D'Ambrosio on top in sprint race Jerome d’Ambrosio has taken his maiden GP2 victory in the streets of Monaco, defying intense, race long pressure from behind to win today’s sprint race ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi.
The Belgian driver made a solid start from pole, moving across to secure the top spot from fellow front row starter Luiz Razia, which handed the Dutchman the inside line to squeeze past the Brazilian into Ste Devote, with Alberto Valerio, Pastor Maldonado and Bianchi following the trio up the hill to Casino Square.
The tight, twisty nature of the circuit meant the positions didn’t change until a number of drive through penalties were handed down, for jump starts and for cutting the first corner, with Maldonado the most high profile on the men to come in early. Back on track Valerio was pushing with all his might to claim a podium in the high profile event, finally slicing his way inside and through Razia at the chicane.
The Brazilian clearly felt he hadn’t been correct in the move, however, and volunteered the position back to his countryman soon after. While reapplying the pressure two laps later disaster struck: Valerio lost the front of his car under braking for the same corner and found the wall instead. With Rodolfo Gonzalez suffering an even heavier impact at Casino Square at the same time there was no choice but to bring out the safety car.
D’Ambrosio had a solid restart to hold off his Dutch rival, but Razia soon found himself under more pressure as Bianchi pushed hard from the restart: the Frenchman made an audacious move from the outside on the front straight to cut inside Razia and through at Ste Devote, with the Brazilian left stranded in his wake.
And so it finished: d’Ambrosio broke clear to easily take the checkered flag ahead of van der Garde, who now had Bianchi filling his mirrors, with Johnny Cecotto making a similarly astonishing move to cut inside a clearly struggling Razia at the final corner on the penultimate lap for fourth place, while yesterday’s winner Sergio Perez picked up another point for sixth place to extend his championship lead.
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