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Valencia Race 1: Petrov powers to third Valencia win
Vitaly Petrov
Vitaly Petrov soaked up race long pressure from title rival Nico Hülkenberg to record his third win in as many years in Valencia after leading all the way from the second corner of the first lap all the way to the flag: the pair crossed the line together ahead of Sergio Perez, who recorded his first podium finish in the main series.

The win was set up at the start: despite Petrov's earlier fears he made a storming start from the dirty side of the track to be right with poleman Hülkenberg into the first corner, before pressuring the German into going wide at the next turn to relinquish the lead for what proved to be the remainder of the race.

Perez, who made an equally impressive getaway to force his way by Lucas di Grassi, also took the opportunity presented to him to get alongside the German, but had to give way a few corners later, while Alvaro Parente and Roldan Rodriguez looked in vain similarly for a way by the Brazilian.

With overtaking at a premium on the fast, technical circuit all thoughts turned to pitstop strategy as the lead pair streaked away from the rest of the field. Edoardo Mortara, taking advantage of a great start to move up five spots from 13th on the grid, decided to risk even more by taking an early stop, but it was Hülkenberg stop on lap 11 and Petrov's one later that everyone was waiting for.

The Russian had a torrid first lap back as his rival, on warmer tires, threw everything he had and more at his rival, who lived up to his imperious reputation as a rock solid defender, forcing Hülkenberg into using his tires violently every time they came to the final turn, the main overtaking spot on the circuit.

Round and round they went, with no let up in the battle until, at last, the checkered flag dropped and Petrov was the victor by just 0.3 seconds. Perez was next, some 16 seconds behind the pair, while di Grassi lost out on fourth when he stopped a few laps from the end with suspected hydraulic issues. Parente claimed the spot the hard way, fighting back from a slower stop to force Roldan Rodriguez backwards after running too deep off the bridge.

Mortara crossed the line in sixth after a strong run to the flag, staying out of the trouble behind him, while Luca Filippi made up for his qualifying crash by finishing seventh from 14th on the grid, just ahead of Pastor Maldonado, who spun on the first lap and fought all afternoon for the final point. But while Petrov won the battle, Hülkenberg fastest lap extended his lead in the championship war to 17 points over the Russian, 68 points to 51.


Pos Driver Team Time
1. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Addax Team 56:24.157
2. Nico Hulkenberg ART Grand Prix + 0.396
3. Sergio Perez Telmex Arden International + 16.004
4. Alvaro Parente Ocean Racing Technology + 22.922
5. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet GP + 26.891
6. Edoardo Mortara Telmex Arden International + 38.444
7. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing + 44.153
8. Pastor Maldonado ART Grand Prix + 52.496
9. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS + 59.464
10. J.D'Ambrosio DAMS + 59.959
11. Davide Valsecchi Barwa Addax Team + 1'05.003
12. Diego Nunes iSport International + 1'07.196
13. Davide Rigon Trident Racing + 1'07.612
14. Michael Herck DPR + 1'14.817
15. G.van der Garde iSport International + 1'16.354
16. Franck Perera DPR + 1'17.358
17. Andreas Zuber Scuderia Coloni + 1'19.836
18. Alberto Valério Piquet GP + 1'44.040
19. Javier Villa Super Nova Racing + 1 Lap
20. Lucas Di Grassi Racing Engineering + 3 Laps
21. Karun Chandhok Ocean Racing Technology DNF on Lap 26
22. Stefano Coletti Durango DNF on Lap 16
23. Luiz Razia Scuderia Coloni DNF on Lap 3
24. N.Panciatici Durango DNF on Lap 3
25. Ricardo Teixeira Trident Racing DNF on Lap 2
26. Daniel Clos Racing Engineering DNF on Lap 0

Fastest lap: Hulkenberg, 1:47.041 on lap 18

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