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Stefano Coletti sprints to Budapest GP2 win
Stefano Coletti
Stefano Coletti overcame a difficult start of a Hungarian weekend by stunning the rest of the field from P21 on the grid to victory in changing track conditions and two safety car periods. The Monegasque driver finished 7.2s ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean.

The teams once again had a difficult choice to make this morning for the Sprint race in Budapest: in mixed track conditions, it was all about deciding to start either on wet tires or slicks. Only seven drivers bravely opted for the second option, including Luca Filippi, Coletti and Gutierrez, the young Mexican starting from P24.

As the lights went out, the early stages were all about poleman Christian Vietoris. The German had a perfect start and kept the lead. Behind him, Addax duo Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic both opted to duck down the inside of Turn 1 to pass Jules Bianchi. Filippi’s tire gamble proved difficult as he ran wide at Turn 1 and dropped to the back of the field.

While Vietoris was pulling away quickly, Bianchi now in fourth was busy trying to keep Grosjean at bay, but he ran a bit too wide at turn 1 on lap 2, letting the Dams driver through. The Series leader then caught up fast with Pic. Out in front, Vietoris had already managed to build up a 8s gap on van der Garde, the Dutchman unable to match the German’s pace.

On a drying track, from lap 7 some drivers chose to come back into the pits for slick tires, and a lap later, Pic who was struggling to defend his position from Grosjean decided to come in and change rubber. The Safety Car soon came out after Max Chilton stopped on the track. Vietoris, van der Garde, Grosjean and Bianchi took this opportunity to switch to slicks and kept their positions.

At the re-start, Vietoris kept in control of the rest of the pack. Grosjean was all over van der Garde and tried to pass him on the inside of turn 1. Both ran too wide, but the Dams driver got through the Addax man. Bianchi was hot on van der Garde’s trails and both collided at turn 4, sending the Lotus ART man off track. He rejoined at the back of the field.

Behind, Coletti  was already in P6 behind the battling duo of Luiz Razia and Sam Bird. When the two men in front of him made a small mistake while fighting, the Monegasque driver passed both cars. He then quickly overtook a slower van der Garde for a podium finish.

The rain started to fall again and Bianchi immediately decided to come in for wet tires. At the front, Grosjean reduced the gap with Vietoris to less than a second, putting great pressure on the German. The Racing Engineering man made a small mistake and spun. Grosjean lost some time trying to avoid him allowing Coletti to take the lead. The Safety Car came out again after Dani Clos stopped on the track. Coletti and Grosjean chose to come into the pits for wet tires. They rejoined behind Pic.

At the re-start, the Addax driver who was still on slicks found it very difficult to stay on line and was soon running too wide at turn 1 allowing Coletti to get passed. The Trident man was never to be seen again as he pulled away to victory.

The final laps were all about the fight between Grosjean and a charging Gutierrez whose tire strategy paid off to come back from P24 on the grid. The young Mexican was all over the Dams driver and eventually overtook him in the last corner to take P2. Van der Garde, Bird and Bianchi took the remaining points.

Heading to Spa-Francorchamps, Grosjean has extended his lead in the drivers’ standings to 74 points from van der Garde on 49, with Pic on 42 points. Bianchi has moved up to fourth on 35 points, the same as Bird.

Budapest – Sprint race

Pos Driver Team
1. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing
2. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART
3. Romain Grosjean Dams
4. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team
5. Sam Bird iSport international
6. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART
7. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia
8. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology
9. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing
10. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering
11. Fabio Leimer Rapax
12. Adam Carroll Super Nova Racing
13. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team
14. Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia
15. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin
16. Marcus Ericsson iSport International
17. Josef Kral Arden International
18. Jolyon Palmer Arden International
19 Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology
20 Dani Clos Racing Engineering
21 Julian Leal Rapax
22 Pal Varhaug Dams
23 Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni
24 Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing
25 Max Chilton Carlin
26 Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni

Fastest Lap : Romain Grosjean (Dams) – 1:47.730 on lap 13
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