Home Formula 2 Coletti holds on under pressure from Nasr to win Malaysia sprint

Coletti holds on under pressure from Nasr to win Malaysia sprint

by Peter Allen

Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service

Stefano Coletti ended the first weekend of the 2013 GP2 season with a win in the sprint race at Sepang, holding on under late pressure from Felipe Nasr.

Coletti, who finished third in the feature race after claiming pole on Friday, took the lead from the fast-starting Julian Leal through turns one and two.

The Rapax driver held the lead until the chequered flag despite Nasr closing to within 0.4 seconds by the start of the 22nd and final lap.

Nasr had dispatched of Coletti?s fellow Monegasque driver and polesitter Stephane Richelmi on lap two, and Richelmi later lost a podium spot when he outbraked himself at the final turn. The man who capitalised at his expense was Mitch Evans, the GP3 champion completing a debut weekend where he suffered from food poisoning with a fine third spot.

Evans? Arden teammate Johnny Cecotto finished behind Richelmi in fifth as he recovered from his exclusion from qualifying. Simon Trummer finished sixth in the second Rapax car, holding off another impressive debutant Conor Daly with new team Hilmer. Rene Binder completed the points in eighth, just 0.6s ahead of Jolyon Palmer who put in a fantastic drive after starting from the pits having stalled from third at the start of the warm-up lap.

James Calado was a first lap casualty as he tripped over feature race winner Fabio Leimer under braking for turn four, then smashing into Leimer?s teammate Leal and finding the gravel, an incident he will be investigated for after the race. Leimer continued running in sixth before a trip through a gravel trap saw him finish down in 12th.

With Calado and Leimer failing to score it is Coletti who takes an early points lead ahead of round two in Bahrain on 20-21 April.

Race result
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Stefano Coletti Rapax 22 laps in 40:49.455
2 Felipe Nasr Carlin +0.832
3 Mitch Evans Arden International +8.358
4 Stephane Richelmi DAMS +11.935
5 Johnny Cecotto Arden International +15.874
6 Simon Trummer Rapax +17.072
7 Conor Daly Hilmer Motorsport +17.479
8 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus +23.726
9 Jolyon Palmer Carlin +24.326
10 Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus +29.020
11 Tom Dillmann Russian Time +30.522
12 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering +30.802
13 Marcus Ericsson DAMS +31.342
14 Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport +32.391
15 Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing +35.336
16 Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix +36.339
17 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport +37.033
18 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team +43.468
19 Pal Varhaug Hilmer Motorsport +46.092
20 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team +51.244
21 Nathanael Berthon Trident Racing +53.777
22 Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing +1 laps
Not classified
Sam Bird Russian Time 0 laps
Julian Leal Racing Engineering 0 laps
James Calado ART Grand Prix 0 laps
?Drivers? standings top five after 1 of 11 rounds
Pos Driver Team Points
1 Stefano Coletti Rapax 36
2 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 25
3 Felipe Nasr Carlin 24
4 James Calado ART Grand Prix 18
5 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 12