Esteban Gutiérrez won the second GP2 race of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend from pole position.
Having finished Race 1 in eighth place, the Mexican was awarded the reverse grid pole ahead of Nathanael Berthon. He made a good start, maintaining his lead through Turn 1 and then maintaining a comfortable gap to the Frenchman. When Berthon posted a fast lap and cut the gap to under a second, Esteban responded by setting the fastest lap of the race, a 1:32.348 on Lap 15, which was a full 1.5 seconds faster than the Racing Engineering driver on that lap.
It was the Lotus driver’s first sprint race victory of the year, having already scored feature wins in Valencia and Silverstone. He maintains third place in the championship.
Team-mate James Calado had mixed fortunes. He was given a two-place grid penalty for impeding another driver during practice, which moved him from P2 to P4 for Race 1, and remained in that position when he crossed the line. That put him fifth on the grid for Sunday’s sprint race, but the Englishman had a clutch problem which saw him fall down through the field at the start. Fighting to get past Max Chilton for much of the race, he eventually salvaged sixth.
Lotus leads the championship with 282 points, 24 ahead of DAMS.
Esteban Gutiérrez: “I made a great start in Race 1. We started on the clean line and shot from seventh to fourth. The strategy we used was very different to the others and was working well until we lost three seconds keeping the position to Marcus Ericsson. We had been in a good position to exit the pits ahead of the pack, but it was not to be. After that I tried to fight back, but also preserve the tyres for a final push, which worked well and I was able to pass Fabio Leimer for eighth place and the pole for Race 2. Starting in front makes a big difference, and I just had to hold onto my tyres and manage the gap to the guy behind. The car was really nice to drive on the limit. When the team asked me to do the quickest lap it was pretty easy. In the end I saved some fuel, but was in control all the time and never felt threatened. It was good!”
James Calado: “A pretty average weekend, but we scored some points and it’s put me fourth in the championship. Things got off to a bad start with the penalty in free practice, which I think was very undeserved. I put that behind me and qualified second. Race 1 was pretty good and I finished fourth, and in Race 2 I had an issue with the clutch which I had to recover from. I still scored more points than Giedo van der Garde [who is fourth in the championship], we’re leading the teams’ championship, Esteban drove a great race and next we go to Spa, which I love.”