Photo : gp2media
Vietoris wins as Grosjean seals the 2011 GP2 Series title
Racing Engineering driver sails to Spa win. Dams driver crowned Champion
It’s a beautiful day in Spa for Christian Vietoris and Romain Grosjean: the German racer drove flawlessly in tricky conditions to take his first win of the season while the Frenchman clinched the seventh GP2 SeriesTM title after he finished third in today’s feature race. Jules Bianchi finished second.
The track was dry at the start of the race today in Spa, and Vietoris got away perfectly from pole position. The German then kept the lead, building a two second gap between him and his closest rival Bianchi who had passed Luca Filippi at the start. Further down, Grosjean made a blazing start from seventh to take third place. With the news of title rival Giedo van der Garde being pushed off track at Turn 1 and him rejoining last, Grosjean’s road to glory looked wide open from then on.
The weather forecast announced some rain to come and the teams chose to stay out on track as long as possible until the heavens opened. On lap 13, as the first raindrops fell from the sky, some of the drivers from the back of the field re-entered the pits to switch to wet weather tyres, and a lap later, everyone else pitted as well. The Top ten rejoined the track in the same order, and it was then that the safety car came out after Julian Leal spun and stopped at the top of Eau Rouge.
More drama happened a few seconds later when Stefano Coletti collided with a very slow Mikhail Aleshin. The safety car stayed on track in order for the Trident racer to receive medical attention. When the track was finally clear, eight laps had passed and the safety car came in for the final lap. Vietoris made a clean re-start and kept the lead from Bianchi and Grosjean.
The fight for eighth place however was intense with Johnny Cecotto Jr putting huge pressure on Fairuz Fauzy and eventually passed him. But the Ocean Racing driver slowed down unexpectedly in the last corner which handed Fauzy back tomorrow’s reverse pole position.
And so, at the chequered flag, Vietoris pocketed his first win of the season ahead of Bianchi, but all eyes were turned on the Dams driver. Romain Grosjean becomes GP2 SeriesTM seventh Champion after Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock, Giorgio Pantano, Nico Hülkenberg and Pastor Maldonado.