The victory also gave the Trident Racing team its first win since 2008, where Mike Conway conquered the streets of Monaco.
The Monegasque driver made a good start to move up from fourth to second past Luiz Razia and Charles Pic and behind polesitter Dani Clos. Giedo van der Garde moved up to third by the end of the first lap, while title favourites Romain Grosjean and Jules Bianchi clashed at the final corner on the opening tour. The contact put Bianchi into a spin, dropping him to the back, while Grosjean had to pit for a new front wing.
Up front Coletti passed Clos for the lead at the beginning of the sixth lap, and the Spanish Racing Engineering driver began to drop back, being passed by the Addax cars of van der Garde and Charles Pic, before Sam Bird then got past. Clos went onto pit for fresh tyres a few laps later.
With four laps remaining Julian Leal tagged Davide Rigon out of the final turn, putting both in the wall and bringing out the safety car. Rigon was able to get himself out of the car, but then waited for medical assistance. He was taken to the medical centre, where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures of the tibia and fibula. Leal was handed a ten place grid penalty for causing the collision.
The race restarted with just one lap to go, and Coletti escaped from van der Garde to win the race. Further back, Marcus Ericsson attacked iSport teammate Bird at the final turn as the race went green, breaking his front wing and dropping out of the points. Bird meanwhile went on to pass Pic for third at Turn 10 to complete the podium. Fairuz Fauzy finished fifth, with Josef Kral sixth.
Bird's double podium put him level on points with Grosjean at the head of the standings, the Frenchman having taken a bonus point for fastest lap as he recovered from his first lap tangle with Bianchi to finish 10th. Coletti's win puts him three points behind in third.
The second round of the season takes place at Barcelona in two weeks time.
Sprint race results after 23 laps:
|1.||Stefano Coletti||Trident Racing||41:40.571|
|2.||Giedo van der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||+2.184|
|3.||Sam Bird||iSport International||+2.756|
|4.||Charles Pic||Barwa Addax Team||+3.243|
|5.||Fairuz Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||+3.502|
|6.||Josef Kral||Arden International||+5.038|
|7.||Jules Bianchi||Lotus ART||+5.373|
|8.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||+5.602|
|9.||Jolyon Palmer||Arden International||+7.143|
|11.||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus ART||+7.892|
|12.||Michael Herck||Scuderia Coloni||+9.261|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||+10.697|
|14.||Luca Filippi||Super Nova Racing||+11.862|
|15.||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||+12.140|
|16.||Davide Valsecchi||Team AirAsia||+12.237|
|18.||Luiz Razia||Team AirAsia||+12.826|
|19.||Kevin Mirocha||Ocean Racing Technology||+12.950|
|Ret.||Davide Rigon||Scuderia Coloni||18 laps|
|Ret.||Julian Leal||Rapax||18 laps|
|Ret.||Christian Vietoris||Racing Engineering||3 laps|