Superb second place for Racing Engineering's Leimer in the Monza Sprint Race.

Fabio Leimer
Fabio Leimer

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

It was another ideal day for racing at Monza today with more blue skies and a track temperature of 33°. There was a clean start by all 26 cars and it was Fabio Leimer who got away from the line best, superbly out dragging one car on the straight and passing another into the first corner to take second place. At the end of the opening lap the Racing Engineering car was still in second place chasing Valsecchi with Coletti close behind in third.

Over the next 10 laps Leimer kept up constant pressure on Valsecchi, never less than a second behind the DAMS car, as both lapped within a few tenths of each other. Palmer was now in third place and Leimer was gradually able to open out a small gap over the Briton and by lap 10 the young Swiss was 1.3s ahead.

With 6 laps remaining Leimer was still just one second behind Valsecchi as he set his fastest lap of the race so far and he had now opened out a gap of 2.8 seconds over Palmer. Leimer now began to increase his pace and with 4 laps remaining he closed the gap to Valsecchi to 0.4 seconds as both men were now fighting with worn tyres after nearly 20 laps of Monza.

As the cars entered the final lap both cars continued their battle but despite all of his best efforts he had to settle for second place, 0.4 seconds behind Valsecchi.

Nathanaël Berthon made a slow start and was lucky not to get involved in an accident in the first corner when several cars made contact right behind the Racing Engineering driver. Over the next few laps the young Frenchman dropped to 17th but he was able to get back to 15th by lap 7 including making a very good overtaking manoeuvre on Gonzalez.

Over the closing laps Berthon was 3.5 seconds behind Calado and he was now involved in a very close battle with Razia who was just 0.2 seconds behind. Despite all the pressure from the man currently lying second in the 2012 GP2 Series Berthon refused to give way and at the finish he crossed the line in 15th, 0.3 seconds ahead of Razia.

A good weekend for Racing Engineering with a 2nd and 5th place finishes for Leimer and with a little more luck Berthon could have had better results. There is now a two week gap before the teams travel to Singapore for their first race on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: "A strong second place finish for Fabio today after a good start from P4. He drove well throughout the race and was constantly fighting for the fastest lap. This underlines the strong performance we had all weekend long.

Nat had a difficult start and was additionally blocked by some drivers around him. He then picked up a good pace and finished in P15 ."

Fabio Leimer: "Today I had a very, very good start and immediately took P2, sadly though I could not catch Valsecchi in the first corners. After this I tried to create a gap to the cars behind us and I pushed for a couple of laps, but we pretty much had the same speed and I didn't want to stress my tyres too much.

I saved the tyres to attack at the end of the race, but Valsecchi was as consistent as I was and I pushed for the fastest lap, which I missed by only 2 hundredths of a second. Overall a good weekend and now we are ready to score more points in Singapore."

Nathanaël Berthon: "I missed my start, which complicated things through the first chicane, I lost some positions there. I didn't feel comfortable with my car. This was a bad weekend for me, but I will keep on working. I would also like the opportunity to congratulate Fabio for his good weekend."

Source: Racing Engineering

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About this article
Series GP2
Article type Race reports
Tags berthon, couyotopoulo, gp2, leimer, monza

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