As the lights went out the Carlin duo looked evenly matched with Vettel just keeping ahead as the field thundered down the start/finish straight. As the 30 cars headed into the tight first corner, Aleshin received contact from behind and was put into a spin, nearly taking out team mate Vettel as well. Aleshin recovered to limp back to the pits with a delaminated tire and damaged body work. The Red Bull driver rejoined the race on lap five, but later retired on lap nine.
Vettel meanwhile was able to pull away from the pack, building up a four second gap from second placed man Ben Hanley before making his mandatory pit stop. The Carlin team turned the car around in just 7.8 seconds and Vettel rejoined the track to drive his Red Bull liveried car to victory.
Carlin now has a substantial lead in the team championship, with a total of 60 points compared to nearest rival Tech 1’s 37. After his pole position, win and fastest lap today, 19 year-old Vettel leaves round three with a maximum 21 points to lead the driver’s championship.
Race winner Sebastian Vettel said, “I was quite nervous about the first corner. The start was ok, but I did have to pull to the right to defend my position from Mikhail as we went into turn one. Before I turned into the corner I looked in my mirror and saw the side of Mikhail’s car coming towards me. A little later I saw Hanley behind me. I was very lucky to have been just ahead of the accident, as it meant I could focus on the race ahead of me. The pit stop went well, the team did a very good job and our position right at the end of the pit lane allowed me to have a good exit. The car handled very, very well.
“I think we were very well prepared for this race. One big advantage was that we had a very good test at Magny Cours, where we worked on the set up and developed the car. That meant that we were on the pace immediately here on Friday. As a team we did a perfect job today. There were quite a lot of people in the grandstands here today, so it was nice to win in front of a crowd."