Dani Clos took his turn on the top step of the GP2 podium in Istanbul Park as the series produced its sixth different winner in six races, the Spaniard comfortably beating Luiz Razia after his team-mate Christian Vietoris retired from second.
The Racing Engineering pair started on the front row of the semi-reversed grid after finishing seventh and eighth in the previous day’s feature race, and Clos beat Vietoris through the first corner to establish dominance in what looked set to be a 1-2 finish for the team until mechanical woes ended the German’s race.
Behind them, Michael Herck proved unable to defend his third-place starting position and lost out to Razia, Giedo van der Garde and Davide Valsecchi. Feature race winner Pastor Maldonado had a quiet morning on his way to the final point for sixth place.
Sergio Perez had crossed the line fourth in the feature, but was subsequently disqualified for having an underweight car and had to start the second race from the back. He sliced through the field to eventually end up seventh.
The six different race-winners this year have all driven for different teams, but defending champions ART Grand Prix have not been among them. In this race Sam Bird started sixth but laboured throughout and suffered a major loss of pace in the final laps, sliding to 10th, while Jules Bianchi could only take 13th.
Max Chilton rounded off a good weekend with 11th place, having had his feature race result upgraded to ninth by the disqualification of Perez, while Oliver Turvey broke his string of three consecutive 15th places – but not in the way he wanted. A stall on the grid and yet another drive-through relegated him to 18th, a lap down.
He said: “After qualifying so well I had high hopes of a good result but after the penalties in race one and starting so far back it was always going to be difficult today. Unfortunately I stalled at the start and then also got handed another penalty which put any chance of a good result out of the window. It just wasn’t my weekend this time around and sometimes that’s how it goes.”
Possibly the only driver having a worse time of it was Charles Pic – knocked out of the first race by Bianchi, he missed the second altogether with food poisoning.
Maldonado now leads the championship with 27 points from Clos on 23 and Razia on 20.