Alberto Valerio took his first GP2 Series win with a commanding performance in the feature race at Silverstone today.
Having qualified a surprise second on the grid yesterday, Valerio (Piquet) was initially beaten off the line by polesitter Romain Grosjean. But the Brazilian kept the Barwa Addax driver within range and the pair spent five laps scrapping over the lead before Valerio caught Grosjean napping at Abbey on lap eight and moved into the lead.
With a clear track ahead Valerio quickly opened a gap, but his cause was helped by the fact that Grosjean was struggling for pace.
Having just lost a place to Valerio he almost immediately found himself under pressure from Lucas di Grassi. That fight was also over quickly, di Grassi muscling his way into second after just a couple of laps.
That should have secured the Racing Engineering driver's claim to the runner-up position, but Nico Hulkenberg had turned in a stunning sequence of laps after choosing to make his compulsory pit stop relatively early, and propelled himself into the fight.
Di Grassi found himself relegated back to third, but as Hulkenberg began to struggle over the final few laps, di Grassi was able to close back in and reclaim second with three laps remaining.
That left Hulkenberg to deal with fellow rookie Sergio Perez (Arden), who had also taken advantage of an early stop to bring himself into contention from the back of the grid, but despite the Mexican's best efforts he was unable to find a way past the ART car, and Hulkenberg held on for the final podium spot.
Perez was fourth ahead of Grosjean, who moves back into the championship lead after team-mate Vitaly Petrov finished down in 15th after being pushed wide onto the grass at the first corner.RESULTS:
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Alberto Valerio Piquet 55m32.255s
2. Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering + 1.238s
3. Nico Hulkenberg ART + 5.289s
4. Sergio Perez Arden + 5.550s
5. Romain Grosjean Addax + 14.409s
6. Karun Chandhok Ocean + 16.392s
7. Pastor Maldonado ART + 22.184s
8. Andreas Zuber Fisichella + 26.889s
9. Michael Herck DPR + 36.321s
10. Davide Valsecchi Durango + 39.715s
11. Diego Nunes iSport + 40.509s
12. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet + 41.479s
13. Dani Clos Racing Engineering + 45.601s
14. Luca Filippi Super Nova + 46.247s
15. Vitaly Petrov Addax + 46.415s
16. Davide Rigon Trident + 57.096s
17. Giacomo Ricci DPR +1m10.760s
18. Nelson Panciatici Durango +1m16.251s
19. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS +1m19.149s
20. Luiz Razia Fisichella + 1 lap
Javier Villa Super Nova 30 laps
Giedo van der Garde iSport 29 laps
Ricardo Teixeira Trident 8 laps
Alvaro Parente Ocean 1 lap
Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 0 laps
Edoardo Mortara Arden 0 laps