Despite the clean-up operation, the safety car ultimately was not called into action and the race continued. Nasr's stop hadn't been the fastest of affair, but it was enough to keep him comfortably ahead of his team mate when Palmer came in three laps later at the end of lap 11 for his own considerably smoother and faster stop. Palmer's hopes of closing on Nasr soon dimmed as the Brazilian opened out a lead over over ten seconds by the midway point of the 28-lap race, and now it seemed that the matter of the race win really was firmly resolved and Palmer should consider himself fortunate to come home in second after that terrible start.
Palmer didn't exactly see it that way. He put his foot down and by lap 18 the situation was serious enough to cause his pit wall crew to send out alarm signals, telling him that his pace was a second faster than Nasr and two seconds faster than anyone else out on track: "the pace is too hot," they warned. Of course, Palmer reacted as any motor racing professional would to such information: he redoubled his efforts and started tearing chunks of almost two seconds out of Nasr's lead, wasting no time in case his window of opportunity came to an abrupt end as a result of prematurely cooking his current set of tyres.
In fact that never really happened, and instead it was Nasr who was increasingly struggling with tyre degradation. He might have pitted only two laps earlier than his team mate but he difference in performance was clear, and with eight laps to go in the race Palmer was advancing in leaps and bound in Nasr's rear view mirror, with Nasr increasingly snatching at his brakes and locking up as he battled to stay ahead. When Palmer finally caught him four laps from the end the pass was a foregone conclusion - not that Nasr made it easy for him. Desperate to claim his first win in GP2, Nasr did everything he could to fend his team mate off but finally the superior pace of the Briton was too much and the deed was done.
Further back it seemed that Fabio Leimer was about to pull off the same sort of seek-and-destroy move on James Calado. Leimer cut through the gap separating third from fourth, Leimer was clamped to Calado's rear wing - but then unlike Palmer up the road could find no decisive way to make the deciding move for the position and instead found himself held up and backed into the path of a late-surging Stephane Richelmi, who pounced on the Racing Engineering car and claimed fourth for himself on the final lap of the race, albeit just too late for the DAMS man to then carry the assault to Calado for the podium position.
At the front, Palmer and Nasr had pretty much inverted their respective standings at the midway point of the race as Palmer crossed the finish line with a massive 13-second lead over his fellow Carlin driver, who in turn was a comfortable 12 seconds down the road from Calado, Richelmi and Leimer, while Tom Dillmann had made the most of a late-stop strategy to come him in sixth place ahead of Richelmi's team mate Marcus Ericsson.
In a move of major significance to the championship, Sam Bird succeeded in passing MP Motorsport's Dani Clos for eighth place two laps from the finish which means that the Briton will take pole position for the sprint race under revere grid rules, giving him a chance to close back up on Leimer in the title battle despite a rather nondescript weekend of it so far in Singapore.
Clos lost a further position to Hilmer's Jon Lancaster in the final seconds of the race meaning that he finished in tenth place just ahead of Arden's Mitch Evans, who like his team mate Johnny Cecotto Jr. had gone for an extra-long first stint. Evans pipped former championship leader Stefano Coletti whose miserable run of luck continued with another pointless outing at Marina Bay which saw him finish just ahead of ART's Daniel Abt.
In the title battle, Leimer's fifth place was enough to see him double his lead over Bird by six points in the drivers championship, with Nasr closing up on them both after overtaking Coletti for third place in the standings. Despite the Carlin one-two, Russian Time still holds the lead in the team standings albeit by just two points over Russian Time, with Racing Engineering also still very much in contention for the honours with three races remaining in 2013.
See full feature race results