Palmer still wasn't able to claim the actual race lead until the end of lap 30 when Simon Trummer became the final driver to pit from the front and rejoin in seventh place. By this point Palmer's lead over Ericsson had eased out to more than eight seconds and the Swede was now under intense pressure from Palmer's team mate Felipe Nasr for the second spot, a Carlin looking one-two very much on the cards. Just as he had with Palmer, Ericsson pulled out all the stops to stay ahead and as the laps ticked away Nasr was consistently frustrated, until finally he was forced to settle for third place on the podium after all.
Behind this absorbing battle, Leimer was strangely passive and unable to make an impression as he calmly worked his way into a fourth place finish, while Stephane Richelmi finished in fifth ahead of late stoppers Trummer and Evans. Narrowly holding off James Calado for eighth place- and crucially the sprint race pole under reverse grid conditions - was Nathanael Berthon, and rounding out the top ten at the chequered flag was Sam Bird, who struggled on worn tyres in the final laps after having been forced into one of the earliest pit stops.
Significantly in the championship stakes, the first lap clash with Rosenzweig meant points leader Stefano Coletti finished outside the top ten despite setting the fastest lap later in the run. Rosenzweig meanwhile ended his day in the barriers after running off four laps shy of the finish.
Also in the wars was Johnny Cecotto Jr., who shattered his front wing in a late midfield move on Tom Dillmann. He was also handed a drive-thru penalty which put him back out on track right in the middle of the late stages of the Ericsson/Nasr battle, and despite being a lap down the Venezuelan insisted on forcing his way past the pair as onlookers feared he could spark another incident at any moment. Fortunately Ericsson decided discretion was the better part of valour and let the Arden get past before things got out of hand.
Jon Lancaster's race effectively ended in some ignominy when a dive-bomb move down the inside of Caterham's Sergio Canamasas resulted in front wing damage to both cars. The incident was marked for post-race scrutiny by the stewards - who also decided that Ericsson should be investigated for forcing Nasr outside track limits during their pitched battle. That means that once again the race results are under threat of being re-written overnight.
See full feature race results