Dams driver Romain Grosjean has claimed a fifth victory this season in today’s feature race at Hungaroring. The Frenchman took the lead after race-long leader Marcus Ericsson was handed a drive through penalty in the closing stages. Charles Pic and Luiz Razia complete the podium.
As the lights went out, Ericsson made a perfect start and passed poleman Razia before turn 1. Behind the pair, Luca Filippi third on the grid made a poor gateway dropping down to P7 and allowing Pic and Grosjean to get past. The two Frenchmen battled for P3 in turn 1 and it was the Dams driver who managed to get ahead of the Addax man, his teammate Giedo van der Garde in tow.
Ericsson then worked to pull away from his closest rivals and stayed in control while Razia was busy trying to keep Grosjean at bay. Unable to pass, the Frenchman pitted one lap earlier than the Brazilian, a strategy that paid off since Razia lost a position to Grosjean after his own pitstop. Ericsson pitted on the same lap as the Caterham Team AirAsia man (lap 16) and was released just as Razia was coming down the pitlane. The stewards quickly investigated the incident and handed the iSport man a drive through penalty eight laps later. He rejoined the race in sixth.
After all the frontrunners had made their pitstops, the battle for seventh saw Sam Bird, Fabio Leimer, Dani Clos, Jules Bianchi and Christian Vietoris fight tooth and nail. Bird was soon out of the equation: the Brit who had pitted much earlier started to struggle on his tires and was forced to make a second stop.
Grosjean who had come back 1.5s behind Ericsson before the Swede’s drive through was handed the lead and then on stayed in control. Behind, Filippi who had managed to fight his way back to P2 was struggling on his tires. The Italian had pitted on lap 12, earlier than his closest rivals. The end of his race was all about trying to finish in the points, letting through a charging Pic, Razia and van der Garde. In the dying minutes, Ericsson also made a move and stole P5 from the Scuderia Coloni man.
Pic was then free to close in on Grosjean and put in an impressive string of quick laps, but he ran out of time before he could put pressure on the Dams driver. Grosjean thus won for the fifth time this season ahead of Pic and a recovering Razia. Van der Garde finished fourth ahead of Ericsson, Filippi, Bianchi and Vietoris. The German will start from tomorrow’s reverse pole.
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