• GP2, German Grand Prix, Race 2

Calado eases to sprint victory

ESPN Staff
July 22, 2012
James Calado controlled the race perfectly from pole position to win by almost eight seconds © Sutton Images

James Calado won the sprint race at Hockenheim with an impressive lights-to-flag victory from pole position.

Calado managed his tyres perfectly to lead home Giedo can der Garde and Felipe Nasr, with the result keeping his title aspirations alive as championship leaders Luis Razia and Davide Valsecchi both made errors to finish outside of the points.

As the lights went out Calado made a great start but third-placed Nigel Melker had a very poor one and dropped well back, with Nasr up to second past van der Garde - who regained the place at turn nine - after Razia had been forced wide at turn one.

In his attempts to regain positions Razia then spun at turn six, forcing Tom Dillmann to stop and Max Chilton ran in to the back of him - bringing out the safety car for one lap. Though it was a bit unlucky for Calado who had pulled a substantial gap at the start, his restart was excellent as he immediately pulled a second clear of van der Garde.

Van der Garde kept the leader honest for much of the race before Calado started to ease away in the final ten laps. Behind them, as tyres degraded Melker and Josef Kral battled for 7th place which caused a train of cars behind. Very slight contact between Jolyon Palmer and Valsecchi saw the latter spin in the same place as his championship rival Razia.

Giancarlo Serenelli had a big crash at turn 12, going straight on at high speed through the gravel. It appeared to be a mechanical failure that caused the incident but fortunately he was able to walk away from his car, albeit gingerly.

After the accident, Kral was attacking the slow Melker but backed off heavily in the yellow flag zone because Stefano Coletti passed him and saw Palmer and Nathaniel Berthon follow him through, with stewards opting to review the incident after the race.

Palmer then passed Coletti at turn two and Melker at turn six to jump up to seventh, with Coletti also dispatching Melker. With the front three comfortable, Fabio Leimer had to hold of Esteban Gutierrez for fourth, while feature race winner Johnny Cecotto finished sixth. Valsecchi made his way up to ninth by the end and is in prime position to take advantage for any post-race penalties for the likes of Coletti and Palmer ahead.