Robin Frijns wins GP2 Feature Race in Spain
Carlin duo Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer complete podium
By William Esler
Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:23pm
No matter where you looked during the race there was action, with positions changing by the corner - let alone the lap - right from the moment the lights went out.
Polesitter Marcus Ericsson made a good start to lead into Turn One and Stefano Colletti got the jump up to second.
Behind them, James Calado went for a gap that just wasn't there as the cars left the grid and made contact with Fabio Leimer. The Racing Engineering driver lost his front wing, whilst the contact forced the Briton out of the race.
At the end of the first lap, Jake Rosenzweig nearly ran Sergio Canamasas into the pit wall when the Spaniard tried to overtake - the Caterham driver being forced to bounce down the grass, narrowly missing the concrete.
On lap four, Nathanael Berthon had a big accident as he was launched into the air at Turn Ten. The Trident driver was fighting with Tom Dillmann and as he switched back to the outside line, he ran into the back of Canamasas and got airborne, nearly rolling the car as he landed.
Having built himself a comfortable advantage at the front, Ericsson's lead evaporated during the pit-stops when his front jack-man failed to get out of the way quickly enough, delaying the DAMS driver's departure. Worse was to follow for the Swede, however, as he made contact with Sam Bird when the lead pack caught slower traffic at the final chicane and was forced out of the race.
Most of the field had pitted by the mid-point of the race, with Johnny Cecotto and Dillmann the exceptions - they had both started on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds. The RUSSIAN TIME driver made his mandatory stop on lap 19 and re-joined in 13th place, albeit with much fresher tyres than those ahead of him.
It wasn't long before the Frenchman caught Stephane Richelmi, but as Dillmann tried to pass him on the outside of turn four, he was spun by the DAMS driver into the gravel. Both drivers continued, but the Monegasque man was handed a drive-through penalty by the stewards.
Felipe Nasr came alive with five laps to go, first passing Bird for third at Turn Five, before getting past his team-mate Jolyon Palmer for second a lap later. However, there was nothing he could do to close the gap to Frijns upfront.
The battle between the Carlin team-mates had allowed Bird to get a run at Palmer, and as the RUSSIAN TIME driver tried to go around the outside of his compatriot at Turn Four, he was forced wide onto the astroturf and spun out of the race. The incident is being investigated by the race stewards.
Taking advantage of Bird's misfortune was another Brit, series returnee Jon Lancaster, who moved up to fourth in the second Hilmer car.
Behind the Yorkshireman, Dillmann was flying on his fresh rubber and he went around the outside of Coletti for fifth with a brave move at Turn Three with three laps to go. He repeated the move a lap later to go ahead of Lancaster, but it was not to be third time lucky when he tried the same move on Palmer. The RUSSIAN TIME driver got horrible understeer and ran wide, falling behind Lancaster and Coletti.
GP2 Spain Feature Race Results
1) Robin Frijns (NDL) - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:00:38.896
2) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin - +3.316
3) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - Carlin - +12.290
4) Jon Lancaster (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - +12.609
5) Stefano Coletti (MON) - Rapax - +13.329
6) Tom Dillmann (FRA) - RUSSIAN TIME - +14.325
7) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham - +17.160
8) Kevin Ceccon (ITA) - Trident - +17.504
9) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - Arden - +24.013
10) Rio Haryanto (INA) - Barwa Addax - +32.024
17) Adrain Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - MP Motorsport - +54.532
21) Sam Bird (GBR) - RUSSIAN TIME - +4 laps
James Calado (GBR) - ART GP - Not Classified