Coletti retains lead after sharing wins with Frijns


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Stefano Coletti went into the third round of the GP2 championship with a ten-point lead over Fabio Leimer. He left it with a much increased lead after several of his closest rivals hit trouble.

Marcus Ericsson looked on course to bounce back from a troubled start to the season when he claimed his first pole position for the feature race. But an early retirement meant he came away from the track with nothing more than the four points he earned on Friday.

Meanwhile Leimer tangled with James Calado at the start of the feature race which ruined both of their weekend.

That allowed Robin Frijns in to claim an impressive first win for him and Hilmer Motorsport in only his third start. Remarkably he came close to repeating it in the sprint race as well.

Feature race

Calado and Leimer collide again

Marcus Ericsson was surely hoping that starting from the front row again wouldn’t result in the same result as Bahrain, when he stalled on the grid. Thankfully the DAMS driver suffered no such bad luck, and made a fantastic start to lead the field away. His team mate Stephane Richelmi wasn’t so lucky, as he lost places to Coletti and Felipe Nasr with a poor start.

Further back both Calado and Leimer had only produced fairly average qualifying performances, leaving them in the midfield. Sam Bird got a fairly poor start and Leimer attempted to jink left around him. Calado – trying to avoid a slow starter in front of him – ended up pulling across straight into the path of Leimer, effectively eliminating them both from the race.

Frijns and Palmer make gains in the pits

Robin Frijns, Jolyon Palmer and Alexander Rossi were the first to pit as soon as the window opened on lap six. Ericsson, Bird and Jon Lancaster – who had replaced Pal Varhaug at Hilmer Motorsport – were forced to respond the lap after. The extra lap on the hard tyres and in clean air had helped the first men who pitted however, added with a slow stop for Ericsson meant the DAMS man held only a slight lead from Frijns.

The remaining front runners pitted soon after leaving those who had started on the hard tyres at the front of the pack. But with fresh tyres the front runners started to come back at the leaders.

With so many close in such close company the racing started out superb, with drivers giving each other just enough room. It got too close into the final chicane however as Giovesi baulked Ericsson and Bird was forced around the outside. The Russian Time driver clipped the rear of the DAMS car and Ericsson was forced to retire.

Nasr storms through

Frijns eventually took the lead of the race from Palmer, Bird and Coletti as Mitch Evans became the last man of the leaders to pit on lap 28. But Felipe Nasr was soon closing on the Hilmer driver, having saved his tyres, and began slicing his way through the field. He was soon up with Palmer and clipped his team mate as he fought his way past, fortunately without losing his front wing.

Bird tried to get passed Palmer too but the Carlin man pushed Bird off the circuit and the Russian Time driver’s day ended in the gravel four laps from home.

Frijns held on up front to claim a fantastic first win for himself and Hilmer, followed closely by Nasr with Palmer joining them on the podium in third. But Palmer was later demoted however for his incident with Bird which promoted Jon Lancaster, making it a double podium for Hilmer Motorsport.


PosDriverTeamTime/Lap RetiredGrid
1Robin FrijnsHilmer Motorsport1hr 00’38.8968
2Felipe NasrCarlin3.3163
3Jon LancasterHilmer Motorsport12.60915
4Stefano ColettiRapax13.3295
5Tom DillmannRussian Time14.32514
6Alexander RossiCaterham Racing17.1617
7Kevin CecconTrident Racing17.5049
8Johnny CecottoArden international24.01323
9Rio HaryantoBarwa Addax Team32.02422
10Jolyon PalmerCarlin32.290*11
11Daniel AbtART Grand Prix32.82312
12Mitch EvansArden international35.74819
13Julian LealRacing Engineering39.92218
14Jake RosenzweigBarwa Addax Team40.99916
15Stephane RichelmiDAMS42.692
16Daniel de JongMP Motorsport43.10226
17Adrian Quaife-HobbsMP Motorsport54.53225
18Fabio LeimerRacing Engineering56.9466
19Simon TrummerRapax57.93524
20Rene BinderVenezuela GP Lazarus1 Lap20
21Sam BirdRussian Time344
DNFKevin GiovesiVenezuela GP Lazarus1210
DNFMarcus EricssonDAMS111
DNFSergio CanamasasCaterham Racing613
DNFNathanel BerthonTrident Racing521
DNFJames CaladoART Grand Prix27

*Jolyon Palmer was given a 20-second penalty for forcing Sam Bird off of the track.

Fastest Lap: Simon Trummer (Rapax – 1’33.409 (lap 33)
Fastest Lap Points: Jon Lancaster (Hilmer Motorsport) – 1’34.352 (lap 9)

Sprint Race

Coletti and Frijns fly from the start

Johnny Cecotto got a decent start from pole position while fourth-place Tom Dillmann stalled on the grid. Coletti got a flyer to move into second but the real surprise was Robin Frijns, who was up into third by turn one.

Cecotto tried to hold on but Coletti was around the outside and into the lead. The Arden man tried to fight back but a small mistake cost him further ground to Frijns and Nasr.

Cecotto causes mayhem

From then on the race became about saving the tyres until lap 20, when Palmer finally fought his way past Cecotto’s damaged Arden. With Cecotto so slow a train of more than ten cars formed up behind him as they began the last few laps.

Kevin Ceccon and Alexander Rossi both failed to pass Cecotto but it was Sergio Canamasas who got the best run on the exit of turn 12. Cecotto attempted to shove him wide, causing a domino effect behind them and left Rio Harayanto with nowhere to go.

He drove straight into the back of Canamasas while several drivers cut the final chicane in a desperate bid to avoid the mayhem. It was an unfortunate end to the race for Canamasas who’s been involved in a similar incident with Berthon the day before.

Up front Coletti held off the fast-closing Frijns to claim his second win of the season. Felipe Nasr rounded off the podium in third, meaning he has now finished all six races in the top four without winning one of them.

That consistency means Nasr is now Coletti’s closest rival in the championship. But the driver who scored the biggest points haul this weekend – Frijns – does not even know how many more races he will compete in this year.


PosDriverTeamTime/Lap RetiredGrid
1Stefano ColettiRapax41’49.8955
2Robin FrijnsHilmer Motorsport0.6918
3Felipe NasrCarlin7.2127
4Jolyon PalmerCarlin12.12910
5Johnny CecottoArden International35.5931
6Alexander RossiCaterham Racing36.9913
7Kevin CecconTrident Racing38.4832
8Daniel AbtART Grand Prix39.64511
9Fabio LeimerRacing Engineering40.66418
10Jon LancasterHilmer Motorsport41.3536
11James CaladoART Grand Prix41.46424
12Sam BirdRussian Time41.87625*
13Mitch EvansArden International42.5212
14Sergio CanamasasCaterham Racing44.1923
15Stephane RichelmiDAMS44.27715
16Simon TrummerRapax44.48719
17Kevin GiovesiVenezuela GP Lazarus44.62821
18Daniel de JongMP Motorsport46.04116
19Rene BinderVenezuela GP Lazarus48.13220
20Marcus EricssonDAMS53.6522
21Adrian Quaife-HobbsMP Motorsport53.93817
22Jake RosenzweigBarwa Addax Team1’02.51814
23Nathanael BerthonTrident Racing1’06.63226**
24Rio HarayantoBarwa Addax Team1’25.5909
25Julian LealRacing Engineering1’35.22313
26Tom DillmannRussian Time1 Lap4

*Sam Bird was handed a 5-place grid penalty for a collision with Marcus Ericsson in the feature race.
**Nathanael Berthon was handed a 10-place grid penalty for a collision with Sergio Canamasas and Tom Dillmann in the feature race.

Fastest Lap: Tom Dillmann (Russian Time) – 1’33.337 (on lap 14)
Fastest Lap Points: Stefano Coletti (Rapax) – 1’33.727 (on lap 3)

Drivers’ championship points

1Stefano Coletti93
2Felipe Nasr76
3Fabio Leimer54
4Robin Frijns37
5Sam Bird33
6Jolyon Palmer31
7Alexander Rossi27
8James Calado24
9Tom Dillmann22
10Johnny Cecotto19
11Jon Lancaster17
12Stephane Richelmi12
13Mitch Evans11
14Julian Leal10
15Simon Trummer8
16Kevin Ceccon8
17Adrian Quaife-Hobbs7
18Marcus Ericsson4
19Daniel Abt3
20Conor Daly2
21Rio Harayanto2
22Rene Binder1


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    14 comments on “Coletti retains lead after sharing wins with Frijns”

    1. Is it just me or does “Wins with Frijns” sound like really cheesy sitcom name?

      1. I don’t mean to rain on your party here but ‘Wins’ and ‘Frijns’ don’t rhyme


          Fairly sure they do, though Will Buxton does pronounce it differently.

          1. I always try to pronounce the name the way it is intended in the own language. So Kubica is ‘Kubitsa’ and Bianchi is ‘Bianshee’. Then Wins and Frijns surely do not rhyme.

            1. In that case my apologies! No motor racing themed sitcoms for now.

    2. what a weekend, happy to see my countryman (its Haryanto btw) finally get his first point after a poor start of the season. too bad he have to be a victim of Ceccoto madness! what was he thinking?!

    3. I seriously don’t get why Frijns is having so much trouble getting a seat. These are the guys you want to be racing. Why aren’t companies lining up to sponsor him? I think it’s a very impressive result to get a win and a second place in just his second GP2 race. It would be a disgrace if he doesn’t get a permanent seat, but I guess money talks.

    4. Frijns showing his worth once again :D

    5. That end of the race was ridiculous, those drivers should show more respect to each other at that stage of their careers.

    6. To me, Cecotto not receiving a race ban is an equal big surprise as to Frijns winning (is that correct English?). Cecotto has some serious issues and should get himself checked.

      1. @matthijs It is Cecotto 3de “mad man” incident of the season. A one race ban would be nothing more then pure justice.

      2. I think it would be “an equally big surprise as Frijns winning”. I agree with you on Cecotto, something really has to be done. It’s no wonder drivers like Maldonado and Grosjean move up from GP2 to F1 and get involved in clumsy incidents if they haven’t been properly disciplined.

    7. The incidents this weekend were shockingly awful. I don’t normally watch the gp2 races so I have no idea if this stuff is par for the course or not, but drivers like cecotto have no business in any open wheel formula.

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