|Once again the British weather was not shining on Silverstone and the 29 lap Feature Race started over 90 minutes late due to the delay in F1 qualifying caused by the torrential rain. Although it had stopped raining by the start of the race the decision was made to use the Safety Car as there was still a lot of standing water on the circuit.
Following his brilliant qualifying performance Fabio Leimer was starting from pole position whilst post-qualifying penalties to a number of drivers meant that Nathanaël Berthon started the race from 11th on the grid.
The Safety Car returned to the pits after 7 laps and as the cars began to race Leimer leapt into an immediate lead and at the end of the first racing lap he was 2.8 seconds ahead of Cecotto. Lapping up to a second a lap faster than the rest of the cars the Racing Engineering car was 5.1 seconds ahead of Cecotto by lap 11.
Leimer continued his dominant performance at the front of the field setting fastest lap after fastest lap and by lap 17 the gap to the second place car was 8.8 seconds.
On lap 19 the Safety Car was deployed negating the lead that Leimer had built up and he was unable to make his mandatory pitstop as many of his rivals were as he had already passed the pitlane entrance. With the race now being run to the one hour rule there was just 9 minutes of racing left as racing resumed once more. With just one more lap completed another car spun causing the Safety Car to return to the track and Leimer now took his mandatory pitstop returning to the track in 18th place.
Berthon made a clean start from 11th place and despite the poor visibility in the middle of the pack he held his position at the end of the lap to be 1.3 seconds behind Haryanto and 1.1 seconds ahead of Onidi. By lap 12 the young Frenchman was holding the gap to Haryanto but was now being chased by Van der Garde. Taking advantage of the Safety Car, Berthon made his mandatory pitstop on lap 19 resuming in 12th place as the Safety Car returned to the pits.
As the clock reached the one hour mark the chequered flag fell after 25 laps with Berthon finishing 12th, just 0.7 seconds behind Crestani and Leimer finishing 15th.Tomorrow’s Sprint Race will see both Racing Engineering cars starting down the grid but with the possibility of more rain and Leimer’s superiority in the wet a good finish is still possible.
Timetable: Race 2: Sun 08 Jul 2012, 09:40 (GMT+1)