Pastor Maldonado has triumphed in a dramatic GP2 Series feature race at the Hungaroring to take his fifth feature race victory in succession, extending his record.
Maldonado crossed the line 5.8sec clear of Racing Engineering rookie Christian Vietoris, but a lot of the hard work was done for him at the start when both of the front-row qualifiers stalled on the grid.
iSport's Davide Valsecchi was the first victim when his car stopped on the dummy grid, prompting a formation lap. The cars had barely finished forming up for the second time when polesitter Sam Bird waved his arms in the air, forcing him to join Valsecchi and fellow grid-staller Adrian Zaugg of Trident in starting from the pit exit.
That effectively gave iSport's Oliver Turvey and Maldonado a front-row start, and when Turvey made a poor getaway Maldonado was gifted with a virtually unchallenged run into the first corner.
The race was interrupted yet again when ART's Jules Bianchi went wide on the exit of Turn 2, lost control, and spun back into the pack. He tagged Racing Engineering's Dani Clos, who was able to continue, but was then flicked around and was hit head-on by DAMS' Ho-Pin Tung, who in turn was rear-ended by Arden's Rodolfo Gonzalez.
The accident triggered a lengthy red flag period while Tung was extracted from his car and airlifted to hospital, while Bianchi was taken to the circuit medical centre. Initial reports are that neither driver was seriously hurt.
Maldonado was again swiftly in control when the race restarted and had built up a substantial gap when the safety car was brought out following a clash between Coloni's Alberto Valerio and Rapax's Luiz Razia that ended with Valerio stranded at the final corner.
Luck was on Maldonado's side though, as he had the lapped car of Vladimir Arabadzhiev between he and Vietoris, and an awful restart from the Bulgarian allowed Maldonado to pull out more than 3.0s on the first lap back under greens. From there, the win was a formality.
Vietoris had to work hard for second, the German spending virtually the entire race under pressure from Addax's Sergio Perez, with Turvey also joining the fight in the final laps.
Perez's team-mate Giedo van der Garde took fifth ahead of DAMS's Jerome d'Ambrosio, the Belgian back in the car after missing the Hockenheim round, while DPR has locked out the front row for tomorrow's race with Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci taking seventh and eighth respectively.