Despite a disappointing final race of the year, the Marussia Carlin GP2 team leave Singapore happy with a strong second season in F1’s strongest feeder series. Despite tyre degradation and a difficult start hampering the progress of Chilton and Haryanto respectively, Chilton secures fourth in the drivers’ championship while Haryanto can reflect on an impressive rookie season. In only their second season in GP2, Carlin have come to be the team to beat in the final races of the season, taking three pole positions from the last four qualifying sessions and two Feature race wins.
Following his dominant win on Saturday, Chilton started eighth for Sunday’s reverse grid Sprint race. Having made his way through the order in Saturday’s Feature race, Haryanto started just behind his team mate in ninth place.
As the lights went out Chilton made a good start to hold position, while Haryanto found himself blocked as the field narrowed to enter the tight first corner. At the end of the first lap Chilton had dropped one place to ninth, while Haryanto was running in 14th.
Despite dominating the field yesterday, Chilton was involved in a close fight with Felipe Nasr for ninth place throughout the opening laps. The fight became more intense after Nathanael Berthon was given the black and orange flag and was forced to pit, elevating Chilton to eighth, while Haryanto was still running in 13th.
On lap five Chilton lost eighth place to Nasr as his Super Soft tyres started to lose performance, and dropped to 10th shortly after. A black flag for Sergio Canamasas effectively elevated Chilton from 10th to 9th and Haryanto to 12th, although Canamasas failed to serve his penalty for several laps.
The one and only safety car of the race came out after Robert Binder crashed and was left stranded across the start/finish straight. After marshals had cleared away the accident, the racing action got underway again on lap 12 and at the restart both Carlin men held their position. However, both Chilton and Haryanto came under attack and were 12th and 13th on lap 14.
Running on the Super Soft tyres, Chilton was clearly struggling for pace and was passed by his team mate on lap 15. Haryanto continued to make progress and was involved in a close battle with Stefan Richelmi, which resulted in contact between the two on lap 20. In a relatively uneventful end to the race, the young Indonesian went on to finish 11th, while Chilton was 19th.
Reflecting on his end to the season Chilton said, “I’m hugely happy and proud of what the team and myself have achieved over the past two years. We have both developed as one and to grab fourth in the championship following our second Feature race win at the last round of the season is the icing on the cake. I just want to thank the team and my engineer Andy for all their hard work which have made these results possible.”
Haryanto added, “It’s been a mixed season in GP2, as a rookie it’s been a steep learning curve and I’m happy to have shown my pace with a pole position and several battles for the podium but I’m frustrated that that hasn’t been converted into more points. Having said that, I’ve built a great foundation this year for future seasons.”