Nelson Piquet completed the first perfect weekend in GP2 Series history by claiming a maximum seven points from race two in Hungary to further close the gap on title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Despite starting from eighth on the grid, the Brazilian took full advantage of an early morning downpour over Budapest, and three laps behind the safety car to allow all 26 drivers to get used to the conditions, to pick up early places before clearing off into the distance as he had on Saturday.

Poleman courtesy of his eighth place finish in the feature race, Jose Maria Lopez led through the pace car phase, but was the first man to arrive in the tricky at race pace and promptly spun off between turns three and four while under pressure from Adam Carroll. Unlike Saturday, there was no contact between the pair, but Carroll had to swerve sharply to avoid the rotating Super Nova machine.

The Briton already enjoyed a sizeable advantage over the chasing pack after Alex Premat ran wide at turn one and forced a reaction as his pursuers looked to see which way he would come out, and ended the first racing lap in front, despite a moment of his own towards the end. The gap back to second spot grew again next time round as Alex Negrao found that he had no grip under braking for turn one and skated into the tyres, thankfully taking no-one with him.

That allowed Premat into second, the Frenchman having been unaffected by his own moment a lap earlier, while ART team-mate - and current points leader - Lewis Hamilton held fourth after also running wide, this time in Negrao's wake. Between them lay Piquet, and the Brazilian wasted little time in making the most of a tentative Premat to claim second.

That quickly became the lead after Carroll hit standing water on the return straight, burying the front of the Racing Engineering car into the barriers and losing its front wing. The Briton rejoined, and tried to continue without the aero device for a couple of laps, before eventually giving in to the inevitable and pitting, losing a lap.

Piquet now led the ART duo, with Hamilton homing in on Premat in an effort to limit the Brazilian's gain, while Ernesto Viso slipped into a now familiar fourth place, having survived a first lap brush with iSport team-mate Timo Glock at turn three. The German dropped down the order as a result, and held eighth place at the end of lap seven, behind Ferdinando Monfardini and Lucas di Grassi. He swapped places twice with the Brazilian on lap eight, before the pair caught Monfardini a couple of laps later, di Grassi putting the Italian between himself and his aggressor and taking fifth place into the bargain on what appeared to be a decent run for the Durango car.

Sadly, it all came to nought when he was caught out by the conditions at turn four, pirouetting into the barriers just as Glock forced his way past Monfardini behind, gaining two places for the price of one and setting off after team-mate and rival Viso.

Further up the field, Piquet was already checking out, confident enough in the handling of his car to catch power slides as he pulled away. Hamilton, however, wasn't about to allow his rival too many free points and took advantage of another Premat moment to take second. The gap was already too great for the Briton to consider reeling Piquet in given the conditions, and the Brazilian discouraged any thoughts in that direction by adding his name to the fastest lap bonus point as the rain eased slightly.

Carroll finally gave up the unequal struggle on lap 13, team and driver deciding that battling the odds wasn't worth the risk as he was a lap down on the rest of the field and, almost as soon as he had climbed from the cockpit, the rain returned to add extra spice to the closing laps.

By now, the race was in danger of running beyond its allotted slot and the planned 28 laps were abandoned in favour of a timed chequer. With Piquet some 13 seconds up the road from Hamilton, only an error was likely to determine the outcome of the race, and the Briton already appeared to have reined himself in in order not to make the sort of mistake that led to a back of the grid start, and no points, in the feature.

That left the main focus of attention on the battle for the final podium spot, with Premat clearly struggling to cope with the conditions. Viso was taking almost a second a lap out of the Frenchman, but it was Glock who was really on the move taking more than that out of his team-mate to make it a three-way scrap. While Viso could only get to within a second of Premat, Glock quickly closed onto the rear of the Venezuelan, eventually convincing himself to take another shot at passing his team-mate at turn three.

In a repeat of their opening lap wheel-banging, the German appeared to have got through, only to slither wide on exit and hand the advantage back to Viso, who had had to brake to avoid the errant machine mid-corner. Once again, however, Glock threw caution to the wind in an effort to regain the place and, by the last lap, had closed right back onto Viso's tail. The Venezuelan was, in turn, right with Premat - who had persisted in putting two wheels off the driest line - setting up a thrilling run to the flag. In the end, however, the order remained unchanged, with Premat just hanging onto a rare podium finish, with the two iSport cars squabbling right to the line, Viso just prevailing in yet another fourth place.

The final point went the way of Ferdinando Monfardini, who had climbed from eleventh on the grid, while seventh went to Adrian Valles, who started 17th. Gianmaria Bruni took advantage of a late slip by Trident team-mate Andreas Zuber to claim eighth, but with only the top six scoring, it wasn't enough for Premat, Glock and Viso to inch further away in the standings.

At the top of the points table, however, the gap between first and second closed by another couple of points, with Piquet becoming only the third driver in series history to claim both races on a weekend - after Nico Rosberg and Hamilton - and the first to complete a sweep of the points. Twelve markers now divide him from Hamilton with four races - in Turkey and Italy - remaining on the schedule.

 

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