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Bianchi takes first GP2 Asia victory over Grosjean

Overall the new GP2/11 Dallara chassis performed extremely well for a brand new piece of equipment, although Esteban Gutierrez retired his Lotus ART in the pits after 18 laps, and Oliver Turvey's Ocean Racing car found itself stuck in gear in the final laps which meant he crawled round and dropped off the lead lap.

Otherwise it was a disappointing race in terms of overtaking, the shorter configuration circuit at Abu Dhabi not offering sufficient long straights to allow the cars to get a real advantage over their rivals. Turvey and Sam Bird had early success overtaking Nathanael Berthon, and Marcus Ericsson pulled off a successful move on a strangely acquiescent van der Garde on the final lap to steal fourth place, but other overtaking moves ended in frustration: Michael Herck was involved in two incidents that saw other drivers (Johnny Cecotto Jr and Jolyon Palmer) tipped into spins, while Fairuz Fauzy ended up punting Julian Leal off the track on lap 19 in a contact that left his own Super Nova Racing car limping to retirement by the side of the track shortly afterwards.

In a final lap attempt to steal eighth place from Stefano Coletti - which would put him on pole position for the sprint race under the reverse grid system - Max Chilton made a strong push in one of the final corners only to find that the Trident driver had the line covered: Chilton was forced completely off the track and cut the chicane to avoid contact, and in doing so popped up in front of Coletti after all. Chilton was duly credited with eighth on the timesheets, but there was little prospect that he would be allowed to keep it once the stewards got to work and reviewed the move: he was handed a 20s penalty which dropped him to 12th place and handed the sprint race pole back to Coletti.

At the chequered flag, Bianchi had done more than enough to keep Grosjean under control and indeed in the final laps had put in a burst of speed to claim the bonus for fastest lap, just to show that things weren't as close as they looked on track and that he was driving well within himself the entire time.



Related Pictures

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Friday Practice 2, Jules Bianchi (FRA), Test driver Ferrari
Charles Leclerc, ART Grand Prix, GP3 [Credit: XPB]
Charles Leclerc - ART   [pic credit: GP3 Media]
Charles Leclerc - ART Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc, ART Grand Prix, GP3 [Credit: XPB]
2015 GP3 Series Test 4. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 4 December 2015. Charles Leclerc (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 4. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 4 December 2015. Charles Leclerc (FRA, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 4. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Wednesday 2 December 2015. Charles Leclerc (MON, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 4. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 4 December 2015. Charles Leclerc (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Test 4. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Wednesday 2 December 2015. Charles Leclerc (MON, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 9. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) battle for position at the start Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 9. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 10 October 2015. Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) leads Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing), Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), and the rest of the field at the start.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo di Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), leads home Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at the finish. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates on the podium with Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates on the podium with Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Matt Parry - Koiranen GP   [pic credit: GP3 Media Service]
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS), leads Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing), and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service

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