Pastor Maldonado has triumphed in a dramatic GP2 Series feature race at the Hungaroring to take his fifth feature race victory in succession, extending his record.
Maldonado crossed the line 5.8s clear of Racing Engineering rookie Christian Vietoris, but a lot of the hard work was done for him at the start when both of the front-row qualifiers failed to get away from the grid
iSport's Davide Valsecchi was the first victim when his car stopped on the dummy grid, prompting a formation lap. The cars had barely finished forming up for the second time when pole-sitter Sam Bird waved his arms in the air, forcing him to join Valsecchi and fellow grid-staller Adrian Zaugg of Trident in starting from the pit exit.
That effectively gave iSport's Oliver Turvey and Maldonado a front-row start, and when Turvey made a poor getaway Maldonado was gifted with a virtually unchallenged run into the first corner.
The race was interrupted yet again when ART's Jules Bianchi went wide on the exit of Turn 2, lost control, and spun back into the pack. He tagged Racing Engineering's Dani Clos, who was able to continue, but was then flicked around and was hit head-on by DAMS' Ho-Pin Tung, who in turn was rear-ended by Arden's Rodolfo Gonzalez.
The accident triggered a lengthy red flag period while Tung was extracted from his car and airlifted to hospital, while Bianchi was taken to the circuit medical centre. Initial reports are that neither driver was seriously hurt.
Maldonado was again swiftly in control when the race restarted and had built up a substantial gap when the safety car was brought out following a clash between Coloni's Alberto Valerio and Rapax's Luiz Razia that ended with Valerio stranded at the final corner.
Luck was on Maldonado's side though, as he had the lapped car of Vladimir Arabadzhiev between he and Vietoris, and an awful restart from the Bulgarian allowed Maldonado to pull out more than 3.0s on the first lap back under greens. From there, the win was a formality.
Vietoris had to work hard for second, the German spending virtually the entire race under pressure from Addax's Sergio Perez, with Turvey also joining the fight in the final laps.
Perez's team-mate Giedo van der Garde took fifth ahead of DAMS's Jerome d'Ambrosio, the Belgian back in the car after missing the Hockenheim round, while DPR has locked out the front row for tomorrow's race with Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci taking seventh and eighth respectively.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1h18:45.734
2. C.Vietoris Racing Engineering + 5.865
3. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax Team + 6.511
4. Oliver Turvey iSport International + 7.109
5. G.van der Garde Barwa Addax Team + 10.225
6. J.D'Ambrosio DAMS + 12.044
7. Michael Herck DPR + 12.487
8. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 12.941
9. Davide Valsecchi iSport International + 13.538
10. Luiz Razia Rapax + 14.381
11. Charles Pic Arden International + 18.640
12. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova Racing + 21.705
13. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix + 25.344
14. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing + 28.060
15. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing + 29.716
16. Daniel Clos Racing Engineering + 30.498
17. Max Chilton Ocean Racing Technology + 32.154
18. Vlado Arabadjiev Scuderia Coloni + 1 Lap
Driver Team Laps
Alberto Valerio Scuderia Coloni 24
Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 14
J.Cecotto Jr. Trident Racing 9
Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 0
Ho-Pin Tung DAMS 0
Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 0