One of the beneficiaries of this wild end to the otherwise orderly events of the day was Esteban Gutiérrez, who had started from 21st position after a dismal feature race blighted by rear wing damage but who now mirrored his Lotus ART team mate Calado's impressive form to work his way up through the positions to sit in ninth place going into the final lap. That gave him the ideal opportunity to slip through and gain four places on the final lap to claim fifth place ahead of Ceccon, with Rossi ending up in seventh ahead of Razia and Clos, and Leimer falling to tenth place after that contact.
Fabio Onidi finished just outside the top ten following his 20s feature race penalty after ignoring yellow flags during the Saturday outing, while Simon Trummer finished in 15th after having to start from the back of the grid courtesy of a penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Jake Rosenzweig in the feature event. There could yet be a late flurry of new penalties to come after the sprint race itself following that last lap chaos, and Razia in particular was already under investigation for a second time of the day for not observing track limits in the preceding laps so his eighth place finish is most certainly in the balance.
But all eyes were on the podium, and given that the series organisers had hoped the GP2 Final would showcase the emerging talents coming up from the junior GP3 series they couldn't have asked for a better photo opportunity, as Calado - already confirmed for a full GP2 season with Lotus ART in 2012 - took the top step and the Pirelli 15,000 Euros prize for the best GP3 graduate performance of the weekend. Meanwhile Tom Dillmann, with whom Calado was tied on points for that prize and who gets 10,000 Euros instead from the series tyre supplier, was also on the podium in third alongside his iSport team mate and experienced GP2 regular Marcus Ericsson.
It demonstrated the very best of the current and future crop of drivers in the feeder series; and given the history of GP2's success in promoting its stars into the F1 paddock, it's not hard to think that one or more of the men on the podium this morning will soon be mixing it with the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in the future.
Full race results and positions