Gutierrez wins teammate’s race

“The future is so bright I need some shades.” Man from Monterrey Esteban Gutierrez takes GP2 victory in Valencia and is now third in the championship. He was 2008 Formula BMW Europe Champion and won the first GP3 Championship in 2010.

Mexican talent and Sauber F1 reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez, took victory on the streets of Valencia in Saturday’s GP2 feature race. His second victory since joining the official F1 feeder series. His maiden win came last year at the same venue.

Marcus Ericsson was second only 1.615s behind race winner. The Swede is managed by former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack.

Brazilian Luiz Razia, winner of the season opener in Malaysia, was third man on the podium and is now only 20 points behind championship leader, Italian Davide Valsecchi who was 8th and starts Sunday’s sprint race from pole.

King Calado. James Calado is the official ‘cage rattler’ of the season and was the moral winner at Valencia. The English driver started from pole position and was never challenged. He enjoyed a 15s lead at one time but stayed out while most of the drivers made their mandatory pit stop for tire change.

The strategy would sink his hopes for a win when the safety car was deployed after French driver Tom Dilman lost his rear wing. Two other safety car periods would follow.

Calado made his pit stop as the safety car was deployed for the final time. He would be classified 9th.

Swiss driver Fabio Leimer was fourth; Indonesian Rio Haryanto completed the top five.

Brazilian rookie Felipe Nasr started from the front row but retired on lap 18.

Doing a Pantano. Italian Davide Valsecchi is looking to follow in the racing-steps of his compatriot Giorgio Pantano and win the GP2 Championship in year four.

Standings. The season has been a two horse race since Sepang. Valsecchi leads with 145 points over Razia on 125 points. Gutierrez has jumped into the top three following his victory with 87 points.

Two points behind are two drivers, Dutchman Giedo van der Garde and Englishman Max Chilton.

Calado is the top rookie with 81 points. Leimer and Ericsson are both in their third season of GP2, and are seventh and eighth in the championship with 53 and 52 points respectively.

The teams’ championship is led by the French team DAMS (Valsecchi/Nasr) with 173 points. Lotus GP (Calado/Gutierrez) is second on 168 points.

Christian Horner-owned Arden International (Razia/Trummer) is third with 126 points.


— Nasir Hameed

Photo. GP2 Media