Nico Hülkenberg claimed his fourth win of the season after steering clear of the early race mayhem before walking away from Sergio Perez and Vitaly Petrov to claim an easy victory in race two this morning at Valencia.
The win was set up at the start: Hülkenberg made a storming start to put himself in the best position to capitalize on any problems ahead. It was a smart move: Luca Filippi made an equally impressive getaway from the dirty side of the track to edge past poleman Kamui Kobayashi, who tapped his real wheel and spun the Italian at turn one, blocking the track and causing a predictable mess and a visit by the safety car.
At the restart Kobayashi held on despite his broken front wing, with Roldan Rodriguez trying to get by and spinning himself into the wall instead, promoting Hülkenberg to second as the safety car made a return, which became the lead just ahead of Perez at the restart as Kobayashi answered the black and orange flag being waved for his front wing.
The Mexican threw everything he had at his rival, while immediately behind him teammate Edoardo Mortara knocked Alvaro Parente into a spin to scatter the field behind, with Petrov finding the right line through the tire smoke to put himself side by side with Jérôme d'Ambrosio, although he had to wait until the final turn before the move could stick for fourth, just as the safety car returned once more.
Mortara cut across the Russian's bow at the restart but was soon handed a drive through for causing the Parente spin, and yesterday's top three were back in control, albeit in a different configuration. Hülkenberg was able to set a string of fastest laps to build another strong lead over Perez, who held on admirably for the rest of the race to claim second just ahead of Petrov.
D'Ambrosio was fourth, a suitable reward for a patient drive, although he had his mirrors full of Diego Nunes' iSport for the second half of the race. Karun Chandhok claimed the final point to make up for losing out on the point he lost yesterday due to broken suspension, although Davide Rigon pushed him all the way to the flag for the position, while in the championship battle Hülkenberg stretched his legs once again to lead rival Petrov by 20 points as they look towards next weekend in Spa-Francorchamps.
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