Grosjean narrowly beats Bird in Turkish opener

Grosjean narrowly beats Bird in Turkish opener

7 May 2011 – GP2 Asia Champion Romain Grosjean has picked up where he left off by clinching the opening race win of the Main Series season at Istanbul Park. From pole position, the Franco-Swiss driver fought off a late-race challenge from Britain’s Sam Bird, who closed to within just three tenths of a second as the chequered flag fell. 

A good start for Grosjean saw the DAMS driver pull away cleanly. Spain’s Dani Clos sprinted up to second for Racing Engineering, forcing Luca Filippi wide as Bird passed for third. Behind, the season kicked off in spectacular fashion as Fabio Leimer’s car was sent rolling off the circuit.

The Swiss driver’s Rapax had been launched over Max Chilton’s Carlin at Turn 2 after initial contact between Kevin Mirocha and reigning GP3 Champion Esteban Gutiérrez, which compressed the field. Needless to say, the Safety Car was deployed.

At the restart, Bird quickly overhauled Clos for second place at the end of the back straight. Behind, Filippi did the same on Clos’ team-mate Christian Vietoris for fifth place. The Italian then closed on Jules Bianchi for fourth, prompting the Frenchman to attack Clos – which he did, but only to make a mistake; this allowed Filippi through to fourth, which quickly became third when Clos also ran wide.

However, Filippi’s afternoon came to a sudden end after being the first front-runner to pit on Lap 14. Aiming to rejoin in a large section of clear space, it was vital for the Super Nova man to pass Johnny Cecotto; however, the Venezuelan ran wide before spinning into his rival’s car - both of which were out of the race immediately.

At the front, Grosjean and Bird pitted together in their battle for the lead, although the Englishman was slightly delayed and forced to catch up on the road once again. Incredibly, the duo were consistently lapping at around three seconds per lap quicker than those behind them. Despite the Londoner’s best efforts, the Geneva man was narrowly able to hang on over the finish line.

Behind, Bianchi made up ground through the pit-stop window to seize third, overtaking Dutchman Giedo van der Garde who had shot up from 14th on the grid courtesy of a highly effective strategy. Clos completed the top five from Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson.


Sunday’s Sprint Race begins at 9:35am local time (BST +2)


Fabio Leimer's first-lap accident can be viewed below:

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 27 July 2015

  2. 16:37

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Arrivabene pleased to prove critics wrong 15:03

    Arrivabene pleased to prove critics wrong

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says he was pleased to prove doubters wrong as Sebastian Vettel claimed the marque's…

    F1
  4. Wolff: Rushed stop cost Rosberg victory 14:21

    Wolff: Rushed stop cost Rosberg victory

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons rushing Nico Rosberg's pit-stop under the Virtual Safety Car and putting on the slower tyre…

    F1
  5. Hungarian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 14:12

    Hungarian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Sebastian Vettel returned Ferrari to the top step, others pulled off surprise results, and some struggled at the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  6. Teams back Pirelli extension for 2017 12:46

    Teams back Pirelli extension for 2017

    Senior figures from Formula 1 teams have backed the notion of Pirelli extending its tenure as Formula 1's sole tyre supplier for…

    F1
  7. Video: Rosberg's Hungaroring blog 11:32

    Video: Rosberg's Hungaroring blog

    Nico Rosberg reflects on his eighth-place finish at the end of a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix; the German was running second…

    F1
  8. Maldonado says stewards were 'very strict' 11:22

    Maldonado says stewards were 'very strict'

    Pastor Maldonado believes that the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards were "very strict" as the Lotus driver picked up a number of…

    F1
  9. Forward Racing to miss Indianapolis round 10:49

    Forward Racing to miss Indianapolis round

    Forward Racing has announced that it has taken the "painful decision" to pull out of the upcoming MotoGP round at Indianapolis…

    MotoGP
  10. Renault enjoys return to the sharp end 10:02

    Renault enjoys return to the sharp end

    Renault hailed another step forward as supplied teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso occupied three of the top four positions at the…

    F1
  11. Massa rues pointless Hungary weekend 09:17

    Massa rues pointless Hungary weekend

    Felipe Massa has described Williams' second non-scoring weekend of the 2015 season as "a blow" to the team's championship…

    F1
  12. Hamilton among drivers given penalty points 08:14

    Hamilton among drivers given penalty points

    Lewis Hamilton was among the drivers handed penalty points by the stewards as a result of incidents which took place during…

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Meet the Nasr family 05:02

    Video of the Day: Meet the Nasr family

    Sauber Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr introduces his family, which is half Brazilian, half Lebanese.

    F1
  14. 01:12

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  15. Sunday 26 July 2015

  16. 21:15

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at the Hungaroring

    F1
  17. Booth proud of Manor after tough week 21:14

    Booth proud of Manor after tough week

    John Booth paid tribute to his Manor Marussia squad at the end of a "tough week" for the team, following the death of Jules…

    F1
  18. Räikkönen frustrated to miss out on 1-2 19:02

    Räikkönen frustrated to miss out on 1-2

    Kimi Räikkönen expressed his frustration after Ferrari missed out on a "very easy" 1-2 finish in Sunday's Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  19. Verstappen hails 'unbelievable' result 18:50

    Verstappen hails 'unbelievable' result

    Max Verstappen was initially lost for words after achieving the best result of his Formula 1 career to date at the Hungarian…

    F1
  20. Alonso: Fifth place 'a nice little present' 18:31

    Alonso: Fifth place 'a nice little present'

    Fernando Alonso has described his top five finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix as "a nice little present" for the McLaren-Honda…

    F1
  21. Rosberg says Ricciardo at fault for clash 18:12

    Rosberg says Ricciardo at fault for clash

    Nico Rosberg feels that Daniel Ricciardo was at fault for their collision in the closing stages of Sunday's Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  22. Ricciardo: Podium feels like a victory 17:47

    Ricciardo: Podium feels like a victory

    Daniel Ricciardo says his podium finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix "felt like a victory" after Red Bull's trying start to the…

    F1
  23. Marchionne: Ferrari victory is for Bianchi 17:24

    Marchionne: Ferrari victory is for Bianchi

    Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has dedicated the squad's victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix to the late Jules…

    F1
  24. Kvyat rewarded after 'never giving up' 16:59

    Kvyat rewarded after 'never giving up'

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat spoke of a "never give up" attitude after recording his maiden podium finish at the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  25. Hülkenberg had little warning over failure 16:49

    Hülkenberg had little warning over failure

    Nico Hülkenberg said he had little prior warning over the failure of his front wing as he suffered a dramatic exit at the…

    F1
  26. Hamilton laments 'really bad performance' 16:42

    Hamilton laments 'really bad performance'

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton said he put in one of his worst performances in recent years as he slumped to sixth at the…

    F1
  27. Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi 16:13

    Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has dedicated his victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix to the late Jules Bianchi, who passed away last…

    F1
  28. 15:07

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  29. Vettel wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix 15:05

    Vettel wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix

    Ferrari realised its two-win target for 2015 as Sebastian Vettel triumphed in a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix, with Red Bull's…

    F1
  30. Formula 1 holds minute's silence for Bianchi 12:46

    Formula 1 holds minute's silence for Bianchi

    Formula 1 collectively paid tribute to the late Jules Bianchi by holding a minute's silence ahead of Sunday afternoon's…

    F1
  31. Eriksson penalty hands podium to Parry 12:40

    Eriksson penalty hands podium to Parry

    Jimmy Eriksson has been handed a time penalty for cutting a corner in the second GP3 race, handing his third place finish to…

    GP3
  32. 12:01

    Starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix

    F1
  33. 10:30

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  34. Matsushita takes maiden win in ART 1-2 10:28

    Matsushita takes maiden win in ART 1-2

    Nobuharu Matsushita dominated the GP2 Sprint Race at the Hungaroring to take his first win in the category, leading home ART…

    GP2
  35. Grosjean boosted by 'miracle' qualifying 09:22

    Grosjean boosted by 'miracle' qualifying

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean is looking to return to the points after securing what he described as a "miracle" top 10 starting…

    F1
  36. 09:04

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  37. Ceccon cruises to second GP3 win 09:01

    Ceccon cruises to second GP3 win

    Arden driver Kevin Ceccon secured his second successive Sunday win after controlling proceedings in race two at the…

    GP3
  38. Williams duo aim to repeat strong starts 07:12

    Williams duo aim to repeat strong starts

    Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa have set their sights on repeating the starts they made at the British Grand Prix…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Max vs Carlos - Paper planes 05:24

    Video of the Day: Max vs Carlos - Paper planes

    Toro Rosso duo Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. go head-to-head as they make and fly paper planes.

    F1
  40. Saturday 25 July 2015

  41. 21:46

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    F1
  42. Verstappen 'achieved maximum' with ninth 21:32

    Verstappen 'achieved maximum' with ninth

    Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen says he achieved the maximum result possible with ninth position in Hungarian Grand Prix…

    F1
  43. 17:08

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP3
more news