Carlin’s GP2 Series team have taken back the lead of the Team’s Championship this morning following a strong fourth position finish from Felipe Nasr. Starting ninth on the grid Nasr maintained his tyres well and was chasing hard for a podium position however the quick Brazilian took the flag in fourth ensuring he came away with more valuable points. A difficult race for Jolyon Palmer yesterday meant that another day of hard overtaking ensued. Battling up from 24th the British racer came home to finish in 11th.
Another fine day of racing greeted the GP2 drivers this morning as the team looked to take the lead back in the Championship. As the lights went out, marking the start of the Sprint Race, Nasr had moved his Carlin car up to fifth position before being pushed wide and falling back to eighth; while Palmer was already up to 20th by the end of the first lap.
Palmer’s progress would continue as he gained places to those around; up to 16th over the next few laps his race then became a steadier affair as the pace settled and the difficulties of overtaking around this track became apparent.
However contact between Daniel De Jong and Stephane Richelmi, leaving the latters’ car stranded on track and facing the wrong way, brought out a safety car; neutralising the field. At the restart both Nasr and Palmer held their positions however this gave Nasr the opportunity to begin to apply pressure on Sam Bird just ahead – with both drivers also making their way past Johnny Cecotto. Meanwhile Palmer was still battling hard for position in the mid-field.
Continuing to put heavy pressure on Bird ahead, and helped by a slow Marcus Ericsson, Nasr was fighting hard and would soon make his way through and up to fifth. Taking no time at all, Nasr then snatched position from Ericsson in the next lap.
Palmer’s campaign was then helped slightly by incidents around him and the British driver came home just outside the top ten in 11th – once again showing his aptitude for gaining positions. With Nasr coming home to take points for fourth position, Carlin retake the lead in the Team’s Championship holding four points over second placed Russian Time.
Reflecting on his race Nasr said, ‘It’s good to get the points and to know that the car is on the pace. I had a good start and was up to fifth but was pushed off track and ended up eighth. But we had the pace in the car to fight for position which was nice. The points for fourth mean we keep the championship open and we will continue to fight in Budapest next time out.’
Photo by Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.