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Perez wins Monaco feature

Sergio Perez claimed a hard-fought victory in the GP2 Series' feature race on the streets of Monaco.

Sergio Perez wrote himself into the Monaco history books by bouncing back from his Barcelona frustration and claiming victory in Friday morning's GP2 Series feature race.

The Mexican defied strong pressure from double Monaco victor Pastor Maldonado as well as the threat of a race-changing safety car period to stand on the top step of the podium, where he and Maldonado were joined by polesitter Dani Clos.

Unlike Perez in Spain, the race wasn't won and lost in the pits, as the Mexican's success was set up at the start when a slow getaway by Clos allowed the Barwa Addax driver to lead the pack from the front row, running through Ste Devote just ahead of Maldonado, Clos and Alberto Valerio, while chaos reigned behind them.

While Fabio Leimer stalled on the grid, causing a bottleneck at Ste Devote, Ocean Racing Technology team-mate Max Chilton flew dramatically over the side of Davide Valsecchi's slowed car as the back of the field tried to shake itself out as best it could. Valsecchi was able to return to the pits without his rear wing, but Chilton's day, as well as that of Adrian Zaugg, was over early.

Meanwhile, at the front, Perez was flying, putting together a string of fastest laps as he built a big lead over Maldonado, who always has plenty of pace to spare in the Principality, while Clos pushed his hardest to make up for his start-line dramas. Valerio was holding the ART pairing of Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird behind him, preventing perhaps the biggest threat to the top three from materialising.

Clos was the first of the leaders to pit, on lap 14, with what looked to be fortuitous timing when Ho-Pin Tung bobbled over the kerb at the chicane one lap later and found his way heavily into the barriers, prompting a safety car. Perez and Maldonado were straight into the pits and just managed to get out ahead of the pack, ending up with a big gap as the rest of the pack - with the exception of Giacomo Ricci - took the opportunity to pit.

Once the field had been packed up, the safety car withdrew, and Maldonado pushed with all his might, both at the restart and throughout the second half of the race, but Perez was equal to the task, driving a perfect line lap after lap as he held on for the biggest win of his career. Clos, meanwhile, underlined the good timing of his pole lap by being unable to hang on to the top two, but run comfortably ahead of the remainder of the field.

Bianchi leapfrogged Valerio at the pit-stops, but ART team-mate Bird again ran into misfortune as a wheelgun failure at his pit-stop cost precious time and positions. Up into sixth came Giedo van der Garde, who made a smart early stop and looked after his tyres to move up from eleventh on the grid. The Dutchman came home just ahead of Luiz Razia and Jerome d'Ambrosio's fierce battle for the final points, with the Belgian benefiting from Ricci's need to make a green flag stop after his gamble on a second safety car failed.



Related Pictures

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Sergio Perez - Barwa Addax
Facu Regalia (ARG, Barwa Addax Team) during the third and final day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Thursday November 7, 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Facu Regalia (ARG, Barwa Addax Team) during the third and final day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Thursday November 7, 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
The safety car leads Jolyon Palmer and Alexander Rossi following an accident on the first lap of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) is pushed off after stalling on the grid at the start of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
2013 GP2 Championship. Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 2nd November 2013. Saturday Race. Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium with Jolyon Palmer (GBR, Carlin) and Marcus Ericsson (SWE, Dams) following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Rossi (USA, Caterham Racing) celebrates his maiden GP2 victory on the podium following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) celebrates becoming the 2013 GP2 Champion following the conclusion of the feature race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, November 2 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)

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