Comfortable win for Vettel Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) has taken his first victory of the season after an impressive solo effort out front. Leading the race from start to finish, the young German's win also puts him top of ...
Comfortable win for Vettel
Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) has taken his first victory of the season after an impressive solo effort out front. Leading the race from start to finish, the young German's win also puts him top of the Championship standings. Ben Hanley (Prema Power Team) will be happy to be back on the podium, while Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing) scored valuable points by finishing third.
While Sebastian Vettel may have got off to a good start, his teammate Mikhail Aleshin found himself in trouble on the brakes into the first bend. After coming into contact with Parente, the Russian span right in the thick of the field. Unable to avoid the incident, Salvador Duran and Clivio Piccione both ended up in the gravel trap. As Aleshin came into the pits with a rear puncture, the safety car put in an appearance. Sebastian Vettel was then leading ahead of Ben Hanley, Alvaro Barba, Alvaro Parente and Marco Bonanomi.
Racing resumed at the end of lap 3. Vettel immediately opened up a gap over Ben Hanley, who in turn was pulling away from Barba / Parente. Marco Bonanomi and Giedo van der Garde were together in a little group of their own a good way back from the leaders. Many drivers, Valsecchi, Baguette, Jousse -- Pavlovic and Fauzy among them -- opted to make their mandatory pit stop as soon as the window from lap five to fourteen opened.
With a third of the race gone, Vettel had a lead of 3''4 over the Hanley, Barba and Parente group. Van der Garde made his stop on lap nine, while Barba and Parente, seemingly inseparable, waited until a lap later. Thanks to some excellent work from the Tech 1 team, the Portuguese driver managed to rejoin ahead of the Spaniard! Bonanomi and Molina, who'd made a good start to the race, also made their stops with ten laps gone.
Not wishing to take any risks, Sebastian Vettel and Ben Hanley stayed out until lap eleven. Both leaders rejoined the race without incident and with no change in the race order. Vettel reached the mid-point of the race with a lead of 2'' over Hanley. The lead two were followed by Parente, Barba, Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Van der Garde, Valsecchi and Molina.
Making the most of his fresh tyres, Vettel went on to set the fastest race lap and further extend his lead over Hanley. With things more or less sewn up at the front, attention then shifted to the battle between Parente and Barba for the third podium spot. A little further back, Daniil Move was having to fight off challenges from the KTR drivers Baguette and Moreau to hold onto 10th place, a position which entitles the holder to a pole position start in Sunday's race.
With seven laps to go, Baguette and Moreau both made it past Move. Moreau then managed to get the better of Baguette, albeit by taking a short cut through the chicane. Meanwhile, Jousse and Walker, involved in a battle outside the points, dropped backed several places after a coming-together.
On the final lap, Moreau moved up another place after passing Molina, who in turn earned the honour of a pole position start tomorrow!
Sebastian Vettel: "We were all a bit nervous about the start, but I managed to stay out front and stay clear of the incidents. The team did a brilliant job with the pitstop and I managed to hold onto my lead. Plus the car has been handling superbly."
Ben Hanley: "We tried two different set-ups in free practice and we learned valuable lessons both for qualifying and the race itself. Now we can see the results of this as we're finally in the hunt for the top places. However, Sebastian was just too quick for us today."
Alvaro Parente: "My car was competitive but I wasn't able to get past Alvaro Barba. I finally managed to do this during the pitstop but the end of the race wasn't easy because my tyres were very worn."