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Grosjean starts GP2 season with win


Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov, Barcelona GP2 podium 2009Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov earned a Barwa Campos one-two in the opening race of the GP2 season at Barcelona today.

Grosjean controlled the race from start to finish and crossed the line 2.4 seconds clear of his team-mate, although the gap would have been greater had there not been a late safety car period to clean up an accident involving Grosjean's main title rival Lucas di Grassi.

By the time he retired the Brazilian was already well out of contention for a podium, with DAMS' Jerome D'Ambrosio having staked his claim for third.

Di Grassi's exit came when he was engaged in a three-car fight for fifth. Arden's Edoardo Motara had just passed the Racing Engineering car and ORT's Alvaro Parente was attempting to do the same when he snagged di Grassi's right-rear, triggering a collision that put both out on the spot - and left Parente's car perched atop di Grassi's.

It was a frustrating end to an already difficult afternoon for di Grassi, who was passed on the outside by Petrov at Turn 1, and also marked a painful start to the fledgling Ocean Racing Team's GP2 career, with Karun Chandhok having spun into retirement a few laps earlier.

Super Nova's Luca Filippi rebounded from the penalty that left him ninth on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Pastor Maldonado (ART), but more impressive were the efforts of those immediately behind them. Kamui Kobayashi's seventh for DAMS was a dramatic recovery from starting 22nd, and it was matched by iSport driver Giedo van der Garde's effort in getting up to sixth from 18th.

ART rookie Nico Hulkenberg was ninth after an eventful outing that included bogging down at the start, and making an extra pitstop near the end.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time
 1.  Romain Grosjean      Barwa Campos        1h02m22.709s
 2.  Vitaly Petrov        Barwa Campos           +  2.459s
 3.  Jerome D'Ambrosio    DAMS                   +  6.349s
 4.  Luca Filippi         Super Nova             +  8.346s
 5.  Pastor Maldonado     ART                    +  8.741s
 6.  Edoardo Mortara      Arden                  + 12.529s
 7.  Giedo van der Garde  iSport                 + 12.748s
 8.  Kamui Kobayashi      DAMS                   + 14.063s
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg      ART                    + 14.260s
10.  Javier Villa         Super Nova             + 15.200s
11.  Diego Nunes          iSport                 + 16.669s
12.  Nelson Panciatici    Durango                + 17.756s
13.  Michael Herck        DPR                    + 18.445s
14.  Sergio Perez         Arden                  + 18.595s
15.  Alberto Valerio      Piquet                 + 31.629s
16.  Luis Razia           Fisichella             +   1 lap
17.  Davide Rigon         Trident                +   1 lap

Retirements:

    Lucas di Grassi      Racing Engineering  32 laps
    Alvaro Parente       Ocean               32 laps
    Dani Clos            Racing Engineering  31 laps
    Karun Chandhok       Ocean               27 laps
    Roldan Rodriguez     Piquet              25 laps
    Davide Valsecchi     Durango             16 laps
    Ricardo Teixeira     Trident             11 laps
    Andi Zuber           Fisichella           5 laps
    Giacomo Ricci        DPR                  1 lap

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