Valerio storms to victory in Silverstone Brazilian from Piquet GP dominates for first win Alberto Valerio has claimed his first GP2 victory with a mature drive in race one this afternoon, combining aggression to overtake for the lead along...
Valerio storms to victory in Silverstone
Brazilian from Piquet GP dominates for first win
Alberto Valerio has claimed his first GP2 victory with a mature drive in race one this afternoon, combining aggression to overtake for the lead along with a strong but sensible pace thereafter to protect both his lead and his tyres to lead home countryman Lucas di Grassi and Nico Hulkenberg.
A conservative start for Valerio meant poleman Romain Grosjean led the field, minus a stalled Jerome d'Ambrosio, into Stowe when the lights went out, but a string of fast laps saw the Brazilian all over the rear wing of the race leader, while behind them Alvaro Parente tapped Vitaly Petrov wide at the first corner to give di Grassi, Javier Villa and Nico Hulkenberg a chance to slot in behind the front pair.
With Sergio Perez the first man to take a pitstop from the rear of the field on lap seven the teams were nervously eyeing each other to see who was going to blink first, but back on track one lap later Valerio finally capitalised on all of the pressure he was bringing to bear by sliding easily inside and through Grosjean for the lead at Abbey before sailing off into the distance, with the Frenchman's mirrors soon full of another Brazilian as di Grassi attacked.
Two laps later and Grosjean lost another spot when he ran wide at Stowe and then tried to squeeze his rival, pushing too hard and running wide at Beckets before slotting back just in front of Hulkenberg, who was soon in to the pits rather than lose any more time on track. The move worked out: the German was the man to beat out of the pits, with Valerio the only man to manage it after his eventual stop on lap 15.
There were battles up and down the field after the stops shook out, most notably with Karun Chandhok looking everywhere for a way past Grosjean while Andreas Zuber sat behind them and waited to see what happened. But while Valerio was untouchable out in front, Hulkenberg was dropping back to the pack at the end of the race as a consequence of his early stop and now worn tyres, with di Grassi finally slipping by at Abbey, which forced the German to slide across to cover a fast charging Perez.
But when the flag dropped it was Valerio who was punching the air with joy at claiming his maiden win ahead of di Grassi, with Hulkenberg just holding on to claim the final podium spot ahead of Perez, who did an amazing job to move up from 25th on the grid to fourth place. Grosjean was next across the line, holding off Chandhok for fifth, while Pastor Maldonado slipped inside Zuber on the final lap for the final two points paying spots.
And in the championship Grosjean reclaimed his slender lead by 37 points to 33 over teammate Petrov, with di Grassi moving up to third on 24 points, level with Hulkenberg but five ahead of Maldonado, with d'Ambrosio staying on 18 and Valerio now moving up to sixth place on 16 points.