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Aug 23, 2014 - 05:15 PM
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Nasr Claims Fourth In Red Flag Disrupted Race
Posted by: newsla on Aug 23, 2014 - 05:11 PM
GP2 News
Nasr Claims Fourth In Red Flag Disrupted Race


It was a dramatic GP2 Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps for Carlin as heavy rain played its part for both Felipe Nasr and Julian Leal. Nasr enjoyed a strong start and was soon up behind his team mate however a safety car and subsequent red flag period changed the order as the heavy rain fell. Nasr fought well to take fourth position as his own however Leal suffered awful luck as his car went into safety mode in the cold conditions which sadly saw him fall down the grid. He did however drive brilliantly to recover to 13th position overall.

 

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The start of the race caused drama for everyone – the track was wet but there was no rain falling, however the black clouds overhead threatened and as the race got underway conditions changed considerably. As the cars launched off the line the rain started to fall heavily and it was clear that the opening lap would be crucial.

Nasr and Leal both held their nerve in the wet conditions and as the cars made their way through Eau Rouge Nasr was already behind championship rival Jolyon Palmer, who had suffered a slow start, and was hassling him for position. He was able to take the position a couple of corners later and was soon in eighth overall. Leal meanwhile had made his way past a slow starting Raffaele Marciello however the Italian racer reclaimed the position a lap later.

However the big news of the opening lap was that of the conditions. The torrential rain was making racing dangerous and this was highlighted further when Conor Daly aqua planned off track and into the gravel. This combination of factors brought out the safety car however this soon turned into a red flag leaving the cars to line up on the start grid and wait for the restart. By this point Nasr was showing as fifth overall however Leal’s car went into safety mode under the safety car while running in the top ten which saw him lose power and fall down the grid - he was in 14th position while the new grid was being decided.

The race got underway not too long after behind the Safety Car due to the conditions. Leal made sure to gain positions and pulled an opportunistic moved on Daniel Abt as the Safety Car came back in to the pit lane. Nasr followed his lead and piled the pressure on to Nathaneal Berthon – the Carlin man pulled off a brave late breaking move to soon take fourth for his own. Over the next few laps positions remained as they were until the first round of pit stops began.

Leal was an early stopper and once he, and those around him had fulfilled their strategy call he was in 18th overall. Nasr meanwhile waited until much later in the race before taking his. When he and the rest of the field had done so Nasr was running fourth and Leal in 14th – these positions remained relatively unchanged throughout the rest of the race with Leal gaining a further place in the final laps to finish in 13th.

Reflecting on his fourth position Nasr said, ‘I’m pleased to get fourth position considering I started the race in 11th. To get some good points is always a positive but it was a very complicated race. No one knew what the weather was going to be doing and when the rain came it was very heavy. However on the first lap I was able to gain quite a few positions and after the red flag I knew I had to do the same again. I don’t think there was any more I could do in the conditions and the team did a great job today so I’m glad to get fourth overall.’


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