Perez powers to fourth victory
Mexican dominates Spa sprint race
Sergio Perez has kept his championship aspirations alive with a dominant victory in this morning’s sprint race at Spa Francorchamps, claiming the lead on the first race and controlling his rivals through 3 restarts to take his fourth win of the season ahead of teammate Giedo van der Garde and Alvaro Parente.
The win was set up at the start when Perez made a good start to slot in behind polesitter Rodolfo Gonzalez into the first corner, picked up a good tow up the hill and slingshot past for a lead that he was never going to relinquish, with Oliver Turvey just behind the pair and ahead of the Charles Pic / Luca Filippi / van der Garde skirmish: the Italian tapped the back of his French rival at the bus stop and lost his front wing, giving the Dutchman a line through and prompting a safety car to allow the marshals to pick up the debris.
At the restart van der Garde, who had sliced by Pic just before the SC board was shown, was soon moving up another spot as he clinically disposed of Turvey at the end of the top straight, with Parente repeating the move one lap later. Unfortunately Christian Vietoris ran wide just behind them and lost the car over the kerbs, finding the wall and bringing the safety car out for another visit.
At the restart van der Garde made a big move inside Gonzalez at the first corner, but was too deep and couldn’t make it stick: he lined up right behind the Venezuelan with Parente on his tail, the Dutchman went left and the Portuguese driver to the right of Gonzalez as they blasted past, with van der Garde the last man to brake as he pinched second behind his teammate.
A couple of laps later and Pic was pushing hard to get by Turvey, but repeated Vietoris’ early mistake and made a heavy impact into the wall: the safety car had to stay out for a few laps as the marshals struggled to rebuild the tyre barriers and get the race restarted.
When the race finally went live Perez pushed hard to stay ahead of his teammate: the fastest lap of the race for Perez and a small mistake by van der Garde secured the win for the Mexican, who scored maximum points with Maldonado stopping on the first lap with a mechanical gremlin. Van der Garde made it a one-two for Addax, while Parente claimed his second podium on his first weekend back in the series. Gonzalez held on for a strong fourth position, with Turvey right behind him and Romain Grosjean cleaning up the final point of the day.
With Monza just days away the championship continues to swing back and forth between Maldonado and Perez: the Venezuelan leads with 87 points to 60, but with 40 points on offer for the final two races all eyes will be on the leading pair in qualifying next Friday.
|01.||Sergio Perez||Barwa Addax||41m51.924s|
|02.||Giedo Van der Garde||Barwa Addax||+2.574|
|04.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Arden International||+4.826|
|07.||Marcus Ericsson||Super Nova||+8.740|
|11.||Max Chilton||Ocean Racing||+11.360|
|12.||Sam Bird||ART Grand Prix||+12.171|
|15.||Charles Pic||Arden International||DNF|
|18.||Christian Vietoris||Racing Engineering||DNF|
|20.||Jules Bianchi||ART Grand Prix||DNF|
|21.||Luca Filippi||Super Nova||DNF|
|22.||Fabio Leimer||Ocean Racing||DNF|
|24.||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||DNS|
More on F2