Jules Bianchi scored his second win of the season in a shortened Formula 3 Euro Series race at Hockenheim this morning.
The Frenchman, who won from pole position in race one last time out at Le Mans, inherited pole for today's race after he finished eighth yesterday.
He had to complete just one full racing lap to confirm the victory because of three safety car periods, with the race red flagged during the third caution. But it wasn't enough to take second in the championship from Edoardo Mortara as he still finished one point behind the Italian.
"I did two mistakes yesterday at the start and the restart and lost four places, so it was good to do the start and two restarts today and not make any mistakes," Bianchi told autosport.com.
"I'm a bit disappointed to finish third in the championship, I would have like to have got second but Edoardo managed to get a point today. that's racing."
A first corner tangle between Christian Vietoris, Mika Maki and Stefano Coletti brought the safety car out straight away. Vietoris and Coletti, contesting fourth place, squeezed towards each other on the approach to the corner and Maki was trapped between them as all three made contact.
Vietoris and Coletti were both pitched into the barrier on the outside, while Maki dropped down to eighth and continued with a damaged car.
Further first-lap shunts were crammed in before the officials could scramble the safety car. Henkie Waldschmidt and Daniel Campos-Hull collided exiting Turn 1 after Waldschmidt had bounced across the kerb on the inside. Both landed in the wall on the outside and retired.
A few hundred metres later at Turn 2, Richard Philippe collided with Frederic Vervisch under braking and spun. Philippe continued, but Vervisch retired on the spot and Sam Bird was also caught up in the incident and retired in the pits a lap later.
The field was bunched behind the safety car for just two laps before the restart, but only made it to Turn 3 before the next stoppage. Maki was falling backwards with damage from the first corner incident and James Jakes got a run at him down the back straight.
Maki moved across to force Jakes further to the inside, but Jakes clipped the back of his car and speared head-on into the inside wall on the approach to the hairpin at unabated speed. He had to be extricated from the car in his seat and was taken away in an ambulance, but escaped injury.
Bianchi broke away at the restart, pulling nearly three seconds clear of Koudai Tsukakoshi in one lap while the Japanese driver was desperately trying to hold race one winner Nico Hulkenberg at bay.
Edoardo Mortara passed Erik Janis around the outside into Turn 2 in what turned out to be the deciding factor in the battle for second place in the championship. Bianchi's six points today pulled him level with Mortara on 49, but Mortara's move on Janis earned him a point for sixth place and secured the runner-up spot behind Hulkenberg.
Just one corner beyond the end of the first full racing lap, another accident stopped the race for good. Stephane Richelmi ran wide exiting Turn 1 but over-corrected as he fought to catch the slide. His car snapped sideways and he slammed head-on into the concrete wall on the outside.
It was clear that it was going to take several minutes to extract him safely from his wrecked car and the race was red flagged after three more safety car laps with just four minutes left on the clock.
Tsukakoshi had held off Hulkenberg for the remaining half a lap to hold onto second place, while Jean-Karl Vernay and Renger van der Zande followed home in fourth and fifth, ahead of Mortara.
Pos Driver Team Car Gap 1. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 28:33.459 2. Koudai Tsukakoshi Manor D/M +0.797 3. Nico Hulkenberg ART D/M +2.101 4. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V +3.288 5. Renger van der Zande Prema D/M +4.118 6. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V +4.989 7. Erik Janis Mucke D/M +6.736 8. Robert Wickens Signature D/V +7.643 9. Mika Maki Mucke D/M +8.815 10. Yann Clairay SG D/M +10.121 11. Dani Clos Prema D/M +11.651 12. Cheng Cong Fu RC D/V +12.425 13. Franck Mailleux Signature D/V +14.223 14. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/M +15.607 15. Oliver Oakes Carlin D/M +16.844 16. Jens Klingmann RC D/V +18.909 17. Basil Shaaban HBR D/M +19.938 18. Richard Philippe SG D/M +21.607 19. Kazuya Oshima Manor D/M +22.330 20. Jon Lancaster ART D/M +23.373 Retirements Stephane Richelmi Barazi-Epsilon D/M 8 laps James Jakes ART D/M 3 laps Sam Bird Manor D/M 2 laps Frederic Vervisch RC D/V 1 lap Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 0 laps Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 0 laps Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M 0 laps Daniel Campos-Hull HBR D/M 0 laps Fastest lap, Bianchi 1:35.683 on lap 8