By Editor on Saturday, March 23, 2013
Swiss racer Fabio Leimer took the spoils as the GP2 season kicked off in Malaysia.
Leimer passed pole sitter Stefano Coletti with five laps remaining while the Rapax driver was also passed by James Calado as he struggled with his tyres.
It was the Racing Engineering driver’s first win since Barcelona 2011.
“It feels really great because last year we were fighting every time for the win but unfortunately we could never win,” said Leimer. “Now it’s the first race of the season and I really wanted to win this one. I think it was important for me and the team that we’re already at the front. Everything worked really well today. Mentally, this win is a real boost for me and the team. We’ve worked really hard during the winter and it’s paid off.”
Calado said that second place was a solid result after struggling at the start.
“I did not have enough temperature in my tyres, they were too cold when the lights went out,” said the Brit.
“We put the soft and one lap was not enough to have the right temperature and I had some wheel spin. We will do an extra lap tomorrow before going to the grid in order to fix this and get more grip. I was also on the dirty side of the track, but P2 is still a solid result for me and the team. Congratulations to Fabio though for his win.”
Felipe Nasr was fourth, ahead of Julian Leal. Jolyon Palmer stormed from twenty second on the grid to finish in a creditable sixth place.
Sam Bird was one of six drivers penalised for a yellow flag infringement but he battled back to record seventh place and fastest lap on his return to the series.
Stephane Richelmi finished eighth and inherits pole position for tomorrow’s sprint race.