Stefano Coletti scored his second win of the GP2 Series season after charging from 21st on the grid to win the sprint race at the Hungaroring in changeable weather.
Coletti was one of only a few drivers who chose to start the race on slicks. Up front, polesitter Christian Vietoris held onto the lead at the start. Behind him, Addax duo Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic shot from fifth and seventh on the grid into second and third respectively, passing Jules Bianchi at Turn 1. Luca Filippi, starting third, had also gambled on slicks but ran wide at the first corner and dropped towards the back.
Bianchi lost fourth place to compatriot Romain Grosjean after running wide at the beginning of the second lap, while Vietoris opened up an eight second lead over van der Garde. With the track drying a number of drivers began pitting for slicks, with Pic the first of the frontrunners to come in at the end of lap seven, having been struggling to hold off Grosjean.
He would soon get caught out by the safety car, which came out after Max Chilton stopped. The leaders all managed to change to slicks under the safety car and keep the positions. Coletti meanwhile moved up to P12 as those in front of him stopped.
At the restart Grosjean took second from van der Garde. Bianchi tried to capitalise and pass the Dutchman, but the pair collided at Turn 4. Bianchi went off, rejoining at the back of the field. Behind, Coletti moved up to sixth place during the lap after the restart. He then passed Luiz Razia and Sam Bird as the pair fought over fourth, and soon took third from van der Garde.
At this point the rain began to fall again, with Grosjean closing up on Vietoris and forcing the German to make a mistake and spin. Grosjean got held up trying to avoid him, allowing Coletti to take advantage and move into the lead.
The safety car then made a second appearance after Vietoris' Racing Engineering teammate Dani Clos came to a halt. Coletti and Grosjean changed to wets, with Pic taking the lead after staying out on slicks. After the restart it didn't take long for Coletti to regain the lead. From there the Trident driver pulled away, as Grosjean fell into the clutches of Esteban Gutierrez, who like Coletti began the race on slicks from 24th on the grid.
The Mexican eventually got past at the final corner of the race, demoting the championship leader to third. Van der Garde came home fourth ahead of Bird, with Bianchi benefiting from an early change to wets to claim sixth.
Grosjean's third place extends his championship lead to 25 points over van der Garde and the rest. The penultimate round of the season takes place at Spa-Francorchamps on 25/26 August.
Race results – 23 laps:
|1||Stefano Coletti||Trident Racing||45:53.864|
|2||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus ART||7.293|
|4||Giedo van der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||11.595|
|5||Sam Bird||iSport International||14.524|
|6||Jules Bianchi||Lotus ART||16.646|
|7||Luiz Razia||Caterham Team AirAsia||17.153|
|8||Kevin Mirocha||Ocean Racing Technology||17.840|
|9||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||19.602|
|10||Christian Vietoris||Racing Engineering||32.077|
|12||Adam Carroll||Super Nova Racing||49.030|
|13||Charles Pic||Barwa Addax Team||59.579|
|14||Davide Valsecchi||Caterham Team AirAsia||60.461|
|16||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||80.478|
|17||Josef Kral||Arden International||81.280|
|18||Jolyon Palmer||Arden International||+ 2 laps|
|Ret||Johnny Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||19 laps|
|Ret||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||16 laps|
|Ret||Julian Leal||Rapax||15 laps|
|Ret||Pal Varhaug||DAMS||13 laps|
|Ret||Luca Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||13 laps|
|Ret||Fairuz Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||8 laps|
|Ret||Max Chilton||Carlin||7 laps|
|Ret||Michael Herck||Scuderia Coloni||1 lap|
Drivers' standings after 7 of 9 rounds:
1. Romain Grosjean, 74 points
2. Giedo van der Garde, 49
3. Charles Pic, 42
4. Jules Bianchi, 35
5. Sam Bird, 35
6. Davide Valsecchi, 30