Hulkenberg dominates in Portimao German seals Team's Championship with win Nico Hulkenberg has continued his winning ways with a strong victory in today's feature race in Portimao, shadowing race leader Vitaly Petrov before jumping to...
Hulkenberg dominates in Portimao
German seals Team's Championship with win
Nico Hulkenberg has continued his winning ways with a strong victory in today's feature race in Portimao, shadowing race leader Vitaly Petrov before jumping to the front after his stop and leading home Luca Filippi and Lucas di Grassi.
When the lights went out Petrov led the field down to turn one, with Hulkenberg and di Grassi blowing past slow starting front rower Dani Clos to slot in behind the Russian, while behind them Edoardo Mortara and Javier Villa came together at the first corner: the Spaniard eventually got away but the Italian was stranded in the middle of the road, prompting a safety car period.
When the race went live again the order at the front remained static, notwithstanding the German's best efforts to steal the lead, while further back Filippi was on a charge as he repeated the form he had shown in yesterday's practice sessions and earlier in qualifying: he stopped as soon as the pitlane opened and soon set a string of fastest laps as he looked to reel in the guys ahead of him.
With his rivals clearly quicker than him on track Petrov did what he could to hold on in front, but coming in a lap after Hulkenberg didn't help: the German came in on lap 11 and re-emerged just in front of the flying Filippi but the Russian came out behind him, and when di Grassi emerged one lap later he jumped Petrov as well.
With battle raging at the front the action didn't stop further back as the field came to grips with the technical circuit. Pastor Maldonado was clearly not enjoying his second stint, and was the cork in the bottle for the rest of the field as they passed and re-passed each other on almost every lap. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan he was unable to fight back, and he slowly dropped out of the points from a high point of fifth.
At the end of the race it was Hulkenberg who ran home the easy victor, ten seconds ahead of Filippi, who had no tyres left after a storming effort and crossed the line with di Grassi right on his tail. Petrov came home fourth, one second behind the fight in front of him but five ahead of Roldan Rodriguez, who stayed out of trouble to finish fifth just ahead of Michael Herck, who scored his first ever GP2 points.
Kamui Kobayashi sliced his way through the field from 18th on the grid to come home in seventh place after a storming race, just ahead of Davide Valsecchi in eighth, who was unable to help teammate Petrov with the battle for the team's championship. ART Grand Prix reclaimed the title for the first time since 2006 when they ran Lewis Hamilton, yet another comparison which left many in the paddock to speculate how long it will take for the German to join his illustrious forebear in Formula One.