped the times during Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  9. Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge 09:36

    Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge

    Ahead of this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, drivers completed a demonstration run across San Francisco's Golden…

    Indy
  10. Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson 09:22

    Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson

    As the IndyCar circus arrives in California for the resolution of a tense and complex championship battle, the sport also finds…

    Indy
  11. Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma 07:38

    Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma

    Oriol Servià will drive Justin Wilson's Andretti car at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Sonoma in tribute to the Briton, who…

    Indy
  12. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  13. Thursday 27 August 2015

  14. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  15. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  16. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
  17. Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale 13:02

    Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale

    IndyCar drivers preview this weekend's season finale at Sonoma, which takes place under a cloud following Justin Wilson's death.…

    Indy
  18. Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg 10:42

    Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says he is "quite confident" of retaining Nico Hülkenberg's services for the 2016 season…

    F1
  19. Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions 09:37

    Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton has revealed that he has held discussions with the arriving Haas F1 Team over a potential…

    F1
  20. Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia 08:22

    Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat will showcase Formula 1 machinery in his native Russia on Sunday. Kvyat is set to get behind the…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday 05:06

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday

    Take a look at what Lewis Hamilton got up to during his summer break away from Formula 1.

    F1
  22. Wednesday 26 August 2015

  23. Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal 14:35

    Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal

    British rider Cal Crutchlow has secured his MotoGP future until the end of 2017 after signing a new two-year deal to remain with…

    MotoGP
  24. Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone 13:28

    Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone

    Jorge Lorenzo says he sees a "great opportunity" for himself and Yamaha at this weekend's British Grand Prix, as he looks to…

    MotoGP
  25. Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview 12:36

    Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview

    Repsol Honda looks ahead to this weekend's British MotoGP Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit.

    MotoGP
  26. Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years 11:43

    Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years

    Former Marussia driver Max Chilton is certain that Formula 1 will adopt closed cockpits in the future, and expects the switch to…

    F1
  27. Feature: Belgian GP's key questions 11:21

    Feature: Belgian GP's key questions

    Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps, GPUpdate.net posed five questions and pondered the outcomes.…

    F1
  28. Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy 09:46

    Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy

    Sebastian Vettel has spoken out in defence of Ferrari's strategy at the Belgian Grand Prix, insisting that the decision to…

    F1
  29. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium 07:27

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce 05:23

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce

    McLaren highlights how much downforce is generated by a modern Formula 1 car.

    F1
  31. Tuesday 25 August 2015

  32. 18:18

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 6

    FE
  33. Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day 18:11

    Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day

    Nicolas Prost edged out team-mate Sébastien Buemi in a Renault e.Dams 1-2 on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington…

    FE
  34. 16:20

    Photo gallery: Justin Wilson (1978-2015)

    Indy
  35. Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson 15:07

    Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson

    Toro Rosso has paid tribute to Justin Wilson, who raced for the team in Formula 1 under its previous guise of Minardi, after…

    F1
  36. Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016 14:16

    Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016

    Bradley Smith has extended his contract with Tech 3 Yamaha through 2016. Smith made the step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 after…

    MotoGP
  37. Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli 13:19

    Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the outfit does not want to get involved in a "fight" with Formula 1 tyre supplier…

    F1
  38. Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual' 12:43

    Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual'

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted that it is "business as usual" with engine supplier Renault, amid speculation…

    F1
  39. Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012 11:47

    Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012

    Look back at Justin Wilson's triumph at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, his last IndyCar victory.

    Indy
  40. Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson 10:38

    Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson

    IndyCar and the wider motorsport community have been paying tribute to Justin Wilson, following the news of his passing on…

    Indy
  41. Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015 08:16

    Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015

    Justin Wilson died aged 37 on Monday evening after succumbing to injuries sustained in last weekend's IndyCar race at Pocono.…

    Indy
  42. Video of the Day: Formula E Tokyo run 05:04

    Video of the Day: Formula E Tokyo run

    Ex-F1 driver Sakon Yamamoto demonstrates a Formula E car around the streets of Tokyo in Japan.

    FE
  43. Justin Wilson succumbs to head injury 02:17

    Justin Wilson succumbs to head injury

    IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died from a head injury sustained in Sunday's race at Pocono. Wilson was struck in the head…

    Indy
  44. Monday 24 August 2015

  45. 19:37

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 5

    FE
more news