Russian Time driver Sam Bird claimed a vital home victory in Saturday afternoon’s dramatic GP2 Feature Race at Silverstone, the Englishman taking the chequered flag ahead of Stéphane Richelmi and team-mate Tom Dillman.
Pole-sitter Marcus Ericsson made a clean getaway at the start, but Felipe Nasr drew alongside at Village corner, with the Swede subsequently edging the Brazilian off the track in the battle for first. The pair touched as Nasr rejoined, gifting Bird the lead just as he was passing Stefano Coletti for third. Ericsson was later given a stop-go penalty for his part in the clash, putting the DAMS driver out of contention.
Bird managed to pull out a gap to the chasing pack until the pit-stop cycle began, but was forced to stop earlier than planned in order to cover the undercut from Colletti, Nasr and James Calado, who all dived in on Lap 6. He emerged with the prospect of needing to pass several drivers who had not yet stopped, but demonstrated good racecraft with some brave lunges to expertly negotiate the queue of cars ahead.
Monegasque driver Richelmi ran a longer first stint, with his fresher rubber paying dividends in the closing stages. After pitting from the lead, he dropped back to third, but managed to pass fellow countryman Coletti into Club corner on Lap 19 to move into second position. Even on new tyres, Richelmi couldn’t close down leader Bird, who maintained the gap and flew to his third victory of the season.
Dillman finished in third after a hard battle with Coletti, who again was put to the sword at Club after running wide. Coletti’s race came to an acrimonious end on the same lap, with the points leader colliding with Fabio Leimer at the Loop.
Leimer finished fourth, leading John Lancaster and Jolyon Palmer across the line, while Rio Haryanto, Julian Leal, Calado and Alexander Rossi closed out the top ten.