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Coletti wins sprint, Bird back on podium

With the battle for the lead resolved, attention turned to the fight between Luiz Razia and Sam Bird for fifth place. AirAsia had an almost identical situation to Racing Engineering: fast initial pace but no durability. As Razia started to slither all over the track, Bird picked his time and passed him with ease on the run down to turn 12 on lap 9; behind them, Bird's team mate Ericsson picked off Razia's team mate Valsecchi just a few minutes later, the Italian subsequently running wide through turn 8 with his deteriorating handling and losing more positions.

With eight laps to go, Bird had closed right up on the back of Charles Pic and looked determined to get past the French driver for third, for his second podium position of the weekend. It was a fast and furious battle - literally nose to tail and wheel to wheel - but Pic just had enough to keep Bird at bay as the laps clicked down.

And then the final laps of the race were marred by a nasty crash between Davide Rigon and Julian Leal down the start/finish straight with five laps remaining: the two had been battling out of the first corner and then tried to go double file down the straight itself. Both drivers were trying to outthink the other as to whether to take the inside or outside line, and as they jockeyed for position Leal clipped the back of Rigon's Coloni and send him into a hard sideways impact with the pit lane wall.

Leal escaped with a sideways skid but no hard impact; Rigon, on the other hand, rebounded from his hit to slide across the track and settle on the grass verge on the outside. Although he stood up in the cockpit immediately afterwards, he was gesturing for support and the medical team was scrambled and needed to spend several minutes with him, as it became clear that a part of the car's suspension had penetrated the driver safety cell and injured Rigon's foot and ankle. Rigon was dispatched to hospital for immediate surgery, with fears that multiple fractures might put him out for much of the summer racing season.

With the work to clear up the debris on the main straight, the the first and only safety car of the race was deployed for four laps and when it came in, there was just one lap to go before the chequered flag. It was no procession to the flag as far as Sam Bird was concerned. At the restart, he was hit from behind even before the start/finish line from an oddly dopey Marcus Ericsson - his own iSport team mate - that threatened to end in disaster for both drivers. Ericsson ran wide and struggled with a broken front win as he dropped out of the points to eighth, but Bird was able to shake this encounter off and keep his sights on Charles Pic ahead, finally pulling off the pass with a will-not-be-denied move down the backstraight to claim third.

Bianchi and Grosjean continued to try and come back from their first lap collision, and benefited greatly in the closing laps from the misfortunes of those teams suffering serious tyre wear like AirAsia and Racing Engineering: Bianchi narrowly missed getting back into the points and finished seventh, while Grosjean ended the race in tenth.

Rodolfo Gonzalez and Johnny Cecotto Jr. both received drive-thru penalties for jump starts, but neither were in contention for a top ten finish. On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Herck appeared to stall in his grid slot and was lucky not to be collected from behind by Valsecchi at the start, but eventually got underway and finished a creditable 12th.

Full race results are also available.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
2011 GP2 Series. Round 1. Istanbul Park, Istanbul Turkey. 8th May. Sunday Race. Stefano Coletti (MON, Trident Racing) celebrates his victory on the podium. [Picture credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR, Rapax) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Friday 25 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) elebrate at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at the Hungaroring, Hungary 2014 GP3 Series Round 5. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) wins at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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