Eking out his advantage with every lap, Hulkenberg would eventually cross the line ten seconds ahead of Filippi, the Italian holding off a late charge by both di Grassi and Petrov to secure his third podium of the season and stop a run of five retirements.
With Petrov finishing in fourth position, di Grassi is now guaranteed to finish no higher than third in the overall standings for the second season running, while the Addax driver confirmed his runners-up spot by shadowing the Brazilian across the finish line.
Some way further back, an entertaining – and unlikely - dual for fifth position went in favour of Rodriguez, but only after holding off a spirited attack from Herck, whose decision to stay on track late was rewarded with an outstanding sixth place finish.
Marking the Romanian's first points in GP2 at the end of his second season in the series, the result also means DPR get on the scoreboard at the final time of asking. He earned the result too, Herck having returned to the track after his pit-stop in eighth position before fending off Davide Valsecchi, passing Maldonado and almost overhauling Rodriguez.
Seventh place, and a spot on the front row for race two, eventually fell to Kamui Kobayashi, who put on a late race spurt to overtake five drivers in the space of four laps. He will line-up alongside Valsecchi in the sprint race, the Italian battling handling problems after losing a section of his nose cone, but defending his position from Andreas Zuber and Davide Rigon.
Elsewhere, Maldonado – who had run as high as fifth – tumbled down the order with tyre problems to cross the line in 13th, while front row sitter Clos endured a dismal race, the Spaniard slipping out of the top eight early on before a high-speed spin ended his hopes of scoring his first points of the season.