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Calado wins Abu Dhabi Race 2
James Calado
James Calado proved Lotus ART was right to sign him for the 2012 season: on his GP2 Series debut at Yas Marina Circuit, the Brit scored his first win at the 2011 GP2 Final sprint race in Abu Dhabi. Calado kept the lead at the start from reverse pole and never surrendered despite huge pressure first from GP3 graduate Antonio Felix Da Costa and then from the experienced Marcus Ericsson. The Swede had to settle for second place ahead of teammate and GP3 graduate Tom Dillmann. Calado and Dillmann will both receive prize money from Pirelli for finishing as the two highest-placed GP3 graduates.

When the light went out, Calado kept his nearest rivals at bay and was still in the lead after the first corner. Ericsson was already up to third from P5 and all over Felix Da Costa, but the young Portuguese driver defended his position well. The Swede had to wait until Lap 8 before he could get past. The Ocean driver was then under the threat of a charging Luiz Razia whilst Ericsson set his sights on Calado.

Marcus Ericsson (iSport International), James Calado (Lotus ART), Tom Dillmann (iSport International)
The battle between Razia and Felix Da Costa intensified on the following lap, and the Brazilian eventually overtook the Portuguese. Felix Da Costa fought back but cut the corner and in doing so received a drive thru penalty which he observed immediately dropping him down to the middle of the field. Razia looked set for another podium finish this weekend but he was also handed a drive thru for ignoring yellow flags. This promoted Dillmann to third.

Behind the top three, Jolyon Palmer cruised to fourth place. But the battle for the remaining points-paying positions was a GP2 classic between Alexander Rossi, Stefano Coletti, Fabio Leimer, Kevin Ceccon and Esteban Gutierrez. The final laps saw a fierce fight with Coletti under constant attack from Leimer. Yesterday’s race winner was all over the Scuderia Coloni man and the battle ended in tears in the last lap after a contact between the two cars sent Coletti into the barriers. The fight continued with Rossi and Ceccon, but it was eventually Gutierrez who took fifth place – an impressive comeback from P21 on the grid. Ceccon took sixth.

At the checkered flag, Calado punched the air in celebration of his first GP2 success ahead of the iSport duo, Ericsson and Dillmann respectively. Although both drivers ended with seven points, it is Calado who is crowned best GP3 graduate thanks to his win and will receive 15,000 Euros from Pirelli while Dillmann will receive 10,000 Euros.

An eventful race concluded the GP2 finale in Abu Dhabi today with both Caterham Team AirAsia cars finishing in the top ten and showing good pace throughout the race. 20 year old Alexander Rossi went from strength to strength this afternoon, gaining an impressive six positions from thirteenth on the grid. He defended well to drive a faultless race and fought an exciting battle in the closing laps to finish the unique GP2 race seventh, just ahead of team mate Luiz Razia.

Luiz, the quickest man on track today, worked his way up to P3 after a succession of record lap times and looked set for his second podium finish of the weekend. Sadly all that changed when he was handed a drive through penalty for improving his lap times under a yellow flag, pushing him back to finally finish P8 at the checkered flag.

This concludes an exciting debut season for Caterham Team AirAsia. On behalf of the whole team we would like to thank everyone who has been an integral part of this team’s early success and look forward to the 2012 race calendar release next month.

Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I truly believe Luiz had the car to win the race today. He had fastest lap several times but these things happens and rules are rules. The last lap was very exciting and in the end we got both cars in the top ten and back in one piece. I am really pleased with the team’s performance this season. We have another trophy to take home so congratulations to the whole team and the drivers. It has been one tough season - as I have said before we have had our highs and our lows but I believe we will come back stronger next year.”

Alexander Rossi (Best Lap: 1:52.851 / P7): “We made big improvements from yesterday but this is only our second race together so it’s definitely a good beginning. As for today I had a good start and I gained a few positions, I was lucky at times but there were some good battles going on. The last lap was really interesting - everyone in GP2 pushes really hard but at the end of the day we give each other just enough room to survive! It’s hard fighting but I have a lot of confidence in the guys around me so that’s cool. GP2 is now all about the managing the tires, that’s why it’s so important to work through GP2 into Formula One. It’s been a big learning curve for me but we are making improvements all the time. We have a good qualifying pace, it’s just unfortunate we weren’t able to show it this weekend - You need a consistent pace over the whole race weekend - this is the challenge everyone faces and we’ll just keep working towards that.”

Luiz Razia (Best Lap: 1:51.551 / P8: “My start today was really good I was up to fourth in the first corner, pushing all the time but conserving my tires for the end because that’s when I knew other cars would start to suffer tire degradation. I passed Felix Da Costa and moved up to P3 but then the yellow flag came out, in free air my car was so quick I backed off on the first sector but not enough as I still managed to improve my lap time which resulted in a drive through penalty.  I was very hungry to win this race today so when the penalty was issued I was very disappointed, but anyway I managed to overtake a few cars in the final lap but by then the podium was long gone. It was a good race though.”

Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “What a race! Luiz Razia had an incredible race – today he was on fire no doubt about it, he used his head and saved his tires and when he got clear of Da Costa he just went for it, setting a lap half a second faster than anyone else out there! Ok he had the infringement with the yellow flag which was a shame but that’s one of those things. We know where it happened and although he slowed down it obviously was not enough and the stewards’ decision is final. From then on in he climbed back and on the last lap it all happened. Cars were going off everywhere - it was very good viewing and before we knew it he was right behind Alexander at the finish line!”

“Alexander has learnt a lot this week. His start was good and he climbed up pretty quickly, dicing with other cars for most of the race. He didn’t have any understeer today which is what we were aiming for so I am pleased about that. All in all he drove well and didn’t put a foot wrong and in the last lap he defended brilliantly. I think we should have had a podium today, but we have proved we can be up there which bodes well for next year”



1 5 J. Calado Lotus ART 22 41:26.194 0.000 0.000
2 10 M. Ericsson iSport International 22 41:27.964 1.770 1.770
3 9 T. Dillmann iSport International 22 41:33.889 7.695 5.925
4 4 J. Palmer Barwa Addax Team 22 41:39.234 13.040 5.345
5 6 E. Gutierrez Lotus ART 22 41:53.206 27.012 13.972
6 18 K. Ceccon Scuderia Coloni 22 41:54.219 28.025 1.013
7 26 A. Rossi Caterham Team AirAsia 22 41:56.103 29.909 1.884
8 27 L. Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 22 41:56.216 30.022 0.113
9 1 D. Clos Rapax 22 41:56.333 30.139 0.117
10 7 F. Leimer Racing Engineering 22 41:56.764 30.570 0.431
11 17 F. Onidi Super Nova Racing 22 41:59.260 33.066 2.496
12 14 J. Král Arden International 22 42:06.711 40.517 7.451
13 23 A. Felix Da Costa Ocean Racing Technology 22 42:10.545 44.351 3.834
14 3 J. Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 22 42:11.718 45.524 1.173
15 15 S. Trummer Arden International 22 42:12.115 45.921 0.397
16 24 M. Chilton Carlin 22 42:13.040 46.846 0.925
17 25 J. Charouz Carlin 22 42:14.541 48.347 1.501
18 21 S. Richelmi Trident Racing 22 42:14.896 48.702 0.355
19 8 N. Berthon Racing Engineering 22 42:15.295 49.101 0.399
20 12 N. Melker DAMS 22 42:15.972 49.778 0.677
21 20 J. Leal Trident Racing 22 42:16.593 50.399 0.621
22 22 N. Marroc Ocean Racing Technology 22 42:19.592 53.398 2.999
23 16 G. Ricci Super Nova Racing 22 42:25.737 59.543 6.145
24 11 R. Haryanto DAMS 22 42:38.836 72.642 13.099
25 19 S. Coletti Scuderia Coloni 21 39:56.221 DNF -
26 2 M. Marinescu Rapax 10 19:23.711 DNF -

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