Kobayashi powers to victory in Dubai
Dams’ Kamui Kobayashi stormed to the win in today’s Dubai feature race after he dominated the first part of the event. He then lost the lead after a late pitstop to Vitaly Petrov and was later passed by Roldan Rodriguez, but a strong drive and great overtaking maneuvers put him back on the top spot and the Japanese ace claimed his first victory of the season.
Behind Kobayashi, the fight for the second place was fierce. When the lights went off, Durango’s Davide Valsecchi blitzed his way from fifth to second, quickly followed by Rodriguez. Both men passed Sakon Yamamoto and Vitaly Petrov in the process. Rodriguez put great pressure on Valsecchi, but the Italian managed to hold him off while Kobayashi pulled away. However, the Durango racer lost positions after his mandatory pitstop. It was Campos’ Petrov who inherited second place and then first place once Rodriguez and Kobayashi observed their pitstop. The Russian eventually entered the pits just as Nunes and Buurman violently collided. Both men were fighting for 6th place. Petrov rejoined just ahead of a slow Kobayashi who later was also passed by Rodriguez.
However, the Japanese finally picked up the pace and in a matter of two laps he retook the lead through sensational moves on both Rodriguez and Petrov. The Campos man then struggled with degradation on his left front tire meaning that he dropped to fifth with Rodriguez, Valsecchi and Van der Garde passing him.
A late great charge took Valsecchi ahead of Rodriguez for second place. Kamui Kobayashi took the checkered flag with a comfortable 14 second gap on his closest rival. Valsecchi finished second ahead of Rodriguez, iSport’s Van der Garde, Vitaly Petrov, Sergio Perez on the second Campos car. Belgian Jérôme d’Ambrosio finished 7th, in front of Sakon Yamamoto who made a poor start followed by a mistake on the second lap. He will start from pole in tomorrow’s sprint race.
Kamui Kobayashi also signed the fastest lap time in a 1:43.079, scoring the bonus point which, together with the two points from pole position and the 10 points from victory, places him in first place in the drivers’ championship with 22 points, 3 more than Rodriguez. Davide Valsecchi is third with 15 points.
Dubai – Race 1
||Giedo van der Garde
||Renger van der Zande
||Michael Dalle Stelle
||Kevin Nai Chia Chen
||Chris van der Drift
Fastest Lap, Kobayashi 1:43.079 on lap 25