Swiss driver heads Arden 1-2
Sébastien Buemi has taken a dramatic win in damp conditions at the Circuit Magny-Cours: after starting 21st on slick tyres he ignored the chaos all around to him to record a memorable victory ahead of teammate Yelmer Buurman and Luca Filippi.
Rain fell steadily on the French circuit overnight but stopped just prior to the start, handing engineers all along the pitlane a nightmarish decision to make: do you play it safe and run wets, or throw the dice and gamble on slicks? The eventual podium provided an answer, albeit too late for the rest of the grid: the gamble paid off handsomely for all three drivers by the end of the race. Polesitter Mike Conway led the grid away when the lights went out, with Jerome D'Ambrosio and Vitaly Petrov making strong starts to slot in behind him as the slick shod drivers just tried to hold on in the greasy conditions. The Belgian lost his advantage shortly after when he ran wide and came together with front row starter Karun Chandhok, and a stream of cars flowed by the pair and off after the leaders.
There were battles all around the circuit as the drivers pushed the limits of adhesion to make up places, but further back it was becoming clear that a drier line was emerging and a change of tyres was on the cards for most of the field: Buurman was the best placed of the slick shod drivers, and as his rivals dribbled into the pits he steadily rose up the timesheets until he was in P1.
The tricky conditions caught out many drivers: Romain Grosjean retired in the gravel trap just after changing to slicks, with most of the field hitting someone as they struggled to control their cars, including a big impact at the hairpin between Giorgio Pantano and Petrov which put the series leader out of the race shortly after. Meanwhile Buemi was pushing hard to get on terms with his teammate, finally catching and overtaking him on lap 21 after the pair ran wheel to wheel for half a lap until the hairpin. Further back and Filippi was on a charge too, albeit with more traffic ahead of him: mechanical gremlins eventually put paid to the challenges thrown out by Alvaro Parente and Bruno Senna, handing an overdue podium to the Italian to kick start his season behind the Arden pair. Behind them Lucas di Grassi's conservative approach paid dividends with a fourth place, just ahead of Senna and Conway, while Kamui Kobayashi claimed the point for fastest lap on his last trip around the circuit.
Buemi sprayed the champagne with his teammate and Filippi in celebration of his win, but he had something else to celebrate too: the win pushed the Swiss driver up to third place in the championship on 20 points, behind Pantano on 35 and Senna on 28. Magny-Cours –
Race 2 Driver Team
1. Sébastien Buemi Trust Team Arden 2 Yelmer Buurman Trust Team Arden 3. Luca Filippi ART Grand Prix 4. Lucas di Grassi Barwa Int. Campos Team 5 Bruno Senna iSport International 6. Mike Conway Trident Racing 7 Pastor Maldonado Piquet Sports 8. Andreas Zuber Piquet Sports 9. Kamui Kobayashi Dams 10. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 11. Marko Asmer Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 12. Adrian Valles BCN Competicion 13. Carlos Iaconelli BCN Competicion 14. Ho-Pin Tung Trident Racing 15. Michael Herck DPR 16. Roldan Rodriguez Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 17. Alberto Valerio Durango 18. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team
Fastest lap time: Kamui Kobayashi (Dams): 1:23.550 on lap 28 Not Classified Driver Team Alvaro Parente Super Nova Racing Ben Hanley Durango Diego Nunes DPR Giorgio Pantano Racing Engineering Karun Chandhok iSport International Romain Grosjean ART Grand Prix Andy Soucek Super Nova Racing Jérôme d’Ambrosio DamsClick here for the Official Fisichella Motorsportweb site - designed and built by Racecar