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Grosjean tightens grip on 2011 title

The floodgates were open and after this Bird was once again haemorrhaging positions as he had done earlier in the race; after Bianchi, Leimer and Vietoris all passed him, Bird had had enough and came into the pits for new tyres at the end of lap 28; it meant he would drop to last place and didn't have nearly enough time to make many of those positions back, but at least it was more fun overtaking people and setting fastest laps (even if they wouldn't count for the bonus championship point as he would never get back into the top ten) and less soul-destroying than serving out the rest of the race as a mobile chicane for everyone to practice their overtaking moves on - if he could even keep it out of the barriers in the process.

Where Bird led, Filippi was soon to follow: another relatively early stopper, he would find his tyre performance abruptly fall away in the final ten laps. That released Grosjean into the distance while Filippi tried to hold back Pic and Razia. It wasn't long before they want past the Coloni at successive runs through turn 1; a few minutes later and he also succumbed to van der Garde and also to Ericsson in the final minutes as the iSport driver fought his way back from the drive-thru penalty.

Having run in second place, Filippi would end up limping home in a disappointing sixth place, just ahead of Jules Bianchi and Christian Vietoris. Immediately behind, Vietoris' team mate Clos succumbed to Josef Kral for ninth place in the final minutes, but Vietoris himself held on for the all-important eighth place he had gained after seeing off Fabio Leimer in order to secure pole position for Racing Engineering in the sprint race under the reversed grid system

As the driver who stopped earlier than anyone by some margin, Davide Valsecchi was an obvious candidate for the same handling woes that had taken out Bird and Filippi. For a while he loked as though he was bucking the trend and was running reasonably well in 12th place - not bad given the back row starting position he'd been left in after all those penalties. But the tyre wear in the final laps did indeed finally catch up with him and he fell back to 16th place, just ahead of Sam Bird and right behind Carlin returnee Mikhail Aleshin.

Other than Ericsson's drive-thru penalty, Rodolofo Gonzalez was handed a drive-thru for overtaking under yellow flags (before he finally pulled over midrace with evident mechanical problems). Jolyon Palmer was delcared under investigation for not respecting track limits after cutting the chicane; however no further action was deemed necessary, and with Palmer running dead last and a lap off the lead it was all rather irrelevant to the race results.

At the end of 38 laps (the race losing one lap when time-capped to one hour), Pic had halved Grosjean's lead - but it was still a perfectly comfortable 2.6s comfort margin that Grosjean had as he crossed the finish line, with Pic well ahead of third-placed man Luiz Razia who had experienced an up-and-down afternoon on his travels from pole position.

Grosjean's fifth win of the year opens up an even bigger GP2 championship lead over Giedo van der Garde, who finished in fourth place ahead of a frustrated Marcus Ericsson who was still fuming over the penalty that had cost him a near-certain race win.

It was proof that however much skill you need to win a motor race, you also need your fair share of luck as well. And this year the luck seems to be going all Romain Grosjean's way, as the clouds ahead part for the young Frenchman and a return to F1 appears ever more likely in his immediate future ...

Full results and positions available.




Related Pictures

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Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) leads the field into turn one on the opening lap of the race t the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.]
Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Ocean Racing Technology) and Fairuz Fauzy (MAS, Super Nova Racing) collide out of turn 1 at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) on track at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the season on the podium with Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the 2011 season at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR, Rapax) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Friday 25 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) elebrate at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 27 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates his win on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at the Hungaroring, Hungary 2014 GP3 Series Round 5. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) celebrates at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 26 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.

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