Grosjean steals Sprint Race victory
24 July 2011 – Romain Grosjean snatched an important victory at the Nürburgring on Sunday afternoon, inheriting the lead after a late mistake from fellow Frenchman Jules Bianchi. The DAMS driver jumped ahead when long-time race leader Bianchi ran off the circuit in the closing stages, while Feature Race victor Luca Filippi completed the top three.
Despite a flurry of track activity during the final GP3 race earlier this morning, the circuit was still rain-soaked as the lights went out. Pole-sitter Sam Bird enjoyed a strong getaway to lead on the opening lap, but a costly mistake at Turn 10 just one tour later saw him slip down the order. Bianchi had made his way into the lead at this point, with the circuit then slowly beginning to dry as the race progressed.
When the pit-stop phase approached, Bianchi, Grosjean and Filippi were all embroiled in a tense battle for the lead. Growing pressure from Grosjean eventually forced Bianchi into a mistake, with the Lotus ART driver running wide at the NGK chicane to allow the championship leader through. The GP2 Asia runner-up then narrowly escaped unscathed during an incident with Filippi, making contact with the Italian at Turn 1.
The top three positions remained unchanged en route to the chequered flag, with Grosjean taking his fourth win of the season. Christian Vietoris was next up behind the top three, just ahead of series returnee Adam Carroll and Max Chilton. Grosjean’s lead in the title race now extends to 18 points over Dutchman Giedo van der Garde.
Round 6 of the championship takes place at the Hungaroring next weekend