• GP2, German Grand Prix, Race 2

Grosjean wins wet/dry thriller at Nurburgring

ESPNF1 Staff
July 24, 2011
Romain Grosjean took victory in the sprint race at the Nurburgring to extend his lead in the championship © Sutton Images
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Romain Grosjean won a thrilling GP2 sprint race at the Nurburgring after taking the lead from Jules Bianchi on the penultimate lap.

The wet/dry race threw up several surprises but championship leader Grosjean showed his class by staying in the hunt throughout the race and finally taking the lead when Bianchi made a mistake at the final chicane. Feature race winner Luca Filippi also tried to muscle his way past Bianchi for second at the start of the final lap but ended up colliding in turn one and had to settle for third.

Such was the top three's dominance in the tricky conditions that Filippi still had time to recover from a half spin and finish on the podium. But that shouldn't take away from the GP2 veteran's race, which saw him time his switch to slicks to perfection and for a long time he was the fastest man on the circuit. Six seconds down the road, Christian Vietoris had a very strong race to fourth and took a point for the fastest lap when he clocked a time two seconds quicker than the front runners on the final lap.

Behind Vietoris, Adam Carroll, who returned to the series this weekend driving for Super Nova, and Max Chilton kept their noses clean to finish in the top six and claim the last of the points on offer. Sam Bird just missed out on a point in seventh, but could have won the race had it not been for a spin early on.

The iSport driver started on pole and fended off a challenge from Giedo van der Garde and Dani Clos in the early stages, which saw van der Garde and Clos clash and retire, but on lap two he spun out of the lead at turn nine and fell down the field to seventh. He immediately tried to fight back but lost part of his front wing in a clash with Esteban Gutierrez at the final chicane and then struggled for front end grip until he pitted for slicks. He still fought back strongly to come through to seventh but by that time it was too late.

At one stage Gutierrez also looked like a challenger for victory after he passed Grosjean in the pit stops for slick tyres. But a wheel nut started to work loose after the tyre change and midway through the race a rear wheel came off, causing him to skitter off the circuit and into retirement.