Charles Pic has become the first repeat winner of the 2011 GP2 Series season with a lights-to-flag victory in the sprint race in Monaco.
After starting from pole position, the Addax driver held the lead through two safety car periods to win. Josef Kral moved up to second at the start past Max Chilton, while Romain Grosjean rose from fifth to third past both the stalled Stefano Coletti as well as Chilton. Grosjean applied pressure on Kral in the latter stages but had to settle for third behind the Arden driver.
Chilton fell back into the clutches of Davide Valsecchi, the feature race winner. The Italian made a good start to get past both Alvaro Parente and Luca Filippi at the start and into fifth place. He tried to make a move on Chilton for fourth later in the race but went through the chicane, losing a place to Filippi.
Super Nova driver Filippi passed Chilton for fourth at the chicane a few laps later, with Valsecchi then eventually making his way past the Carlin driver before the checkered flag. Chilton held on for the final point in sixth ahead of Fabio Leimer and Oliver Turvey.
Parente was the highest-placed of five drivers to be penalised for jumping the start. The Racing Engineering driver was sixth, just ahead of Filippi, when he served his penalty. Teammate Dani Clos, Michael Herck, Luiz Razia and Johnny Ceccotto Jr. were the other men to be punished. Jules Bianchi's terrible run of form continued with a penalty for overtaking under the safety car.
The first safety car period was caused when Kevin Mirocha stopped on the pit straight with a mechanical problem, with a fiery crash for Marcus Ericsson at the swimming pool causing the second.
Grosjean's third place moved him back into the lead of the drivers' standings, with Sam Bird tied for the standings lead for the third consecutive race weekend. Pic moves up to second place just one point behind the leading pair. Valsecchi and Giedo van der Garde are tied for fourth just one point further back.
The next round takes place at Valencia in support of the Formula 1 European Grand Prix on 25/26 June.