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Valsecchi wins, puts one hand on the title

Razia was able to make modest gains during the race and picked up ten positions over the 21 laps, but he was never looking likely to get into the points and ended up in a lowly 16th place by the time the chequered flag came out. Nasr wasn't able to even achieve that, and ended up in 21st as the last but one of the cars to finish.

The surprise final man on track was Saturday's winner Luca Filippi: his dream comeback to Coloni ended with a bumpy return to reality on Sunday when a first lap coming together with Esteban Gutiérrez left him with damage to his front wing, leaving him with seriously compromised braking into the fast Monza corners. Filippi tried toughing it out and stayed on track but eventually had no option but to pit at the end of lap 6 for a replacement, which left him resolutely running at the back for the remainder of the race nearly a full lap down from the leaders.

Given the stranglehold that Valsecchi now seems to have in the drivers' title fight, the fiercest fight in Singapore will likely be on the team front. Valsecchi's strong showing at Monza had the side-effect of pushing DAMS ahead of Lotus GP in the teams championship, albeit by a slender 2pts in the standings. That's because Lotus had a shocker of a time in Italy this week, with neither Esteban Gutiérrez nor James Calado finishing in the points in either race.

On Sunday, Gutiérrez started with contact with Johnny Cecotto Jr. as he tried to avoid hitting Max Chilton. The Lotus car survived and Gutiérrez was able to continue to battle through the opening lap, before his race ended prematurely on lap 2 when he damaged his front wing pulling out of the slipstream in an overtaking move on Giedo van der Garde. He instantly paid for the lack of front downforce by sailing off into the gravel trap at Parabolica. By contrast, Calado had another anonymous race even finishing behind Venezuela GP Lazarus' newcomer René Binder who ended up in 13th place. It seemed that the Lotus team had never really managed to get to grips with the high downforce setup needed for Monza, and thereby ending any hopes their drivers might have had of a late charge for the drivers' title.

Two further retirements had come seconds before Gutiérrez's exit. In a scary incident at the start of lap 2, Fabio Onidi came in way too hot into the first chicane, locked up his brakes and slewed to the right which sent him flying out of control into the back of Nigel Melker, whose Ocean car was innocently making the corner up ahead. Melker's team mate Victor Guerin joined them watching from the sidelines after also becoming the victim of collision damage on the same lap.

All of them will be hoping for better fortunes in the final race weekend of the 2012 GP2 Series season at Singapore in a fortnight, when all the titles will be decided and those out of the running in the championship will have their last chance to end their year in glory with a podium finish or two.

And even though Valsecchi looks odds on for the drivers' championship, it's worth remembering that coming into Monza he'd been dead level with Razia, and that the current 25pt gap between them had opened up in a single weekend. Any gap that can open up that quickly can also get turned around in just the same short order: Valsecchi can't and won't be taking anything for granted.

Full sprint race results available.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his victory in the Monza sprint race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his Monza sprint race victory on the podium with Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his victory in the Monza sprint race on the podium. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his victory in the Monza sprint race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Artem Markelov (RUS, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) battle for the lead at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 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.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) during practice at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), takes the flag to win at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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Dylan - Unregistered

September 10, 2012 2:59 AM

Who didn't see this coming?! I was saying since Spa something strange was going to stop Razia from becoming the champion. Razia was taken out in Spa and nothing happened GP2 Series didn't even bother to show the replay of championship leader been thrown into the wall. Same thing happened at Monza where Razia was penalized for being hit wtf! Clearly "they" don't want to see Razia as 2012 champion and are trying everything to give the title to Valsechi. Seems like "they" had it their way! Clearly some drivers were approached and asked to not let Razia overtake them if he tried to made sure to hit him!

Sidthekid

September 11, 2012 3:44 PM

@ Dylan Wow, now there's a rant based on pure speculation. Forgive me, but may I ask why you think drivers were approached to specifically take out Razia and risk life and limb to hand Valsecchi the title, and why you think those drivers would agree? I thought GP2 was a all about great racing provided by young, up and coming talent? I didn't realise I was watching a conspiracy every weekend.



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