It proved an extensive delay before racing finally resumed, since even once the tyre wall was reconstructed the restart had to be called off because of the temporary absence of the medical helicopter. But finally, after a painfully long hour's delay, the car were re-fired and got back underway.
Van der Garde, Richelmi, Trummer and Coletti led at the restart but all four still had their mandatory trips to pit lane to make later in the race. By that time Trummer had inadvertently become key to the outcome of the race when he allowed Coletti and Ericsson to slip past him but was more successful at holding up Calado for five laps, allowing the Swede to start building up a margin of comfort over his chief rival for the win.
While the remainder of the race didn't feature any major dramas to match the first stint, it certainly had more than its fair share of incidents and controversies.
Sergio Canamases exited the race on lap 11 after he clashed with Nathanaël Berthon on the run out of La Source. Canamases had squeezed the Racing Engineering car hard over to the rear pit wall and paid the consequences of the ensuing contact when his tyre blew out; Berthon himself was able to continue after some repairs on pit lane. The race stewards took a dim view of the series newcomer's move on Berthon and handed Canamases a four-place grid penalty for the sprint race that will put him on the back of the grid. on Sunday.
Jolyon Palmer retired on lap 18 after he made a dive for what looked to be a wide-open inside line through La Source that was rudely cut off by an unsuspecting Luiz Razia The final retirements were Victor Guerin and Stefano Coletti, who made contact with four laps to go and inflicted mutually assured destruction on both the Ocean and Coloni cars.
As the race finally neared its long-awaited end Ericsson had a comfortable lead of over ten seconds from Calado, who had in turn a thinner but still serviceable lead over Valsecchi in third place. Josef Kral completed a solid race to finish in fourth place, but in the final laps he had his hands full fending off Giedo van der Garde, who by leaving his pit stop late in the race had managed to pull out a decent lead at the front before having to make the invitable visit to pit road, and that allowed him to come back out and use his fresher tyres to fight his way back up to fifth place by the finish.
That was annoying to Luiz Razia, who has a championship battle against Valsecchi on his mind. By finishing in sixth place ahead of Julian Leal while Valsecchi was on the podium, Razia is left tying for the drivers' title with his rival - but at least he will have the better grid position on Sunday under the reverse grid rules.
Talking of which: that leaves the important matter of the sprint race pole to settle. There was a gaggle of out-of-position fast cars all competing hard for the honour, with Rio Haryanto putting on a particularly harsh move on his own Carlin team mate Max Chilton as he sought the sprint pole prize.
But both Carlin cars eventually lost out to Felipe Nasr, who was characteristically surging through the field in the latter stages having protecting his tyres better than most. He not only got past the Carlins, he then went in to get the better of Stéphane Richelmi out of the final corner of the race to steal eighth place and that sprint pole position, setting up his best chance yet of claiming his maiden win in the GP2 Series on Sunday morning.
Full race results