Grosjean grabs Race 1 victory
|2.||G. van der Garde||+15.481|
25 June 2011 – Romain Grosjean benefited from the problems endured by his Addax rivals to take victory in Valencia this afternoon, moving up the order when Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde ran into trouble. The Frenchman was promoted to second after Pic’s car slowed down on the warm-up lap, while van der Garde was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for a yellow flag violation.
As a result of Pic’s bad luck, van der Garde inherited the lead on the grid and showed no signs of giving it up on the first lap. The Dutch driver went on to pull out a comfortable lead, but stewards issued him with a drive-through penalty for ignoring the yellow flags. This left Grosjean in the lead, with the DAMS driver taking full advantage and ultimately crossing the line in first place.
The battle for second was not settled until the closing stages, as van der Garde put in a spirited fight back. After disposing of Dani Clos, he cut down the gap to second place man Davide Valsecchi who put up a much bigger fight. However, van der Garde eventually made found a way past the Italian, meaning Grosjean’s championship lead has only been extended by two points.
Sam Bird and Luiz Razia applied significant pressure to Clos during the final few laps, but the pair had to settle for fifth and sixth at the finish. ART’s Esteban Gutiérrez was next up in seventh place, while Josef Kral, Jolyon Palmer and Michael Herck rounded out the top ten finishers.
Sunday's Sprint Race begins at 10.35am local time (BST +1)