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Apr 06, 2014 - 05:52 PM
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Podium Again For Leal As Nasr Takes Fourth In Bahrain
Posted by: newsla on Apr 06, 2014 - 05:49 PM
GP2 News
Podium Again For Leal As Nasr Takes Fourth In Bahrain


Julian Leal and Felipe Nasr made it two Carlin cars in the top four today, following the first GP2 Series Sprint race of the season in Bahrain. The two South Americans completed a strong weekend for the British team, as Leal finished third with Nasr recovered from a difficult start finish fourth.

 

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Following an impressive Feature race yesterday in which he took second, Leal lined up seventh for today’s reverse grid Sprint race. It was team mate Nasr however that took the coveted pole position, having finished eighth yesterday.

Nasr led the field through the formation lap, before taking his position at the front of the grid for the race start. The Banco do Brazil driver lost out at the start through with a little too much clutch slip and dropped down the field to around tenth place. The Brazilian was quick to fight back though and was already back up to fifth place two corners later after taking the outside line.

Leal meanwhile made a lightning start from seventh. The Colombian leapt to third place by the second corner, following Jolyon Palmer through the field, as was the case in yesterday’s Feature Race.

Lap two saw a change for the lead as Palmer passed Simon Trummer. Leal tried to find a way though too, but had to be careful not to lose his front wing and settled back into third.

By lap 5, Nasr had Arthur Pic in his mirrors in a challenge for fifth place, while Leal was still running in third. As the race entered a steady rhythm, tyre wear became the key factor for all the drivers, with the racing calming slightly as the drivers conserved rubber.

With five laps to go the racing action increased once again as the drivers began their final charge. Nasr started to draw in fourth placed man Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, while ahead of Leal in third, the fight for the lead started to unfold between Palmer and Trummer. After following closely for several corners, Nasr took fourth from Quaife-Hobbs, but the British man fought back and took the position back. Nasr wasn’t about to give up through. The Williams F1 Reserve Driver decisively took fourth back a few corners later.

At the front Leal was holding station behind Palmer and Trummer, biding his time ahead of a final charge. Clear of Quaife-Hobbs, Nasr enjoyed some clear air and was closing in on team mate Leal in third. With only a few laps left though, the duo held station to the chequered flag, with Leal taking his second podium of the weekend in third, while Nasr was fourth making it two Carlin cars in the top four.

Speaking about his race, Leal said, “It’s amazing to start the season with two podiums, yesterday and today. The car was fantastic so thanks to the guys for all the hard work and giving me this car. Conditions today were a little bit hotter and although I had the pace to stay at the front I didn’t quite have the pace to challenge the two leaders as I did yesterday. It’s a great start though and I’m very happy.”

A strong opening weekend sees Leal classified second in the drivers’ championship with 28 points, while Nasr is 5th. The Carlin duo will next be on track at the Spanish Grand Prix next month in Barcelona.



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