- GP2, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race 2
Berthon secures lights-to-flag victoryChris Medland at the Hungaroring July 28, 2013
Nathanael Berthon took a lights to flag victory in a Hungarian GP2 sprint race dominated by tyre conservation.
Having led away from pole position and survived a restart following a safety car period, Berthon managed his tyres well to win by 2.2s from Mitch Evans. Evans threatened to close the gap in the closing laps but didn't have the speed advantage to make a serious impression on Bethon's lead as the pair finished comfortably clear of third-placed Fabio Leimer.
It was a consistent theme throughout the field as nobody made major gains having preserved tyres throughout the race. 28 laps on the medium tyre with track temperatures reaching 47C was always going to be tough, but the usual lull in pace throughout the middle of the race never increased in the closing laps as the status quo was maintained until the flag.
Berthon got a great start from pole position but the safety car was required after contact at Turn 1 when Sergio Canamasas tapped Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in to a spin which inevitably led to a bottleneck and also took out Daniel De Jong. However, the safety car period was short and Berthon delivered a strong restart to retain the lead from Evans and Leimer.
Marcus Ericsson stayed close to Leimer while Felipe Nasr appeared to hold up a number of cars behind but there were few moves in the opening laps; James Calado the only real mover in the top ten as he dived down the inside of Simon Trummer for sixth place at the start of lap 9.
The only notable action was coming at Turn 1 as Alexander Rossi tapped the rear of Julian Leal, giving Leal a puncture and earning Rossi himself a drive through penalty which ended any hopes of points.
With eight laps to go, Evans started increasing the pace to close down what was a four second gap to Berthon but was unable to put together consistently quicker laps and a mistake at Turn 4 late on ensured the points-paying positions remained unchanged.
It was another disappointing race for championship leader Stefano Coletti, with 20th place leaving him on a run of one points finish in the last six races.
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1