• GP2, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race 1

Chilton holds on for victory in close feature race

ESPN Staff
July 28, 2012

Max Chilton won a tense and closely-fought GP2 feature race at the Hungarian Grand Prix, albeit one bereft of decent overtaking chances.

Chilton won by 0.6s from Davide Valsecchi after soaking up two laps of intense pressure from the DAMS driver at the end of the race. Valsecchi had been in a battle with championship rival Luiz Razia for third just laps earlier but as the tyres reached their limit he was able to take the fight to Chilton.

However, the tight and twisty Hungaroring rarely yields easy passing opportunities and Saturday's feature race was no different, with Chilton able to block Valsecchi at each corner and maintain the lead that he had essentially held from pole position on the grid. Razia finished third ahead of James Calado, who recovered well from a poor start to finish just 4.0s behind Chilton. The race was tight at the front with the top five cars were split by less than five seconds with 12 laps to go as a gaggle of slower cars on late-stopping strategies backed up the pack.

Giedo van der Garde finished fifth ahead of Jolyon Palmer, who started third but got a bad start and then pitted early before dropping down the order. Nathanael Berthon was seventh ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, who will take the reverse grid pole position in tomorrow's sprint race after finishing eighth. Gutierrez led the race for several laps by virtue of pitting later than the leaders but should have finished at least one place higher after running wide in the final corner and conceding two places with just a handful of laps remaining .

One of the places Gutierrez lost was to Felipe Nasr, who worked hard throughout the race to drag himself back into contention after a slow pit stop, but then ran straight into the barriers at the first corner with what looked like some kind of car failure. Johnny Cecotto had experienced a similar problem earlier in the race and from the footage it was difficult to ascertain what had gone wrong. Both drivers were unharmed in their accidents but it spelt the end of both their races.

The DNFs allowed Fabio Leimer and Stefano Coletti to pick up the final points on offer in ninth and tenth.

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