Pastor Maldonado has become the fifth winner in as many races in GP2 this year following an emphatic victory in Turkey today.
Rapax driver Maldonado got past polesitter Davide Valescchi (iSport) at the start and never looked vaguely troubled, lapping up to a second quicker than his rivals before slowing down in the final stages of the races and settling for a victory margin of 17.9 seconds.
There was rather more competition for the remaining podium places. Valsecchi spent the first stint trying to hold off Sergio Perez, only for the Mexican to leapfrog him in the pits. But Perez's pace began to fade dramatically as the race progressed and Valsecchi captialised with a nice move at the end of lap 26 to reclaim second.
That was Valsecchi's afternoon sorted, but Perez now had ART's Sam Bird to worry about, and after a prolonged battled the Briton came out on top to steal the final podium spot, leaving Perez to just barely hold off Addax team-mate Giedo van der Garde for fourth.
By comparison, Maldonado's Rapax team-mate Luiz Razia had a relatively serene drive to sixth, but there was more action just behind him. DPR's Giacomo Ricci and Racing Engineering's Christian Vietoris were disputing the final point for eighth when they made contact and sailed off the track, allowing Ricci's stablemate Michael Herck past. Vietoris continued, but Ricci was forced to retire.
Not content with provisional pole for Sunday, Herck then dispensed with Racing Engineering's Dani Clos for seventh, and Clos later dropped behind Vietoris to inadvertently give the German pole positon for the sprint race.
iSport's third-place qualifier Oliver Turvey had a fraught afternoon, losing two spots off the start and then being dealt a drivethrough penalty for moving twice to defend his position. It was while honouring that penalty that he was then picked up for speeding in pitlane, resulting in another drive-through and an eventual finishing position of 15th.
Coloni lost both cars late in the race when Vladimir Arabadzhiev crashed into the tyrewall with two laps remaining and Alberto Valerio spun and stalled moments later, while Super Nova's Marcus Ericsson was forced to park at mid-distance when his engine exploded.
The other major incident occurred much earlier, when Spain feature race winner Charles Pic and ART's Jules Bianchi found themselves on the same patch of Turn 3 at the same time; the resultant collision putting both out of the race.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 52m33.219s 2. Davide Valsecchi iSport + 19.531s 3. Sam Bird ART + 23.327s 4. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax + 25.953s 5. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax + 26.129s 6. Luiz Razia Rapax + 26.746s 7. Michael Herck DPR + 30.444s 8. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering + 36.719s 9. Dani Clos Racing Engineering + 41.469s 10. Max Chilton Ocean + 48.582s 11. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS + 49.848s 12. Ho-Pin Tung DAMS + 50.315s 13. Johnny Cecotto Trident + 55.996s 14. Fabio Leimer Ocean + 1m06.801s 15. Oliver Turvey iSport + 1m08.392s 16. Josef Kral Super Nova + 1m22.464s 17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden + 1m23.789s 18. Alberto Valerio Coloni + 3 laps Retirements: Vladimir Arabadjiev Coloni 27 laps Adrian Zaugg Trident 27 laps Giacomo Ricci DPR 25 laps Marcus Ericsson Super Nova 11 laps Charles Pic Arden 1 lap Jules Bianchi ART 1 lap