Kamui Kobayashi once again displayed great driving skills as he stormed from fourth to second at the start before putting pressure on race leader Hülkenberg and overtaking him in a stellar manoeuvre. He crossed the finish line in first position for the second time this season, 5.8 seconds ahead of his teammate Jérôme d’Ambrosio. Both men offered Dams their first one-two in the GP2 Asia Series.
Thursday’s sensation Nico Hülkenberg made a good start from pole position and led the race in the early laps, but the ART rookie had to cope with Kobayashi’s pressure as the Japanese stayed glued to the German’s rear win. Hülkenberg contained Kobayashi as long as he could, locking his wheels on several occasions, but eventually, he had to give up as the Dams driver made a strong move and overtook him at the end of the straight line on Lap 13.
Four laps later, the ART driver was the first of the race leaders to make his mandatory pitstop, but he lost a bit of time because of a problem while changing his right rear tyre. This unfortunate incident pushed him back in fourth place, and promoted Dams’ d’Ambrosio and Arden’s Mortara respectively to second and third. Even though the Belgian struggled at the start of the race, he fought his way back from fourth, overtaking a competitive Mortara before coming into the pits. With the two Dams leading the race quite comfortably, the Italian had to keep an eye in his rear mirror as Hülkenberg tried to fight his way back onto the podium, but to no avail: Edoardo Mortara secured his first GP2 podium.
Behind them, Davide Valsecchi and Sergio Perez animated the rest of the pack: the Durango driver worked his way from tenth to fifth - overtaking his closest rival Piquet’s Rodriguez on lap 30, and the Campos ace recovering from a disappointing 13th place to 8th, meaning that the young Mexican will start on the reversed pole tomorrow. Giedo Van der Garde at GFH iSport will join him on the front row.
Kamui Kobayashi crossed the finish line almost 6 seconds ahead of his teammate. The Toyota F1’s third driver signed once again the fastest laptime in a 1:43.604, adding an extra point to his ten-point win. He has extended his lead to 11 points on Rodriguez. Davide Valsecchi is still third, only three points away from the Piquet driver. Jérôme d’Ambrosio stands now fourth in the driver’s championship.
Bahrain Race 1
Driver/ Team1. Kamui Kobayashi Dams2. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams3. Edoardo Mortara ArdenMotorsport Int.4. Nico Hülkenberg ART Grand Prix5. Davide Valsecchi Durango 6. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet GP7 Giedo Van der Garde GFH Team iSport8. Sergio Perez Barwa Int. Campos Team9. Javier Villa Super Nova Racing10. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team11. Earl Bamber My Qi-Meritus.Mahara12. Hamad Al Fardan GFH Team iSport13. Diego Nunes Piquet GP14. Luiz Razia ArdenInt. Motorsport15. Francesco Provenzano Trident Racing16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Fisichella Motor Sport Int.17. Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix18. Michael Herck DPR19. Michael Dalle Stelle Durango 20. Marco Bonanomi My Qi-Meritus.Mahara21. Kevin Nai Chia Chen Fisichella Motor Sport Int.22. James Jakes Super Nova Racing
Fastest Latime: Kamui Koabayashi in a 1:43.604 on lap 23
Giacomo Ricci DPR AdrianValles Trident Racing Fabrizio Crestani Ocean Racing Technology Yelmer Buurman Ocean Racing Technology