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Jul 06, 2014 - 06:11 AM
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Fifth For Leal, Heartbreak For Nasr
Posted by: newsla on Jul 06, 2014 - 06:04 AM
GP2 News
Fifth For Leal, Heartbreak For Nasr


It was a race of mixed fortunes for the Carlin GP2 team today, as Julian Leal and Felipe Nasr competed in the GP2 Series Feature Race at Silverstone. Leal made the most of a strong strategy and race pace to claim fourth place at the flag which would later become fifth, but a delay in the pits meant Nasr was only able to take seventh after previously running in third.

 

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Lining up for the first GP2 race of the weekend, Leal started from fourth and Nasr sixth, but as the cars completed the first lap, it was Nasr who had the advantage, putting himself up into fourth, despite starting on the wet side of the grid. Leal meanwhile dropped briefly to ninth.

After a feisty fight with Jolyon Palmer for third on the opening lap, Nasr had settled into fourth, while Leal was already making up places and was back up to seventh. Nasr meanwhile had his mirrors full of the ART car of Stoffel Vandoorne, but the Carlin man withstood the pressure well and never gave Vandoorne the chance to take position.

Leal was amongst the first drivers to pit, stopping for his mandatory tyre change on lap seven from seventh place. A quick stop put him back out in the mid field while Nasr continued with the front runners who were yet to stop. With new tyres, Leal was showing strong pace, setting the fastest lap of the race so far on lap nine.

The leaders finally made their pit stops around lap 20, with Nasr in the pits from what had been third place. The Carlin man was to suffer misfortune though, a cross threaded wheel nut delayed the stop, putting him back out on track down the order.

Despite the obvious disappointment Nasr fought back, passing Stefan Richelmi for seventh place on lap 24. A few laps later, Nasr had closed up on the back of Johnny Cecotto and was fighting hard for sixth. The Brazilian ran out of time though and had to be content with seventh at the flag, when a podium finish had earlier been in reach. Leal meanwhile was taking his fight right to the chequered flag. A last lap battle with Stefano Coletti saw the duo wheel to wheel with Leal taking fourth place just before the line. Stewards ruled after the race though that Leal had made contact with Coletti through a ‘careless collision’ and Leal was demoted back to fifth place.

“The start was not good for me”, said Leal. “After the rain earlier in the day, the right hand side of the grid was very wet and all the way down to the first corner I couldn’t get onto the dry line. After this I tried to overtake some cars and we had a good strategy. After the pit stop I was pushing a lot and the car felt really good. At the end I was racing with Coletti and I passed him but afterwards the stewards took the place away from me. But the car is capable of the podium, this is our aim for the future.”

Following today’s Feature race, Nasr will line up second for tomorrow’s Sprint race, while Leal will line up fourth.

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