Indian leads from lights to flag. Karun Chandhok has claimed his first win of the season in race two yesterday morning at the Hockenheimring after soaking up race long pressure from Andreas Zuber, who had Bruno Senna on his rear wing as the chequered flag dropped.
The Indian driver had to briefly relinquish the lead at the start: he made a strong start from pole but was unable to stop Lucas di Grassi's storming run around the outside and into the lead at turn one after the lights went out, but kept his head to hold off fellow front row starter Andy Soucek and Pastor Maldonado, while behind them Michael Herck had a slow start and tapped Luca Filippi into a big spin on the front straight: luckily both cars were out of the way quickly and there was nothing to delay the field when they came back around for the first time.
Meanwhile Zuber was on a charge: starting from eleventh he was up to sixth place by the end of the first lap, pushed past his teammate next time around and had the right line to take advantage when Soucek spun at the hairpin (removing Giorgio Pantano in the process) before setting a string of fastest laps to put himself on Chandhok's tail to commence what was to be a race long battle.
Chandhok wasn't hanging around either: he out dragged di Grassi along the long back straight before cutting back underneath and into the lead out of the hairpin, but soon had a bigger challenge in the form of Zuber, who was clearly faster but just could not find a way to make a move stick. di Grassi was soon out of the fight: on lap seven Maldonado was unable to stop fast enough into the hairpin and ran straight into the back of the Brazilian, putting him out of the race on the spot.
All of which played into Senna's hands: after finally disposing of Alvaro Parente after a good fight he was on the trail of the frontrunners, but had lost so much time that it wasn't until the last five laps that he could get back up on terms with the pair, applying constant pressure to Zuber which meant he had to take one eye off the fight ahead and concentrate on his mirrors.
And so it finished: when the flag dropped the order was Chandhok Zuber Senna with just a second covering the trio, while Grosjean fought his way through the pack to claim fourth place ahead of Javier Villa and Alvaro Parente, with Kamui Kobayashi taking something home from another difficult weekend after claiming the fastest lap of the race. But with everyone crowding around the iSport engineers all the applause was saved for Chandhok, who drove a strong, mature race to take a long overdue win in the sprint race.