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24/07/2016 Changing of the Guard: Hungary 2016

10/07/2016 [Un]lucky 7?

03/07/2016 2016 Austrian Grand Prix - Sparks Fly in Spielberg

19/06/2016 Whitewash in Baku

12/06/2016 #LH45 in Montreal

29/05/2016 Hammertime in Monaco!

15/05/2016 Spain 2016 - Dazzling Debut

01/05/2016 2016 Russian GP Review - Rosberg Domination

17/04/2016 2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Rosberg Demonstration

03/04/2016 Bahrain 2016: Stunning Debut.

20/03/2016 2016 Australian Grand Prix Review

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GP2 Nürburgring Review

DAMS were the dominant force on Friday in Germany, taking the front row in qualifying with Richelmi beating Ericsson by almost 3 tenths of second. Frijns squeezed his Hilmer into 3rd by less than half a tenth, Evans champing at the bit behind him in the lead Arden. Nasr was a similar distance back in 5th for Carlin, exactly a tenth up on Leimer's Racing. Quaife-Hobbs took 7th for MP, less than a hundredth down on Leimer, joined on row 4 by Calado's ART who so nearly matched the MP car. Russian Time locked out row 5, Bird ahead of Dillmann by almost a tenth as the pair were hounded by Palmer's Carlin and Binder's Lazarus. Coletti made 13th place, rounding out the top half of the field for Rapax. He was joined on row 7 by the lead EQ8 Caterham of Rossi, with Lazarus and Hilmer on row 8 behind them courtesy of Crestani and Lancaster respectively. Canamasas and de Jong put MP and Caterham's second cars onto row 9, Cecotto putting the second Arden 19th while Addax driver Haryanto was their best qualifier in 20th. Berthon headed Trident's challenge in 21st, alongside Abt's ART in the German drivers home race. Ceccon and Leal rounded out Trident and Racing's qualifying sessions while Rosenzweig's Addax and Trummer's Rapax completed the field.

Russian Time were this weekend giving their livery over to the 'Save the Ring' group, working to save the Nürburgring from pricing out tourists wanting to drive the iconic layout.

Richelmi fell back as Evans briefly took the lead before running wide and losing out to Ericsson as DAMS re-took their 1-2. Quaife-Hobbs and Ceccon came together in a huge turn one crash bringing out the Safety Car while Abt dragged a limping ART round the track, apparently dropping gravel all over the place. The snake of cars was taken through the pit lane by the Safety Car while the footage showed Abt had hit Ceccon into Berthon, causing the latter to barrel-roll into the stalled MP car of Quaife-Hobbs. Amid the carnage Rene Binder climbed to 7th place.

Cecotto radioed the team claiming Haryanto overtook him under the Safety Car. The other potential infraction the stewards were yet to comment on was what Will Buxton thought was a jump start by Richelmi.

Ericsson ran away with the lead at the restart, Nasr getting ready to jump the other DAMS for 2nd.

Leal spun, dropping to 23rd before Abt made it 24th. At the sharp end, Ericsson was running fastest and building a lead over the rest of the pack, bunching behind the slower (due to tyres) Richelmi.

Nasr pitted on lap 6 to lose his super-soft tyres, aiming to do the maximum 28 on laps on the mediums. Binder also pitted, having a very slow stop.

Frijns, now promoted to 3rd, was preparing his attack on the DAMS rear-gunner. However, he and Calado both pitted to change to the mediums, Frijns' rear tyre losing him the position to the young Brit. Nasr, as expected really, cleared them both.

Ericsson was called to pit on lap 8, taking 4 new mediums and leaving his box as Canamasas came in. the DAMS stayed ahead of Abt and Leal by the narrowest of margins, Leal taking advantage of Abt's compromised line as he attacked the net leader and eventually overtook the recovering ART.

Rosenzweig, having initially been caught in the crash between Ceccon and Quaife-Hobbs, was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Leimer and Palmer pitted, the Racing dropping behind Nasr and Calado. At the front Richelmi was responding to calls to speed up.

Leimer's out-lap didn’t quite go to plan: he cleared Abt's ART but was overtaken around the outside of the final chicane by Rossi, the Caterham pulling a very bold move.

Nasr was struggling to soak up the pressure from Calado and Frijns, locking up the tyres a number of times as he tried desperately to maintain his position. At the front Richelmi pitted but suffered an amateurish stop as the front jack man fell over. However, the DAMS stayed effectively 2nd for a couple of corners before Nasr, Calado and Frijns made moves on him almost effortlessly courtesy of their warmer tyres.

Rosenzweig and Berthon were put under investigation for after the race as a result of causing a collision – presumably where the Addax spun the Trident in a failed overtake.

Seven cars were suddenly put under investigation for overtaking under the Safety Car – Evans, Bird, Rossi, Haryanto, Coletti, Crestani and de Jong.

Calado finally cleared Nasr, leaving the Carlin at the mercy of Frijns.

Russian Time gave Bird super-soft tyres for the final 15 laps of the race in an incredibly bold move.

Richelmi aborted an attack on Frijns, Rossi trying desperately to take advantage. Nasr was struggling for traction once more, the balance obviously not right on the Carlin.

Cecotto was told to look after his tyres, suggesting he was waiting to switch to the softer tyres in his out-of-sync 2nd place. Leal, running 7th, pitted with 13 laps to go.

Palmer, unseen by the cameras, had dropped to 24th place. Richelmi was now on the back of the sister Carlin as Frijns left him behind.

The lap counter was replaced by a countdown timer for the final 16 minutes of racing, brought about ultimately by the slow laps behind the Safety Car early in the race.

Evans pitted but the front jack failed and the Arden lost a mountain of time.

Leal set the fastest lap and at that moment was given a penalty for exceeding track limits.

Richelmi, being lined up by Coletti, had a serious look at Nasr but was briefly overtaken by Coletti, only retaken by some quick thinking from Richelmi.

Cecotto lost time in the pits as well, again the front jack the crux of the issue.

Coletti made the move on Richelmi a lap later, while Rossi was falling into the clutches of Leimer. Nasr also fell foul of Coletti's late march.

Dillmann was added to the list of post-race investigations for a potentially illegal pit stop release.

Leimer cleared Rossi despite running very wide as the Caterham started struggling, while Lancaster behind him cleared Dillmann and lined up the American driver.

Richelmi cleared Nasr with 6 minutes remaining, immediately followed by Leimer.

Dillmann and Rossi nearly came together, the Caterham ultimately losing the place. In the fight for 3rd Coletti was all over the tail of Frijns while the 2nd-placed Calado reported “finished” tyres.

After an epic final corner battle for 3rd place, Ericsson won from Calado, Coletti, Leimer, Richelmi, Frijns, Lancaster, Dillmann (making the reverse grid pole for Sunday) Nasr and Cecotto. Rossi headed up the non-scoring drivers, ahead of Canamasas, Bird, Trummer, De Jong, Evans, Berthon, Haryanto, Crestani, Binder, Abt, Leal, Rosenzweig and Palmer. Quaife-Hobbs and Ceccon of course retired.

Although it didn’t affect his final position or his Sunday grid slot, Rosenzweig was given a retrospective drive-through penalty for his collision with Berthon while the Safety Car overtakes were unpunished.

Kevin Ceccon withdrew from the Sunday race due to the state of his car after Saturday’s epic roll, reducing the field to 25 cars.

A cleaner start saw Lancaster take the lead while both front row starters lost ground. Calado was 3rd behind Dillmann while Leimer sat 4th ahead of Ericsson. Cecotto cleared Nasr further down the points.

Dillmann claimed the inside line for the first corner of lap 2, blocking Calado's move.

Yellow flags appeared before the Safety Car was deployed, but only after Frijns cleared Coletti for 9th and Lancaster took the fastest lap. The camera found Richelmi's stricken DAMS and a piece of a Lazarus while de Jong was in the pits and seemingly also out of the race. Richelmi and de Jong were put under investigation for causing a collision as the Safety Car peeled off to allow Lancaster to restart, leaving a fair gap to a napping Dillmann.

Rossi stole 10th from Coletti, although the Rapax driver was told the drivers on older tyres were struggling, as evidenced by Dillmann.

Calado made a 4-corner move on Dillmann and Leimer followed the Brit through as Russian Time's lead car slid backwards. Ericsson and Bird sat on the tail of Dillmann, ahead of Nasr and Frijns who was still just about in the points.

Canamasas tagged Berthon into the first corner and the Trident was spun through a half-circle, dropping places.

Calado was reeling in Lancaster, the gap down to 1.7 seconds after 7 laps as the ART took the fastest lap. At the other end of the points Nasr had dropped to 8th after Frijns cleared him for 7th. Meanwhile Canamasas was put under investigation and Calado was told to start saving tyres.

Frijns tried a desperate move on Bird but took himself right down the order as Bird ran him out of road, but it was Canamasas given the drive-through at that point before the Bird/Frijns collision was investigated, though no action would be taken.

Dillmann suddenly dropped to 10th while the director was showing us replays, seemingly hampered by a technical issue out of the bottom hairpin.

Leal, having seemingly spun Rosenzweig off the track, was under investigation for that incident. Leal subsequently pushed Binder off the track, sparks flying as their wheels touched. The investigation was later postponed to the end of the race.

Coletti pitted for an extreme gamble on super-soft tyres as he headed into the final 12 laps, while the contact between Richelmi and de Jong was put on the back burner to be investigated post-race.

Dillmann pitted to explore his technical difficulty, appearing ever more to be a gearbox failure as he lost mountains of time to the rest of the field. As with Coletti, the super-soft tyres were bolted on although the car was in no hurry to leave the pits.

Courtesy of a couple of drivers sliding from the points, Nasr was now running 6th ahead of Cecotto and Rossi as the final 10 laps began. Trummer was holding onto the back of the Caterham in 9th place.

Nasr closed on Bird as he prepared to have a run for 5th while Calado was told to “push... for the win” by his ART engineer, taking 6 tenths from Lancaster almost immediately though the leader subsequently fought back to stabilise the gap again.

Dillmann pitted again, this time retiring in 22nd place.

Ericsson called to the pits “the rears are no more” while Nasr cleared Bird for 5th place, almost certain to clear the DAMS given the tyre issues the yellow car was facing.

Cecotto hit Bird off the track, the Russian Time losing two places as Rossi took advantage. Evans then made it 3 cars passed the Brit but Nasr was no longer concerned by who was 6th – he had cleared Ericsson for 4th. Cecotto made it into 5th soon after, Rossi lining the DAMS up as he failed to follow the Arden through. Evans in the sister Arden was piling pressure onto the Caterham as Bird sat in 9th.

Rossi took 6th from Ericsson followed a corner later by Evans and Bird taking 7th and 8th as the DAMS' tyres finally gave in.

while GP3 had just seen the 8th different winner in 8 races in Alex Sims, Jon Lancaster took his second consecutive Sunday victory, Calado hanging on in 2nd for his second consecutive 2nd place finish, his third straight podium. Leimer finished a solid 3rd ahead of Nasr, Cecotto, Rossi, Evans and Bird. Trummer made 9th ahead of Binder, Palmer, Leal, Ericsson, Haryanto, Berthon, Quaife-Hobbs, Canamasas, Rosenzweig, Abt, Coletti and Crestani. Dillmann, Frijns, De Jong and Richelmi retired, while Ceccon had watched the entire race from the pits.

Rosenzweig had 20 seconds added to his time for the crash with Leal, while de Jong was given a 5-place penalty for the Hungarian feature race for taking Richelmi out.

 

Tufty



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