Italian claims popular victory in feature race
Luca Filippi gave a perfect display of strength and experience to take victory in this afternoon’s feature race at the Nurburgring, taking advantage of a sharp pitstop from his Coloni team before pulling away for a strong win ahead of Charles Pic and Romain Grosjean.
The Italian put himself in a solid position for the result when the lights went out with a fast getaway, sliding into P2 on the rear wing of poleman Pic, with Jules Bianchi taking advantage of a good start to put himself ahead of Grosjean. Behind them the field was shaking out, but a coming together between Pal Varhaug and Kevin Mirocha put the pair out on the spot, prompting a safety car period to remove their stricken cars.
At the restart Esteban Gutierrez tried in vain to hold off Sam Bird through the complex for P10, while ahead of them Giedo van der Garde was trying everything he had to get ahead of title rival Grosjean, but the technical nature of the circuit (and the uncertain weather to come) meant that most of the team were waiting for the pitstops to come.
Race leader Pic finally came in on lap 13, with Filippi and Bianchi covering one lap later: the Lotus ART man lost time after choosing to change 4 tyres, but a very quick stop for the Italian saw him re-emerge just ahead of Pic, who had Grosjean all over his rear wing after jumping ahead with an early stop.
With the stops shaken out, all eyes were on the sky: the ominously dark clouds looked like they could burst at any time, but they held on until the chequered flag finally dropped to greet an ecstatic Filippi, who applauded his team as he crossed the line almost six seconds ahead of Pic, who held off Grosjean for the second step on the podium.
The top three were in a race of their own: Bianchi was the next man across the line, 33 seconds behind the winner and just ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who took advantage of the constant pressure he applied to van der Garde to outbrake the Dutchman into the chicane on the penultimate lap for P5, while behind them Dani Clos and Bird were the survivors of a huge duel between the pair, Alvaro Parente, Luiz Razia and returnee Adam Carroll for the front row of tomorrow’s sprint race, entertaining the fans for the second half of the race.
Nurburgring – Feature race
1. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni
2. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team
3. Romain Grosjean Dams
4. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART
5. Marcus Ericsson iSport International
6. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team
7. Dani Clos Racing Engineering
8. Sam Bird iSport International
9. Fabio Leimer Rapax
10. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing
11. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology
12. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni
13. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART
14. Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia
15. Julian Leal Rapax
16. Adam Carroll Super Nova Racing
17. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing
18. Max Chilton Carlin
19. Josef Kral Arden International
20. Jolyon Palmer Arden International
21. Alvaro Parente Carlin
Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia
Stefano Coletti Trident Racing
Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering
Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology
Pal Varhaug Dams
Fastest Lap : Luca Filippi (Scuderia Coloni) – 1:42.696 on lap 23