Van der Garde poaches win after chaotic race Dutchman claims top spot after epic battle Giedo van der Garde has claimed his first feature race victory after a titanic, race long fight in wretched conditions, stealing the win...
Van der Garde poaches win after chaotic race
Dutchman claims top spot after epic battle
Giedo van der Garde has claimed his first feature race victory after a titanic, race long fight in wretched conditions, stealing the win in the closing stages of today's race in Monza from Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi.
The race was delayed for 40 minutes due to a torrential downpour, but eventually got underway behind the safety car, which stayed out for five laps. When the race went live Petrov and van der Garde led the rest of the field away, but Sergio Perez pushed too hard trying to sneak by Nico Hulkenberg across the line, and spun to a halt before the first turn.
Alvaro Parente somehow sliced his way from 17th on the grid to 8th behind di Grassi at the end of the first live lap, with Jerome d'Ambrosio climbing from 21st to 12th on the same lap, while ahead of them chaos reigned. Hulkenberg was briefly up with the front pair, who were leaving their rivals at an massive rate, but the German ran wide at the Parabolica and was thrown backwards into the madness.
Despite the rain easing the conditions were still treacherous, with the number of drivers picking up drive through penalties for cutting the chicane showing the difficulties they had just keeping on the island. Meanwhile di Grassi, Parente and d'Ambrosio continued their relentless march through the grid as their rivals struggled just to hold on.
With three laps to go van der Garde could wait no longer and came in for his pitstop, seemingly handing his rival the edge. But when Petrov came out of the pits one lap later the Dutchman saw his chance and pounced, slicing through into turn one and held on for another lap until the safety car returned to the track as a result of a big crash for Johnny Cecotto, and the result was in the bag.
Behind them di Grassi closed up behind the safety car, holding on against fierce pressure from Parente until the Portuguese driver picked up a drive through, with d'Ambrosio crossing the line fourth after a strong race. Edoardo Mortara also drove a mature race and stayed out of trouble to bring home fifth (and the fastest lap) ahead of championship leader Hulkenberg, with Parente disappointed to finish seventh just ahead of Javier Villa.
Petrov was heartbroken to lose the win but still managed to close the gap to Hulkenberg in the championship: the German's lead was cut to 20 points, 86 points to 66, while the fight between their teams is even tighter, with ART ahead of Addax by 122 points to 111.