A terrific start off the line put Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer in command of the Monza feature race on a gloriously hot and sunny Saturday afternoon, with polesitter Sam Bird having to accept second place heading into the first chicane.

However the Russian Time driver had the advantage of starting on the harder prime tyres which allowed him a longer effective first stint that seemed certain to hand him the race lead after the mandatory pit stops cycled through - only for the Briton's hopes to be dashed by a problem with the right rear wheel change.

Leimer's win was secure and Bird settled for second place and the points for fastest lap, which puts the two drivers at the head of the GP2 Series championship standings after another pointless outing for Stefano Coletti who retired in the pits on lap 24.

Several other championship hopefuls also exited the race early, with Felipe Nasr's Carlin suffering an engine failure on lap 18 while his team mate Jolyon Palmer had his left rear wheel detach after a pit stop on lap 11 and Marcus Ericsson suffering a front left puncture on his DAMS on lap 17. Jake Rosenzweig (Barwa Addax), Simon Trummer (Rapax), Mitch Evans (Arden) and Nathana?l Berthon (Trident Racing) all retired as a result of a series of early incidents at the first chicane.

With both Carlin cars out and Bird joined on the podium by his team mate Tom Dillmann, Russian Time assumes the lead in the teams championship by 18 points over Racing Engineering as Carlin slumps to third position. Caterham's Alexander Rossi clinched sprint race pole by finishing in eighth place ahead of his team mate Sergio Canamasas while an impressive run for Vittorio Ghirelli clinched the final points position for Venezuela GP Lazarus.

However, race positions remain provisional dependent on a long list of incidents placed under review by the race stewards.

Feature race results

1. #8 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 47:48.311s (30 laps)
2. #11 Sam Bird Russian Time + 0.806s
3. #12 Tom Dillmann Russian Time + 6.137s
4. #2 St?phane Richelmi DAMS + 9.902s
5. #7 Juli?n Leal Racing Engineering + 15.400s
6. #3 James Calado ART GP + 18.748s
7. #22 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport + 24.007s
8. #15 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing + 30.276s
9. #14 Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing + 40.272s
10. #25 Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus + 44.906s
11. #27 Dani?l de Jong MP Motorsport + 46.540s
12. #5 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Arden + 47.382s
13. #23 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport + 47.635s
14. #17 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax + 48.003s
15. #21 Sergio Campana Trident Racing + 50.194s
16. #24 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus + 62.186s
17. #4 Daniel Abt ART GP + 1 laps
18. #26 Dani Clos MP Motorsport + 1 laps

Retirements #18 Stefano Coletti Rapax (retired on lap 24) #9 Felipe Nasr Carlin (retired on lap 18) #1 Marcus Ericsson DAMS (retired on lap 16) #10 Jolyon Palmer Carlin (retired on lap 11) #16 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax (retired on lap 4) #19 Simon Trummer Rapax (retired on lap 2) #6 Mitch Evans Arden (retired on lap 2) #20 Nathana?l Berthon Trident Racing (retired on lap 1)

Fastest lap #11 Sam Bird Russian Time 1:32.749 (139.716mph) on lap 25

Championship standings

1. Fabio Leimer 153pts
2. Sam Bird 145pts
3. Stefano Coletti 135pts
4. Felipe Nasr 130pts
5. James Calado 119pts
6. Stephane Richelmi 83pts
7. Marcus Ericsson 82pts
8. Tom Dillmann 78pts
9. Jolyon Palmer 68pts
10. Jon Lancaster 65pts
11. Mitchell Evans 56pts
12. Julian Leal 52pts
13. Alexander Rossi 51pts
14. Robin Frijns 47pts
15. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 40pts
16. Johnny Cecotto Jr. 32pts
17. Kevin Ceccon 28pts
18. Nathanael Berthon 21pts
19. Rio Haryanto 20pts
20. Simon Trummer 18pts
21. Rene Binder 11pts
22. Daniel Abt 3pts
23. Conor Daly 2pts
24. Sergio Canamasas 2pts
25. Daniel de Jong 1pts
26. Vittorio Ghirelli 1pts

1. Russian Time 223pts
2. Racing Engineering 205pts
3. Carlin 198pts
4. DAMS 165pts
5. Rapax 153pts
6. Hilmer Motorsport 131pts
7. ART Grand Prix 122pts
8. Arden International 88pts
9. EQ8 Caterham Racing 53pts
10. Trident Racing 49pts
11. MP Motorsport 24pts
12. Barwa Addax Team 20pts
13. Venezuela GP Lazarus 12pts