Well that was exciting. A crash off the start line took out a stalled Muller, Sims and Stockinger, and so we had a safety car out, and they had to go through the pit lane to avoid the accident. Three drivers were given drive-through penalties for jumping the start: Vainio (from P4!), Calado and Quaife-Hobbs. Towards the end of the race there were more incidents, with Storey putting himself out after a fight with Trummer, then Nunes taking out himself and Trummer.
The race ran to time, and Tamas Pal Kiss for Tech 1 won the race with Mucke’s Nigel Melker second and Dean Smith third for Addax. Caldarelli (who got fastest lap), Evans and Chaves made up the rest of points scorers, but Chaves was given a penalty to promote Valtteri Bottas into sixth. It is Tech 1’s first GP3 victory, just as yesterday was Arden’s.
So this means Nigel Melker (leading the championship) and Andrea Caldarelli (2nd) have finished in the points for every race. Third-placed Mitch Evans has finished in the points for three races, just missing out in the Turkey sprint, and Dean Smith (9th) just missing out in the Turkey feature race.
A smash off the start line, this time caused by Bianchi’s ART collecting van der Garde’s Addax, causing a safety car. They won’t be getting any points today. Coletti got himself up to sixth, while Sam Bird got up to fourth and Dani Clos up to second. Romain Grosjean reached P22 after his disqualification from yesterday’s race, and Fauzy got up to P9.
Feature race winner Charles Pic was shown the black and orange flag for damage on his car, and relegated to the back of the grid. Lap 13, and Esteban Gutierrez managed to take out Michael Herck again. This time he kept going. Romain Grosjean never managed to get anywhere high at the start, but he pushed through a lot of cars towards the end of the race and finished a brilliant 9th.
Towards the end, Razia and Filippi took each other out, Filippi stopping on track and Razia retiring. Valsecchi overtook Sam Bird for fourth place as Bird’s tyres faded, and Coletti and Kral – fighting for sixth – took each other out and let Fairuz Fauzy in to the final points position.
In general, the start of the race was rather processional – as to be expected in Barcelona – but at the end it was very exciting with cars crashing all over the place. Fabio Leimer led from pole, gaining a good lead on Dani Clos and setting some very fast laps at the end. Clos in turn was well ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who took the final podium slot. Sam Bird spent most of the race in fourth but finished fifth behind AirAsia’s Davide Valsecchi. Fairuz Fauzy was gifted the final point for his third main series GP2 point (all three coming this season).
Sam Bird is the only GP2 driver to have scored points in every race.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so all these results are unofficial until penalties have been applied. And if the rest of this season is anything to go by, there will be a lot of them. Driver steward Mark Blundell was expressing his frustration at the drivers on his Twitter @markblundellf1.