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. Tuesday 7 July 2015

  2. 17:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Wilson joins Andretti for remaining races 16:27

    Wilson joins Andretti for remaining races

    Justin Wilson will race for Andretti Autosport across the remaining five races of the 2015 IndyCar season in a fourth car…

    Indy
  4. Booth 'over the moon' with Manor drivers 16:15

    Booth 'over the moon' with Manor drivers

    Manor Marussia Team Principal John Booth says that the squad is "over the moon" with how both Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi…

    F1
  5. Smedley: Williams should still be proud 15:34

    Smedley: Williams should still be proud

    Williams performance chief Rob Smedley says the team should still be proud of what it achieved at last weekend's British Grand…

    F1
  6. Márquez positive after 'step forward' 11:41

    Márquez positive after 'step forward'

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez heads into this weekend's German Grand Prix with a renewed sense of optimism after noting a…

    MotoGP
  7. F1 StarCards in GOSH Charity Auction 10:33

    F1 StarCards in GOSH Charity Auction

    Sutton Images, the photographic supplier of GPUpdate.net, is again supporting the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children's…

    F1
  8. Arrivabene defends Ferrari development 09:37

    Arrivabene defends Ferrari development

    Maurizio Arrivabene has spoken out in defence of his Ferrari team's car development strategy, after a mixed British Grand Prix…

    F1
  9. Mallya looks to keep up momentum 09:07

    Mallya looks to keep up momentum

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya is hopeful that the outfit can build on its recent strong results as the Formula 1 field…

    F1
  10. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Silverstone blog 05:04

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Silverstone blog

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on his second-place finish at the British Grand Prix.

    F1
  11. Monday 6 July 2015

  12. Lotus winding-up petition postponed 20:15

    Lotus winding-up petition postponed

    A winding-up petition against Lotus has been adjourned for two weeks, in a bid to give the team enough time to reach an…

    F1
  13. British Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 15:38

    British Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton won his home race for a third time to extend his title advantage over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to 17…

    F1
  14. Video: Dillon escapes huge NASCAR crash 15:07

    Video: Dillon escapes huge NASCAR crash

    Austin Dillon escaped from a massive crash at the finish of NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

    Misc
  15. Horner downplays Aston Martin link 13:54

    Horner downplays Aston Martin link

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has played down rumours of a potential partnership with Aston Martin, and made clear that…

    F1
  16. Ericsson: Points finish was 'in the bag' 13:17

    Ericsson: Points finish was 'in the bag'

    Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson spoke of his disappointment after missing out on a clear opportunity to return to the points at…

    F1
  17. Corti to replace Bradl at Sachsenring 12:13

    Corti to replace Bradl at Sachsenring

    Stefan Bradl will miss his home race in Germany this weekend as the MotoGP rider continues to recover from breaking his scaphoid…

    MotoGP
  18. Renault frustrated as reliability issues return 12:02

    Renault frustrated as reliability issues return

    Power unit supplier Renault was left frustrated as its reliability issues returned at the British Grand Prix, with both Red…

    F1
  19. Manor Marussia upbeat over best race 10:46

    Manor Marussia upbeat over best race

    Manor Marussia driver Roberto Merhi says the squad has made encouraging progress as it collected its best finish of 2015 at the…

    F1
  20. Wolff: Mercedes must analyse poor start 09:02

    Wolff: Mercedes must analyse poor start

    Toto Wolff hailed Mercedes' performance at the British Grand Prix as it romped to a sixth 1-2 finish of the season but says the…

    F1
  21. Hülkenberg hails 'best ever' Formula 1 start 07:34

    Hülkenberg hails 'best ever' Formula 1 start

    Nico Hülkenberg described his start to the British Grand Prix as the best of his Formula 1 career, after jumping from ninth on…

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: Toro Rosso duo make tea 05:24

    Video of the Day: Toro Rosso duo make tea

    Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. are tasked with making tea for technical chief James Key.

    F1
  23. Sunday 5 July 2015

  24. 17:48

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    F1
  25. Alonso blasts first-lap driving standards 17:44

    Alonso blasts first-lap driving standards

    McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso hit out at driving standards after the first-lap incident which saw three cars retire from the…

    F1
  26. Grosjean gutted for Lotus after double DNF 17:27

    Grosjean gutted for Lotus after double DNF

    Romain Grosjean says he "feels for everyone" at Lotus after the squad recorded a double retirement at its home race at…

    F1
  27. Williams pair left with mixed feelings 17:09

    Williams pair left with mixed feelings

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were left with mixed feelings after finishing fourth and fifth at the British…

    F1
  28. Ricciardo sidelined by electrical issue 16:59

    Ricciardo sidelined by electrical issue

    Daniel Ricciardo's retirement from the British Grand Prix was caused by an electrical issue which affected his ERS-H and K…

    F1
  29. Verstappen caught out by gust of wind 16:48

    Verstappen caught out by gust of wind

    Max Verstappen says a mixture of cold tyres and a gust of wind caught him off-guard as he crashed out of the British Grand…

    F1
  30. Vettel says podium finish 'not a gift' 16:40

    Vettel says podium finish 'not a gift'

    Sebastian Vettel says his podium at the British Grand Prix was "not a gift", arguing that he and Ferrari simply made the correct…

    F1
  31. Rosberg: I had to stay out longer in rain 15:31

    Rosberg: I had to stay out longer in rain

    Nico Rosberg says he had no choice but to stay out longer than team-mate Lewis Hamilton as late rain showers hit the British…

    F1
  32. Hamilton proud of Intermediate tyre call 15:14

    Hamilton proud of Intermediate tyre call

    Lewis Hamilton says he was proud of his decision to pit for Intermediate tyres earlier than his rivals during Sunday's British…

    F1
  33. 14:58

    In full: British Grand Prix race result

    F1
  34. Hamilton wins rain-hit British Grand Prix 14:40

    Hamilton wins rain-hit British Grand Prix

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton extended his advantage at the top of the championship standings by beating team-mate Nico Rosberg…

    F1
  35. 12:43

    Follow the British Grand Prix live!

    F1
  36. 12:02

    Starting grid for the British Grand Prix

    F1
  37. 10:24

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    GP2
  38. Haryanto takes another Sprint Race win 10:21

    Haryanto takes another Sprint Race win

    Rio Haryanto secured his third GP2 victory of the season as he converted pole position into another Sprint Race triumph at…

    GP2
  39. 09:03

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    GP3
  40. Ceccon sweeps to maiden GP3 triumph 08:58

    Ceccon sweeps to maiden GP3 triumph

    Arden driver Kevin Ceccon claimed his maiden GP3 win after a lights-to-flag victory at Silverstone on Sunday morning. Ceccon…

    GP3
  41. Wolff not giving up on F1 race seat 08:34

    Wolff not giving up on F1 race seat

    Williams test driver Susie Wolff says she will not give up on her ambition of securing a Formula 1 race seat until it becomes…

    F1
  42. Verstappen identifies qualifying issue 07:37

    Verstappen identifies qualifying issue

    Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen says he has identified the issue which contributed to his exit from the second phase of qualifying…

    F1
  43. Video of the Day: Felipe Nasr's home 05:24

    Video of the Day: Felipe Nasr's home

    Sauber driver Felipe Nasr takes you on a tour of his family home in Brasilia, Brazil.

    F1
more news