Arthur Pic clinched his maiden victory in another thrilling GP2 race in Hungary
Quaife-Hobbs & Izawa come from 22nd and 26th to completed podium
By William Esler
Last Updated: 26/07/14 9:26pm
Arthur Pic clinched his maiden GP2 victory after the series served up another spectacular race at the Hungaroring.
The Frenchman had started from third on the grid, but despite having the advantage of the soft tyres, slipped to sixth in the opening laps as Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer – who had made a great getaway from sixth – stormed into an early lead of over 16 seconds from third placed Tom Dillmann.
However, when the Safety Car was deployed following contact between Stephane Richelmi and Pic’s team-mate Kimiya Sato, Campos stopped him early for his mandatory stop. That proved to be a masterstroke as at the front Nasr was unable to open up enough of a gap and the Frenchman found himself at the head of the pack once the leaders had made their stops.
Stefano Coletti was another to make an early stop work for him as he charged from 15th on the grid to second at the flag which would have been enough to move up to third in the Drivers’ Championship. The Monegasque driver would lose that second place in the Stewards’ room, however, when they decided he had forced Julian Leal off the track after not leaving enough room at Turn 12 early in the race. Coletti was handed a 20-second penalty which relegated him to 18th place.
That promoted Adrian Quaife-Hobbs – who came from even further back having started 22nd – to second spot as Rapax picked up their first piece of silverware since the opening weekend in Bahrain.
As if that wasn’t incredible enough, Honda protégé Takuya Izawa, who had started last, finished fourth after holding of a charging Palmer on the final lap following the second Safety Car of the race. That became third following Coletti's penalty, hading the Japanese driver his maiden GP2 podium.
That caution period was caused by Nathanael Berthon who ran Sergio Canamasas off the track between turns one and two and the Spaniard hit the wall on the outside of the circuit with great force.
The long delay whilst the 26-year-old was treated by medical staff and the debris was cleared robbed the fans of the opportunity to see Palmer and Nasr fighting back through the field on their newer, softer rubber. Given how edge of the seat their wheel-to-wheel battle had been up until that point it had the potential to be a thrilling duel.
The Briton will perhaps rue sitting behind his former team-mate during the opening stint when it was clear he had the faster car, but can take consolation from the fact that he extended his championship lead after putting Daniel Abt between himself and Nasr at the chequered flag.
Raffaele Marciello crossed the line to eighth to take reverse grid pole, but he would be relegated to 19th after a 20-second penalty when the Stewards decided he had passed Stoffel Vandoorne behind the Safety Car. The penalty was the Ferrari protégé's second of the race having already been handed a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane and detracted from what had been a remarkable recovery drive when he could have easily been challenging for a podium.
Rio Haryanto was also unlucky to miss out on a podium finish when he retired from second place behind the final Safety Car when his left-rear wheel came off his Caterham. Bizarrely it was 18 laps after his stop, suggesting it was a failure rather than an incorrectly fitted tyre.
The penalties for Coletti and Marciello promoted Tom Dillmann and Marco Sorensen to the points, whilst Nathanael Berthon will now start from reverse grid pole.
Sunday’s action gets underway at 9:35am and you can see all the action live on Sky Sports F1.
GP2 Feature Race – Hungary
1) Arthur Pic (FRA) – Campos Racing – 1:00.18.627
2) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) – Rapax - +3.151
3) Takuya Izawa (JPN) – ART Grand Prix - +3.661
4) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) – DAMS - +3.828
5) Daniel Abt (GER) – Hilmer Motorsport - +5.111
6) Felipe Nasr (BRA) – Carlin - +5.190
7) Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) – ART Grand Prix - +6.213
8) Nathanael Berthon (FRA) – Lazarus - +7.038
9) Tom Dillmann (FRA) - Caterham - +7.605
10) Marco Sorensen (DEN) - MP Motorsport - +8.102
17) Jon Lancaster (GBR) – Hilmer Motorsport - +16.066
18) Stefano Coletti (MON) – Racing Engineering - +2.787 * 20-second penalty - +22.787
19) Raffaele Marciello (ITA) – Racing Engineering - +5.954 * 20-second penalty - +25.954
Johnny Cecotto (VEN) – Trident – DNF
1) Jolyon Palmer – 180
2) Felipe Nasr – 141
3) Johnny Cecotto – 100
4) Stefano Coletti – 96
5) Mitch Evans - 92