Following a post-qualifying penalty to the RUSSIAN TIME driver Bird, Fabio Leimer was promoted to second spot on the grid for today’s 37 lap Feature Race. The Hungarian weather continued to be hot with an air temperature of 34° and a track temperature of 46°. The first start was aborted due to stalled cars resulting in the race being shortened by one lap as an extra formation was taken.
Fabio resumed the track less than a second behind Nasr, both men losing a place to Ericsson who had pitted two laps earlier and was on hot tyres and the three men were now battling for 7th place which, as the cars ahead had yet to stop, was effectively a fight for the lead. As the cars neared the halfway point on lap 17 Palmer, who had been leading, made a late pitstop resuming the track in second place demoting Nasr and Fabio to 3rd and 4th.
On lap 18 Fabio was 0.7 seconds behind Nasr and looking for a place to pass but he had to make sure he did not make a mistake as Richelmi was just one second behind the Racing Engineering car. Fabio continued to pressure Nasr and with the gap from Ericsson to Fabio just over two seconds the fight for the race win was on. With eight laps remaining Fabio had pulled away a little from Richelmi and he was holding the gap to Nasr to less than one second and both men were closing fast on Ericsson.
With four laps remaining the difference between Ericsson and Fabio in 2nd and 4th respectively was 1.7 seconds with Richelmi closing in on the battling trio. Fabio was now struggling on worn tyres and he was now concentrating on keeping his 4th place which he was able to do as he crossed the finishing line 0.3 seconds ahead of the DAMS car.
Julián gained a place before the start as De Jong had to pit on the aborted start and he held 18th position at the start but on the opening lap the front wing on his car was damaged and the Racing Engineering car had to pit at the end of lap 1 for a new nose. Resuming right at the back of the field and still having to make his mandatory pitstop the race was effectively over for Julián. Although he was able to move up to 15th at the finish it was a very disappointing race for the young Colombian.
Fabio will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race from 5th on the grid and with an excellent chance of finishing on the podium. For Julián it will be a case of trying to make up as many places as possible and try and get into the points, a hard task on a circuit where overtaking is very difficult.