23 July 2005
Hockenheim 2005: Rosberg's home roast.
Just as he did at Magny-Cours and Silverstone, Nico Rosberg left his rivals far behind as he cruised to a third GP2 Series victory in as many meetings.
The German stepped up his title challenge to Heikki Kovalainen by adding to the two points he secured for pole position on Friday with a full haul of ten more on race day, pulling away from the opposition and finally enjoying a 15-second margin over ART Grand Prix team-mate Alex Premat at the end of 40 laps.
Rosberg made no mistake when the lights went out, and was already clear at the front when the usual Hockenheim mayhem broke out in the pack.
Adam Carroll was one of the first to suffer, pitting before the race even began, and the Irishman was not long for the race, his Super Nova entry so sick that retirement was the only option.
The rest of the field appeared to get round turns one and two without any heavy contact but, at the hairpin, contact between Fairuz Fauzy and Ferdinando Monfardini ahead of him, plus the rapid arrival of Alex Negrao, accounted for the Brazilian, as well as leaving the DAMS entry with a loose rear wing, something that caused Fauzy to rotate again not long afterwards, although he waited for the pit window to open before stopping for attention.
Further up the order, contact was avoided, but the close nature of competition ensured that there were winners and losers all the same. As is so often the case, those on a roll benefit most, with Kovalainen muscling his way up the order from row five, and forcing both Ernesto Viso and BCN team-mate Hiroki Yoshimoto to take avoiding action. Viso, from sixth, had made a solid getaway, but now found himself scrapping to remain in the point-scoring places along with Giorgio Pantano and Neel Jani.
Rosberg continued to set out his stall from the off, his pace on lap two being good enough complete a full haul of points with a brace of bonuses to add to those for pole. Kovalainen, on the other hand, opted for an early pit-stop in case the safety car was deployed to clear Negrao's machine and he could benefit to boost himself up the order against renewed opposition.
The leader was being eagerly pursued by front row qualifier Scott Speed, with Premat not far away in third. Silverstone winner Olivier Pla had also made a good getaway to hold on to his fourth spot, but was demoted a couple of places in the following few laps and pitted for new tyres before the damage got any worse.
By lap three, Rosberg had opened out a second a lap advantage, and continued to pull away over the remaining 37 tours. The German made his mandatory pit-call on lap twelve, four after Premat, allowing Speed into a temporary lead, but had enough in hand to overhaul the American when iSport finally opted to complete its tyre change.
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