GP2 »

Nurburgring 2005: Hot stuff Heikki wins from 17th!

Heikki Kovalainen shrugged off a 14-place qualifying penalty to show the GP2 field exactly why he was installed as pre-season favourite at the Nurburgring.

The Finn again used an early pit-stop strategy to help give him a run on the field, which had already been decimated by a string of start-line stalls and then a five-car pile-up instigated by Borja Garcia at turn one.

Kovalainen's ploy allowed him to rise to the front of the field, easing ahead of early leader Giorgio Pantano as the Italian made his stop. The pair then romped away from the remaining runners, with Nico Rosberg also belying his own 14-place penalty to take a comfortable third place.

Rosberg's ART Grand Prix team-mat, Alex Premat, eventually claimed fourth place, but not before he had been involved in a frantic battle that could have seen him take any position between fourth and eighth. A last lap pass on Nelson Piquet Jr eventually secured fourth for the Frenchman, with Neel Jani holding off the equally rapid Clivio Piccione for sixth.

Gianmaria Bruni had run second to Pantano for a long time at the start of the race, but eventually found his tyres going off and slid back through the field to take a lonely eighth place at the flag.

The race began in almost farcical circumstances, with the luckless Hiroki Yoshimoto again the victim of gremlins before the warm-up lap. That was only the beginning, however, as BCN team-mate Ernesto Viso and Arden's Nicolas Lapierre then stalled at the first attempt to start the race, prompting another formation lap while the two stricken cars were removed to the pits. Even then, the pantomime wasn't over, however, with Ryan Sharp and Scott Speed spotted waving their arms at the second start.

Another warm-up lap around the scorching 'Ring later, the race finally got underway, although Rosberg and Can Artam both made slow getaways, the German dropping to the back of the field as his ART Dallara crawled off the line.

Apparently undistracted by the goings-on behind him, Pantano made a good start, fending off Bruni into the first corner, as Jani attempted to find a way past fellow second row starter Jose Maria Lopez. Further back, however, Jani's team-mate, Borja Garcia, was about to try a kamikaze move down the inside, eventually accounting for four drivers other than himself in an incident that brought out the safety car and delayed racing proper until what should have been roughly the fifth lap.

Eliminated in the Garcia-inspired melee was Monaco race winner Adam Carroll, the Irishman the unwitting brake for the Spaniard's car, while Olivier Pla, Alex Negrao and Ferdinando Monfardini all became involved, the Italian ending up perched on top of his Brazilian rival.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Reflected glory.... Race winner Heikki Kovalainen celebrates at the Nurburgring
Ferdinando Monfardini takes off during the first corner accident at the Nurburgring, while Ryan Sharp (right) avoids getting involved
Neel Jani leads Jose Maria Lopez and Nelson Piquet Jr at the Nurburgring
Gustav Malja F2 2017
Nobuharu Matsushita - ART Grand Prix [credit: Formula 2]
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, F2, Formula 2, Bahrain
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Artem Markelov, F2, Bahrain
Artem Markelov
Norman Nato, Bahrain F2 2017, Formula 2
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, Formula 2, 2017
Nabil Jeffri, Team Trident [Credit: Team Trident]
Alexander Albon - ART Grand Prix [GP2 Series]
Gustav Malja - Racing Engineering [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Alex Lynn - DAMS

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.