Romain Grosjean passed Jules Bianchi at the end of the penultimate lap to win an exciting GP2 sprint race at a damp Nurburgring.
At the start of the race Giedo van der Garde made a superb start from third on the grid to take the lead past front row starters Sam Bird and Dani Clos, but Bird fought back down the inside at Turn 3 to regain the lead. Clos pulled alongside van der Garde on the run down to Turn 5 but they made contact and went off.
This handed Bird a decent lead, but he spun off at Turn 10 on the second lap and dropped down the order. This handed the lead to Jules Bianchi, ahead of fellow Frenchmen Romain Grosjean and Charles Pic. Bianchi and Grosjean pulled away, as Pic came under pressure from Luca Filippi.
Esteban Gutierrez moved into the podium places with a fantastic late breaking move at Turn 1 past both Filippi and Pic. Filippi and Pic continued to battle through the next few corners and this allowed Max Chilton to sneak through past both of them for fourth. The Carlin driver had started from 17th on the grid.
From around ten laps in a number of drivers began to come into the pits to change for slicks as the track dried. Pic was first to come in from sixth and he was joined by Filippi just ahead of him. Closer to the front Gutierrez was putting Grosjean under pressure and both came in at the end of the 12th lap. The Mexican managed to jump Grosjean with a quicker stop to come out ahead.
Bianchi came in on the following lap and emerged just ahead of ART teammate Gutierrez and Grosjean. Gutierrez promptly retired after his rear-right wheel came off. This promoted Filippi up to third behind Bianchi and Grosjean once AirAsia brought both of their drivers in for a tyre change.
Grosjean continued to pressure Bianchi and that paid off at the chicane at the end of the penultimate lap. Bianchi made a mistake under breaking and had to cut the chicane. This enabled Grosjean to get past him on the exit.
Filippi tried to take second from Bianchi at Turn 1 on the last lap but made contact with him and spun. He was able to get going again and remain in third place to complete the podium behind Grosjean and Bianchi.
Christian Vietoris finished a fine fourth at his home race after starting 23rd on the grid, while Adam Carroll came home fifth upon his GP2 return. He came under pressure from Marcus Ericsson at the very end, but the Swede spun out at Turn 2 on the last lap, handing the final point to Chilton, who held off Bird.
Grosjean's win combined with his podium in the feature race means he has extended his lead in the standings to 18 points over van der Garde. A black flag for Pic after failing to serve a drive-through leaves him a further seven behind, one point ahead of Bird and two ahead of Bianchi.
GP2 will be back in action next weekend at the Hungaroring.
Full results to follow