Grosjean briefly overtook Cecotto through the Bus-stop chicane at the end of the lap but it proved costly as he lost the position on the run down to the hairpin. He then found himself in a scary three-wide battle out of the apex with Dani Clos and Jules Bianchi in the run up the hill - and lost out to both, with Bianchi emerging as the big winner making up two places before going on to scoot around Cecotto at the end of the lap as well to pick up third place.
Grosjean regrouped and quickly re-passed Clos, then overtook Cecotto again next time through the Bus-stop rather more smoothly and easily this time: Cecotto's pace was clearly waning and he would soon prove easy prey to Sam Bird and Esteban Gutierrez as well, ejecting him from the points after that stunning start that had promised so much.
There was no question now as to who would win the race - Filippi had a four second lead going into the final moments of the race. Behind him, Jules Bianchi clearly had the measure of Kral and proved it on the penultimate run through the Bus-stop to wrest second place away from the Arden.
Newly confirmed 2011 GP2 champion Grosjean didn't have enough time left in the race to follow Bianchi's lead and missed out on the podium today behind Filippi, Bianchi and Kral - Jules Bianchi looking considerably happier today than he had at the end of the feature race as he collected the trophy for a second consecutive runner-up position. With another dreadful day for Barwa Addax, that puts Bianchi right into the middle of the fight for second place in the championship with van der Garde and Charles Pic, giving him everything to play for going into the final race weekend at Monza in a fortnight.
Other than Leimer's dramatic exit from the race, the only other retirements were from Luiz Razia, Mikhail Aleshin and Julian Leal - who spun in the run down to La Source and ended up in the outside tyre barrier shortly after the restart.
Full results and positions