Paddock Postcard from Hungary 01 Aug 2010
After a race that took three attempts to start, Venezuelas Pastor Maldonado extended his GP2 Series lead for Rapax on Saturday with a crushing fifth victory of the season. He led home Racing Engineerings Christian Vietoris and Barwa Addaxs Sergio Perez. The first attempt to start the race was aborted when iSports Davide Valsecchi stalled getting off the line for the formation lap. Then Tridents Adrian Zaugg caused another tour when he stalled, and finally ART Grand Prix polesitter Sam Bird's engine stopped ahead of the third attempt at a start.
When the lights finally went out iSports Oliver Turvey, the de facto poleman, bogged down, handing Maldonado an easy lead ahead of Vietoris, Perez and Barwa Addaxs Giedo van der Garde as Turvey recovered. But there was chaos behind them as Birds team mate and Ferrari Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi spun exiting Turn One and caught the rear of Giacomo Ricci's DPR car before being hit nose to nose by DAMS Ho-Pin Tung, who was then hit by Arden Internationals Rodolfo Gonzalez.
The race was red flagged as the safety car was deployed and medics attended to Bianchi and Tung as they complained of leg and stomach pains respectively. Bianchi was later confirmed with a fractured vertebra that will see him out of competition for a period, while Tung was also kept in hospital overnight as a precautionary measure.
By the chequered flag Maldonado was almost six seconds ahead of Vietoris, who held an increasingly desperate Perez at bay for his best result of the season. Turvey salvaged fourth place when Van der Garde ran wide. After finishing in eighth Giacomo Ricci took pole position for Sunday mornings sprint race, while his team mate Michael Herck was set to start alongside him.
After Herck stalled on the dummy grid, Ricci had the front row to himself and the Italian led from start to finish, despite an early challenge from dAmbrosio, clinching his first win in the main GP2 Series. With dAmbrosio retiring with technical issues, Vietoris took second ahead of Valesecchi in third.
Jenzer Motorsports Nico Muller took Saturdays GP3 honours after an impressive lights-to-flag victory. The Swiss driver was untouchable in qualifying, too, and in the race held off ART Grand Prixs Esteban Gutierrez to take his second win of the season. The Mexican was passed off the start line by Status GPs Rob Wickens and Tech 1 Racings Stefano Coletti, and the three battled throughout before finishing in the order Gutierrez, Coletti and Wickens. Britains Dean Smith was fifth for Carlin Motorsport.
Josef Newgarden seemed set to start Sunday mornings race from pole position for Carlin, until Addaxs Mirko Bortolotti slowed with fuel pressure problems in sixth place. Thus ARTs Alex Rossi started from that position with Newgarden making it an all-American front row.
Rossis slick start was strong enough to resist a first-corner challenge from Newgarden and he led to the finish line. Hopes for a US one-two were dashed, however, when Newgarden retired with mechanical issues two laps before the end and Wickens eventually secured second for Status, ahead of Carlins Smith.