• GP2, Italian Grand Prix, Race 1

Filippi wins home race on GP2 return

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012

Luca Filippi remarkably won the GP2 feature race at Monza on his comeback after a year out of the championship.

Rejoining Coloni for this weekend, Filippi comfortably won from third on the grid at his home race, leading home Johnny Cecotto and Maruc Ericsson. Pole-sitter Max Chilton was fourth, while the championship race took a dramatic turn of events when Luiz Razia retired after contact with Fabio Leimer and Davide Valsecchi took advantage by finishing sixth.

Filippi made a good start to get alongside Chilton on the run down to turn one, but he ran wide through the chicane and relinquished the place to Chilton. Second-placed Giedo van der Garde got a very slow start and then lost drive out of the first chicane to retire, while Razia jumped up from 12th place up seventh on the opening lap.

The key moment in the championship race came when Razia attempted to pass Fabio Leimer around the outside in to the Roggia chicane and was tipped in to a spin by the Racing Engineering car before becoming beached on the kerbs in the run-off area. Leimer was involved in a similar incident with Felipe Nasr later in the race, but on that occasion he had just overtaken the DAMS and was blameless.

The battle at the front saw Filippi closing in on Chilton but then pitting first, attempting to get the undercut. Chilton responded to pit on the following lap and retained the lead in to turn one, but it was a stay of execution as Filippi passed on the run down to the Ascari chicane and from that point was never headed.

Chilton couldn't match Filippi's pace and slowly dropped back in to the clutches of Cecotto and Ericsson. Having held of Cecotto for two consecutive laps Chilton eventually lost out on the run down to turn one and then went wheel-to-wheel with Ericsson a few laps later as the iSport muscled its way around the outside of turn one to take the place on the exit of the chicane.

After his eventful afternoon Leimer finished fifth ahead of Valsecchi with Jolyon Palmer seventh having got the better of Esteban Gutierrez in a good clean battle from the start/finish straight down to Variante Roggia. Gutierrez dropped back in the closing stages and finished ninth behind Stefano Coletti who takes reverse grid pole for tomorrow's sprint race.

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