Home Featured PaddockScout Awards 2013: Title Fight of the Year

PaddockScout Awards 2013: Title Fight of the Year

by Formula Scout

GP2 Series

Fabio Leimer, Sam Bird, James Calado, Felipe Nasr and Stefano Coletti

It perhaps doesn?t tell the entire story of this year?s GP2 title fight, but five drivers were separated by less than a win with three of the 11 weekends remaining. All five were still mathematically still in contention going into the final weekend too, even if things were pretty much settled after the lights went out at the start of race one.

As pre-season favourite James Calado struggled, it was Stefano Coletti and Fabio who took early charge of the standings. Leimer won the feature races in Malaysia and Bahrain, but was let down by poor sprint races. Coletti meanwhile took four podiums from those two rounds including a win and then added further sprint race victories in Barcelona and Monaco. Leimer on the other hand failed to score from those latter two weekends after first lap incidents, with Felipe Nasr emerging as Coletti?s nearest rival after impressively finishing all eight of the first races in the top four.

The pivotal point would come when Leimer knocked Coletti out on the last lap of the next race at Silverstone. That would be the first of 13 non-finishes the Monegasque driver suffered over the remaining 14 races. Remarkably though, he was still leading after Spa. Nasr?s run of consistency had also come to an end with a retirement at Silverstone and harmed his chances when he hit team-mate Jolyon Palmer at Spa. Leimer had slowly crept back into contention with a consistent run of top fives, while Sam Bird had done a superb job to take the new Russian Time team to feature race wins in Monaco, Silverstone and Spa. Calado?s class meant he wasn?t far behind despite a serious lack of speed in his ART car.

Everything swung towards Leimer and Bird at Monza though as they finished first and second in race one. Leimer continued his consistent top fives after that, so when Bird stalled from the front row in Abu Dhabi, he was able to wrap up the crown.

Peter Allen