Race to Razia, Title to Hülkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg 2009 GP2 Champion

Luiz Razia has taken a serene victory this morning in the sprint race in Monza ahead of Lucas di Grassi, but all eyes were on the battle for third place between the championship contenders which was resolved, along with the title, in favor of Nico Hülkenberg.

The German needed to claim one point more than Vitaly Petrov to be sure of the title, and soaked up extensive pressure from the Russian until Petrov ran wide late in the race to allow Hülkenberg to become the first driver to win the GP2 title before the final round.

Razia could have been forgiven for suffering from nerves on his first pole position after being promoted to eighth place and his first ever point due to a penalty for Alvaro Parente, but when the lights went out the Brazilian regally led the field away while the rest of the field scrapped over the space left by Javier Villa.

Di Grassi had a storming start to slot in behind Razia at the first chicane, with Petrov being even faster but just missing out on getting by Hülkenberg, who sliced in front of his rival for third with a grim determination, with Jérôme d'Ambrosio and Edoardo Mortara running line astern behind the pair.

A coming together at the Lesmos between Dani Clos and Diego Nunes left the Spaniard's car upside down and the safety car with no choice but to come out on track, and when the race went live 2 laps later the leading four drivers left the rest of the field behind to squabble among themselves.

Petrov knew that he had to finish ahead of Hülkenberg to have any chance of keeping his slim title hopes alive, and threw everything he had at the German. Unfortunately it was too much, and a wide line out of turn seven gave d'Ambrosio a run through and it looked to be all over.

And as the checkered flag dropped it was Razia who was 2.5 seconds to the good over di Grassi, with Hülkenberg pumping his fists for joy a further two seconds back. D'Ambrosio ran straight with two laps remaining but held on ahead of Petrov for fourth, while yesterday's winner Giedo van der Garde picked up the final point after Mortara retired from a damage picked up after the pair cut the first turn.

While all eyes were, understandably, on the new champion, Razia was smiling almost as widely after a mature drive to his first victory, along with the point for fastest lap, made up for the bad luck suffered earlier in the season by the likeable Brazilian.



Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Luiz Razia Coloni 35m12.921s
2. Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering +2.576
3. Nico Hulkenberg ART +4.955
4. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS +7.374
5. Vitaly Petrov Addax +7.92
6. Giedo van der Garde iSport +8.687
7. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet +9.133
8. Davide Rigon Trident +13.395
9. Davide Valsecchi Addax +24.809
10. Javier Villa Super Nova +25.492
11. Alberto Valerio Piquet +26.254
12. Karun Chandhok Ocean +33.526
13. Michael Herck DPR +35.32
14. Ricardo Teixeira Trident +59.622
15. Pastor Maldonado ART DNF 19 laps
16. Johnny Cecotto Jr DPR DNF 18 laps
17. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS DNF 18 laps
18. Luca Filippi Super Nova DNF 15 laps
19. Andreas Zuber Coloni DNF 11 laps
20. Alvaro Parente Ocean DNF 6 laps
21. Edoardo Mortara Arden DNF 6 laps
22. Sergio Perez Arden DNF 1 lap
23. Diego Nunes iSport DNF 0 laps
24. Dani Clos Racing Engineering DNF 0 laps

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