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May 23, 2014 - 04:40 PM
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Magnificent Monaco Podium For Nasr
Posted by: newsla on May 23, 2014 - 04:33 PM
GP2 News
Magnificent Monaco Podium For Nasr


Felipe Nasr has taken an incredible third place in today’s GP2 Series Feature Race around the tricky streets of Monaco. The Carlin man, who had started in 18th position following a penalty carried over from yesterday’s qualifying, made an early pit stop which worked in his favour as drama unfolded throughout the course of the race. Despite a long red flag period and multiple safety cars Nasr recovered brilliantly to take third place overall. Sadly, fortunes were the opposite for Julian Leal who ended his race in the barriers following a hard fought battle for position.

 

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Off the line it was a clean start for the majority of the field which led to no repeats of the 2013 Feature Race. Instead, Nasr had already gained positions over the course of the first lap – pulling off a strong move as the field made their way up the hill. Leal however had opposite fortunes and was running in 13th overall with his team mate just ahead.

However the stranded car of Facu Regalia on the inside of Tabac meant that an inevitable safety car was released on track to give enough space for the marshals to winch the car away from its position. This short break in racing gave enough time for the field to once again bunch up. On the restart it was business as usual for the drivers with no big changes to mention.

As the pit window opened Nasr, who had started the race on the super soft tyres, darted in to make his change at the earliest convenience – retaking to the track he was right down the field in 21st and ready to bide his time throughout the rest of the race. Leal however had gained a position as Daniel Abt and Alexander Rossi came to blows at the hairpin which left the former stuck on track.

However the biggest incident from the race came on lap 12 when team mates Rene Binder and Andre Negrao came together at the hairpin – as a result the cars behind were brought to a halt with no room to continue their lap. Nasr and Leal were some of the few who were able to make it through with no problem and keep their engines running. However many weren’t so lucky and as the realisation of how many cars were left on track became apparent a red flag was waved and the cars began to, with help from the marshals, bump start their engines and make their way back to the grid.

Once the remaining cars had lined up on the grid in their correct slots confirmation came through that the race would restart behind the safety car. Despite a long red flag period the race finally restarted with Leal in ninth and Nasr in 15th.Over the next few laps the positions remained the same up and down the grid until two penalties for Binder and Rossi, for their earlier collisions, made some changes; Nasr as a result moved up to 13th however Leal was unaffected.

As the race ran to time the next biggest incident came when Leal, who had been battling hard with the Racing Engineering car of Stoffel Vandoorne, missed the corner and headed straight in to the barriers. This unlucky move for the Colombian racer brought out the safety car and saw the front runners quickly rush into the pit lane to finally make their compulsory pit stops.

Stefano Coletti began to make his move on the field and in the space of half a lap had taken both Canamasas and Nasr who was on much older soft tyres. This left Nasr down in sixth as the bunched up field all began to battle for positions in the closing laps. However Coletti’s progress was halted when he came to blows with Simon Trummer which once again moved Nasr into a podium position. Nasr pushed over the final few laps and despite coming within inches of Mitch Evans ahead he crossed the line taking third position following a hard fought race from his 18th placed start on the grid.

Reflecting on his podium Nasr said, ‘That was quite a frantic race with so much happening up and down the grid but we had a good strategy and made a fantastic recovery from where we started in 18th to get the podium in third. It just goes to show that you never know what can happen around the streets of Monaco. Now, I’m just focusing on bringing home some more big points tomorrow in the Sprint Race and looking forward to hopefully having another strong showing as we fight for the championship.’

Nasr moves to second in the driver standings’ with Leal just behind in third while Carlin second overall in the Team Championship.


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