MAY 16, 2006
Piquet clings on to GP2 championship lead
Nelson Piquet Jr has kept the lead of the 2006 GP2 series after taking pole position, fourth place and a podium finish in Barcelona. Piquet was fortunate as he inherited pole after Lewis Hamilton's two best laps were taken from him for failing to heed yellow flags in the qualifying session. In the race, however, Hamilton was in the midfield but decided on an early stop and when Piquet was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane he took the lead and held off his teammate Alex Premat until the last lap when the Frenchman knocked him off. Premat took the victory with Hamilton second. With the top eighth reversed on Sunday there was an easy victory for Ernesto Viso who started on pole. The processional event resulted in Piquet, Premat and Hamilton finishing second, third and fourth. As a result Piquet leads by 39 points to Hamilton's 37 with Premat on 27.
The weekend marked the return of ex-F1 driver Giorgio Pantano who came in to replace Luca Filippi at Fisichella Motorsport. The Italian had a mixed weekend, crashing early in qualifying and being forced to start the main race from the back of the grid with his arm in plaster thanks to injuries he has sustained in the crash. He finished ninth in the first race and seventh in the second.
GP2 now moves to Monaco where there will be only one race on the Saturday.
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