Parente powers to first win Alvaro Parente claimed victory in his first ever GP2 race today in race one at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, taking the top spot as the lights went out and then controlling the pace from the front despite...
Parente powers to first win
Alvaro Parente claimed victory in his first ever GP2 race today in race one at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, taking the top spot as the lights went out and then controlling the pace from the front despite race long pressure from Bruno Senna and Andreas Zuber.
The Portuguese driver stormed away at the start as pole sitter Pastor Maldonado bogged down on the grid and then was never headed, withstanding a brief attack in the opening laps from Zuber and then keeping his head at an early stop for the entire field as a result of a safety car tore-emerge ahead of and Senna and stay there. Maldonado's slow start caused problems further back, contracting the grid into turn one where Christian Bakkerud collected Luca Filippi, and then Ben Hanley at the same spot one lap later, which caused Roldan Rodriguez and Ho-Pin Tung to come together behind them. With Mike Conway also stopped on the front straight, there was no other option but to bring out the safety car.
The remainder of the field tore into the pits for their stops, with Parente easing out ahead of Senna, who leapfrogged Zuber for second on track ahead of Giorgio Pantano, Adrian Valles, Vitaly Petrov and Sebastien Buemi. Romain Grosjean was not giving up without a fight, however, and tore through the field as though they weren't there, with Maldonado also pushing hard to make up for his poor start as he fought from the back of the field.
Unfortunately familiarity with the circuit meant that for almost every lunge from behind a counter move from in front maintained the status quo throughout the race, meaning that the fierce fights throughout the field gave little reward to the drivers behind. And with unprecedented levels of reliability there were no gifts for anyone today.
Nevertheless there was no doubt that Parente deserved his maiden win after a gritty display of determination to hold on from Senna and Zuber, with Pantano holding on ahead of Grosjean, Petrov, Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi, with Valles claiming the final point for fastest lap on his final tour after stopping for new tyres in the closing stages of the race.