(L to R) Dani Clos (Racing Engineering), Romain Grosjean (Dams), Giedo van der Garde (Racing Engineering)
Romain Grosjean has solidified his lead in the title race after fighting his way to victory in this morning's sprint race in Silverstone, muscling his way past Dani Clos and Giedo van der Garde before easing away from his rivals for his third win of the season.
The Frenchman had some work to do from fifth on the grid, but his job was made easier as the lights went out when front row starter Stefano Coletti stalled, giving poleman van der Garde a clean run to the first turn ahead of Clos, Sam Bird, Grosjean, Christian Vietoris and Marcus Ericsson: the lead pair were soon banging wheels until the Spaniard took the top spot at turn 4, with Grosjean dispatching Bird behind them.
With the order shaken out everyone looked to protect their tires for the first dry period of the weekend, running well under the lap times of Coletti a lap behind them: it wasn't until the halfway point that Grosjean started to look for a way past his title rival. It was clear that he had a much better handling car than his rivals, and he easily dispatched van der Garde on lap 14 in the new loop corner, while Ericsson finally overtook Vietoris after a long battle behind them.
Two laps later Grosjean blew past Clos for the lead at Copse and disappeared into the distance, with Jules Bianchi disposing of the Spaniard's teammate for sixth position a few seconds later at the same corner. Ericsson was on a charge too, quickly clearing his teammate and heading off after van der Garde, who was catching Clos at a great rate himself.
And when the checkered flag dropped it was Grosjean who claimed the victory by seven seconds from Clos, who had van der Garde and Ericsson all over his rear wing. Bianchi slipped past Bird for fifth when the Englishman had a huge lock up with two laps remaining: the local driver was a disappointed sixth after hoping for so much more from his local race.
Grosjean's strong weekend has allowed him to also ease away from van der Garde in the title race: the Frenchman now leads by 47 points to 38, with Bird a further six points back on 32. Addax also retain the lead in the teams' title with 62 points, with iSport on 49 points and DAMS two points behind their English rivals ahead of the next round at the Nurburgring, in two weeks time.
Silverstone – Feature race
Pos. Driver Team 1. Romain Grosjean Dams 2. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 3. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 4. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 5. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 6. Sam Bird iSport International 7. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 8. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 9. Alvaro Parente Carlin 10. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 11. Fabio Leimer Rapax 12. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 13. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 14. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 15. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 16. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 17. Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia 18. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 19. Max Chilton Carlin 20. Josef Kral Arden International 21. Julian Leal Rapax 22. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 23. Pal Varhaug Dams
Not Classified Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology Kevin Ceccon Scuderia Coloni
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