Bird seals dominant Feature Race win

Bird seals dominant Feature Race win

24 August 2013 – Sam Bird took a resounding victory in Saturday afternoon's GP2 Feature Race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the Russian Time driver controlling from start to finish and crossing the line seven seconds ahead of DAMS rival Marcus Ericsson. Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi completed the podium positions.

Bird made a solid start as the lights went out, with James Calado pressuring him into La Source after a great getaway from fourth on the grid. Jolyon Palmer, Ericsson and Rossi diced three abreast on the run down to Eau Rouge, but despite having to negotiate slippery conditions following an earlier rain shower, the entire field completed the first lap without any major incidents.

The Safety Car was called out on Lap 4 following a major crash for Daniël de Jong at Eau Rouge, the Dutchman’s battered car becoming the first victim of the race at the fearsome high-speed chicane. In a move reminiscent of Mark Webber’s successful pass on Fernando Alonso in 2011, the MP Motorsport man tried to sweep across the Addax car of Rio Haryanto on entry, but squeezed too forcefully and punctured his left-rear tyre on the Indonesian’s front wing. Having lost control mid corner, he became a passenger, spinning round and sliding into the barriers at the top of the hill.

At the restart, Bird got the jump on Calado and proceeded to pull out another comfortable advantage at the front of the field. A major event in the championship battle came in the form of a late dive by Felipe Nasr on team-mate Palmer, with the two collecting each other at Turn 1. Nasr, second in the standings before the race, was unable to continue, allowing current leader Stefano Coletti to capitalise.

The Rapax driver had already made his way up to sixth after starting from 20th, but a slow pit-stop saw him lose out to Calado on the run down to Eau Rouge, the Briton sweeping past on warmer tyres having pitted earlier in the race after suffering from excessive wear rates. As Coletti backed out in order to avoid a protracted battle, Dani Clos misjudged his closing speed and knocked the front wing off his MP Motorsport machine after hitting the back of the championship leader’s car, the latter dropping back with damage to the rear.

Back up front, Bird had been pumping in fastest laps throughout the race, and made his stop with 11 laps remaining, emerging from the pit lane to a clear track both in front and behind. It was Rapax’s Simon Trummer who held the lead until the penultimate lap, with the Swiss driver leaving it until the last possible moment to make his compulsory stop in an attempt to clinch pole for Sunday's reverse grid race.

Despite quickly closing in, Bird made no attempt to pass with the result already sewn up. Once released by Trummer, the long-time Mercedes tester brought his car home safely to claim a fourth win of the season and kick-start his championship charge.

Much further down the road, Ericsson held off an advancing Rossi to take second, with Fabio Leimer and Tom Dillmann completing the top five. Julián Leal finished in sixth, ahead of Stéphane Richelmi and Calado. Robin Frijns led home Hilmer Motorsport team-mate Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to round out the top ten runners.

Coletti wound up down in 13th, unable to profit from Nasr’s retirement.

Sunday's Sprint Race in Belgium starts at 10.35am local time (GMT +2)

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 24 May 2016

  2. 16:34

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Video: Indy 500 qualifying highlights 15:12

    Video: Indy 500 qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, in which James Hinchcliffe claimed pole.

    Indy
  4. Allison hails Ferrari test progress 13:52

    Allison hails Ferrari test progress

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison reckons the team made solid progress with the handling of the SF16-H during the…

    F1
  5. Boullier: Monaco should suit McLaren 13:22

    Boullier: Monaco should suit McLaren

    Eric Boullier is confident that Monaco will suit McLaren's Honda-powered MP4-31 "more than other circuits", as the partnership…

    F1
  6. Video: Formula E dream driver line-ups 11:36

    Video: Formula E dream driver line-ups

    A selection of Formula E drivers reveal which motor racing stars they would love to go karting with.

    FE
  7. 'Negativity' hurts Sauber's investor search 11:02

    'Negativity' hurts Sauber's investor search

    Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes that the negativity surrounding Formula 1 is making it increasingly difficult to…

    F1
  8. Williams hopes for Monaco improvement 09:55

    Williams hopes for Monaco improvement

    Williams technical chief Pat Symonds hopes that the outfit can deliver an improved showing at this year's Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  9. Wolff: Mercedes must 'hit back hard' 09:06

    Wolff: Mercedes must 'hit back hard'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that Mercedes must "hit back hard" at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, following a double…

    F1
  10. Grosjean helmet pays tribute to Bianchi 08:50

    Grosjean helmet pays tribute to Bianchi

    Romain Grosjean will pay tribute to the late Jules Bianchi with a special helmet in Monaco. Grosjean's design features a…

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Indianapolis 500 preview 05:10

    Video of the Day: Indianapolis 500 preview

    A host of IndyCar drivers look ahead to this weekend's centenary edition of the prestigious Indianapolis 500.

    Indy
  12. Monday 23 May 2016

  13. Force India still looking to maintain fifth 15:22

    Force India still looking to maintain fifth

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says the outfit is still looking to maintain fifth position in the championship standings…

    F1
  14. Baz could miss Barcelona due to foot injury 14:50

    Baz could miss Barcelona due to foot injury

    Avintia rider Loris Baz could miss the upcoming MotoGP round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya due to the injuries which he…

    MotoGP
  15. Alonso: Monaco to test McLaren chassis 13:37

    Alonso: Monaco to test McLaren chassis

    Fernando Alonso expects to see where McLaren's chassis stands compared to its rivals at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, with…

    F1
  16. Hülkenberg sees Monaco as 'fresh start' 12:02

    Hülkenberg sees Monaco as 'fresh start'

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg says he is hoping to mark a "fresh start" at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, following…

    F1
  17. Mercedes drivers clear air after clash 11:38

    Mercedes drivers clear air after clash

    Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have held clear-the-air discussions following their dramatic first-lap clash…

    F1
  18. Nasr: Points would feel like a victory 11:12

    Nasr: Points would feel like a victory

    Felipe Nasr and Sauber have endured a challenging start to the 2016 season, amid a sub-standard package and financial woes.…

    F1
  19. Rossi: Mugello DNF 'weighs very heavily' 10:05

    Rossi: Mugello DNF 'weighs very heavily'

    Valentino Rossi says his exit from his home Grand Prix in Italy "weighs very heavily" after rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Marc…

    MotoGP
  20. Stroll opens lead with double Austria win 09:32

    Stroll opens lead with double Austria win

    Prema driver Lance Stroll extended his championship advantage in European Formula 3 with a double win at the Red Bull Ring, in a…

    F3
  21. Lorenzo lauds 'unexpected' Mugello victory 09:08

    Lorenzo lauds 'unexpected' Mugello victory

    Jorge Lorenzo hailed an "unexpected" victory at the Italian Grand Prix as he fractionally edged out Honda's Marc Márquez to…

    MotoGP
  22. Video of the Day: Button's Monaco preview 05:22

    Video of the Day: Button's Monaco preview

    McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button looks ahead to this weekend's Grand Prix on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

    F1
  23. Sunday 22 May 2016

  24. Resurgent Hinchcliffe wins Indy 500 pole 23:54

    Resurgent Hinchcliffe wins Indy 500 pole

    James Hinchcliffe completed a fairy tale comeback today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, capturing pole position for the…

    Indy
  25. Vaxivière survives treacherous conditions to win 15:53

    Vaxivière survives treacherous conditions to win

    Matthieu Vaxivière secured his first victory of the season as he mastered treacherous conditions in the second Formula V8 3.5…

    FV8 3.5
  26. Video: FE Berlin ePrix race highlights 15:24

    Video: FE Berlin ePrix race highlights

    Watch highlights of Formula E's visit to Berlin as Sébastien Buemi sets up a title showdown with Lucas di Grassi.

    FE
  27. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Mugello

    MotoGP
  28. Lorenzo beats Márquez in Mugello thriller 13:58

    Lorenzo beats Márquez in Mugello thriller

    Jorge Lorenzo beat Marc Márquez by just 0.019s during a thrilling climax to the Italian Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi retired…

    MotoGP
  29. Haryanto admits future at Manor unclear 11:45

    Haryanto admits future at Manor unclear

    Rio Haryanto has admitted that his future at Manor remains unclear, and cannot be certain that he will finish the current…

    F1
  30. Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 2 10:02

    Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 2

    It has been a decade since Lewis Hamilton's GP2 triumph. In the final part of a special reflection, GPUpdate.net speaks to those…

    F1
  31. Espargaró criticises Suzuki for lack of respect 09:22

    Espargaró criticises Suzuki for lack of respect

    Aleix Espargaró has criticised Suzuki for a lack of respect amid rider moves, as he chases a 2017 seat with the Japanese…

    MotoGP
  32. Video of the Day: Márquez hidden camera 05:36

    Video of the Day: Márquez hidden camera

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez surprises residents in Villamartín, Spain in this hidden camera video.

    MotoGP
  33. Hinchcliffe fastest on first day of 500 qualifying 01:37

    Hinchcliffe fastest on first day of 500 qualifying

    James Hinchcliffe topped the first of two days of IndyCar qualifying at the track where he nearly lost his life a year ago. A…

    Indy
  34. Saturday 21 May 2016

  35. 16:12

    Latest Formula E photos: Berlin ePrix

    FE
  36. Buemi wins to set up di Grassi title fight 16:10

    Buemi wins to set up di Grassi title fight

    Sébastien Buemi dominated proceedings at the Berlin ePrix to set up a last round showdown with Lucas di Grassi for the 2015/16…

    FE
  37. Ricciardo: Spain defeat still 'hard to take' 14:56

    Ricciardo: Spain defeat still 'hard to take'

    Daniel Ricciardo has admitted not winning the Spanish Grand Prix is still "hard to take", as he missed out on claiming his first…

    F1
  38. 14:04

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Mugello

    MotoGP
  39. Rossi beats Viñales to pole at Mugello 14:02

    Rossi beats Viñales to pole at Mugello

    Valentino Rossi will start his home race from pole position after topping a close qualifying session at the Italian Grand…

    MotoGP
  40. Orudzhev resists Dillmann for Spa victory 13:37

    Orudzhev resists Dillmann for Spa victory

    Egor Orudzhev held off Tom Dillmann to claim victory during a tense Formula V8 3.5 race at Spa-Francorchamps. Orudzhev took…

    FV8 3.5
  41. Video: Horror Formula 3 crash in Austria 12:08

    Video: Horror Formula 3 crash in Austria

    Peter Li is launched into a sickening aerial accident after striking the unsighted Ryan Tveter, in an incident which also…

    F3
  42. Rabat out due to broken collarbone 11:30

    Rabat out due to broken collarbone

    Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat has been ruled out of the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend after fracturing his left…

    MotoGP
  43. Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 1 10:02

    Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 1

    It has been a decade since Lewis Hamilton swept to the GP2 Series crown and secured a promotion to Formula 1 with McLaren.…

    F1
  44. Iannone stays ahead in third Mugello session 09:49

    Iannone stays ahead in third Mugello session

    Andrea Iannone stayed ahead during a tightly contested third practice session for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Ducati…

    MotoGP
more news