VITALY PETROV SIXTH, SERGIO PEREZ FORCED TO ABANDON. After a relatively long break the GP2 Asia Series resumed battle with the first race taking place today at the Malaysian Sepang circuit. The drivers of the Barwa Campos Team were not able...
VITALY PETROV SIXTH, SERGIO PEREZ FORCED TO ABANDON.
After a relatively long break the GP2 Asia Series resumed battle with the first race taking place today at the Malaysian Sepang circuit. The drivers of the Barwa Campos Team were not able to repeat their success of the last round. Vitaly Petrov finished sixth and Sergio Perez was forced to abandon due to engine failure
It was a trouble free start to the race and both drivers of the Spanish team fought back brilliantly from the beginning. By the end of the first lap, Vitaly had moved up to second, from his sixth place start and Sergio, who had started from a lowly eighteenth position, finished the lap in a spectacular tenth place.
From this moment on, Petrov was very much involved in the fight for the leading places, until lap 10, when he came into the pits for his obligatory tyre change. When he got back out on track, he had the complicated task of fighting it out with drivers who would not make their compulsory stop until much later. Despite brake problems, the Russian driver was able to improve his way through the field and with 18 laps to go he was ninth before moving up to his final sixth position. He only managed to consolidate his position in the last third of the race after a hard fought battle with Maldonado. He got away from his rival and was able to drive the last 5 laps with certain ease. His sixth place means he will be starting from third position for tomorrow's race.
Perez, after his superb start to the race, continued climbing up through the field fighting it out with drivers who would end up being in the points. However, when he came into the pits with 19 laps to go, his car stopped to a halt at the start of the pit lane, as a result of engine failure caused by overheating. This has conditioned the weekend in a negative way for both the driver and his team.
After the results of the first race, the team, sponsored by the company from Qatar, Barwa, has consolidated its magnificent second position in the overall team championship. Both drivers are in the top seven of the drivers championship, with Sergio Perez holding on to his fifth place overall and Vitaly Petrov moving up to seventh and closing in on the leading group of drivers battling for a rostrum place at the end of the championship.
Tomorrow, at 14.30 p.m local time, the second race will take place as support event to the Formula 1 race and will be raced over a distance of 122 Kms, 22 laps, on this the penultimate leg of the GP2 Asia Series Championship 2008-09