Pastor Maldonado recorded his third victory of the season as he made a flying start, capitalising on Jules Bianchi's slow getaway, and cruised to victory in the first of the weekend's GP2 races at Silverstone.
Bianchi, who had been aided by traffic when he had taken pole position, recovered to take second after his sluggish start, with Dani Clos holding off a determined challenge from Sam Bird to take third. But Maldonado had no alarms as he eased home by ten seconds to extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship.
"In the beginning I was not too quick because of the set up, but after the pit stop the car was really, really good," Maldonado said. "It's been a great weekend for me already. I was only disappointed [not to get] pole because I had traffic in qualifying … but in the race I was very strong again."
Clos admitted he had a tough job keeping Bird at bay. "He had a really good rhythm so I was trying to hold him," he said. "I think he lost it a little at the end when his tyres went away and I kept mine a bit, and that's it."
Giedo van der Garde seemed set to be in the points until a few corners from the end when he ran over some carbon and was forced to wave Davide Valsecchi and Oliver Turvey through for the final points positions and the front row for Sunday's sprint race.