x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

GP2 driver Valsecchi shows love for Yas track

Davide Valsecchi again demonstrated his love for the Yas Marina Circuit in a GP2 car as he triumphed for a third time here.

ABU DHABI // Davide Valsecchi again demonstrated his love for the Yas Marina Circuit in a GP2 car as he triumphed for a third time at the track yesterday.

The 23-year-old Italian had previously won GP2 Asia races at the venue in November last year and then in February and he completed his hat-trick in his isport international car yesterday.

He was never behind after taking the lead at the second corner following a dramatic start to the final GP2 round of the season, which has been a support series to Formula One.

Pole sitter Josef Kral was slow away and Luis Raza's Rapax car led through the first corner.

But the Brazilian ran wide on the exit of the turn and on to the rumble strip to the right of the track, and his loss of momentum allowed Valsecchi to squeeze past at the left-hander at Turn 2.

Razia then spent the rest of the race hounding Valsecchi. He was never more than 1.5secs behind the Italian, but was never able to get close enough on the two long straights to try and overtake.

Romain Grosjean, the former Renault F1 driver, was a distant third to complete the podium, finishing ahead of Dani Clos and Kral.

Sergio Perez, the winner of Saturday's race, failed to finish after colliding with Sam Bird in an ill-judged lunge at Turn 11, while Pastor Maldona, the Venezuelan who had already been crowned series champion, finished a distant 10th.

gcaygill@thenational.ae