Marcus Ericsson took his and his Super Nova team’s first win of the year, comfortably beating polesitter Michael Herck, but there was also concern after the Swede’s team-mate Josef Kral foreshadowed Mark Webber‘s accident – except the former had to go to hospital afterwards, with a possible broken arm and back pain.
There was carnage from the off – while Giedo van der Garde made light work of everyone in front of him to snatch 2nd and fending off the similarly fast starting Dani Clos, Sergio Perez was once again in the wars – he made a blistering start from 11th up to the Top 5 group, only to be spun out moments later by Alberto Valerio. The Mexican was relegated to the back of the field yet again, and was set to lose yet more valuabe points to championship leader Pastor Maldonado.
There was plenty of argy bargy going on further down the field as well – Christian Vietoris almost launched straight off the rear of Giacomo Ricci, while Johnny Cecotto rammed Fabio Leimer off the road.
The track marshals got the mess of the opening lap cleared up quickly enough to avoid a safety car – but their efforts went to waste when Kral ran up the back of Rodolfo Gonzalez, which ended both drivers races on the spot.
The following six laps under the safety car gave everyone an opportunity to calm down – and they stayed that way when the chequered flag dropped, with no silly mistakes at the restart costing anyone position.
Clos, who had dropped a couple of places after an off-track excursion just before the safety car managed to re-pass Charles Pic for 4th – only to lose it and several other places again after suddenly slowing down. At first it seemed his car had succumbed to a technical failure, yet moments later he was on his way again seemingly unaffected by whatever had happened moments earlier.
Despite putting in several fast laps towards the end, van der Garde was still unable to catch the dominant Ericsson, while Herck was only able to hang on to the final podium place by shoving Maldonado out of the way on the run to the finish line.
“It was amazing to be standing on top of the podium after this weekend,” said an ecstatic Ericsson. “After Friday I could only dream of winning a race, starting from absolutely last! It shows that you should never give up in the category: anything can happen, and if you have a good car and the team's doing a good job then you can do anything!”
Super Nova team principal David Sears meanwhile was stuck in between a rock and a hard place – their first victory after a so far disappointing season came at one of the worst possible times amid fears for Kral.
“Marcus Ericsson made a fantastic start and went on to lead the race today from start to finish. It's his first GP2 win and the whole team are ecstatic! Hopefully this win will give Marcus the confidence to run at the front from now on.
“In contrast Josef Kral had a massive accident where he ended up flying over Rodolfo Gonzalez's car at the end of the pit straight and ended up in the pit wall. There were fears he had broken his back, but an x-ray at the hospital shows just bruising. We of course wish him a quick recovery. In the meantime the team will have to rebuild a whole new car ready for Silverstone”