Renault F1 tester Romain Grosjean has won the second round of this year’s GP2 Asia Series at Imola after comfortably converting pole to victory at the Italian circuit.

And no, we aren’t getting in a muddle when we say that GP2’s Asian championship is racing in Italy – the second and third rounds of the campaign were set to be held in Bahrain but were cancelled due to the ongoing political conflict in the country. As such a round at Imola was added so as to give the series a proper conclusion.

Poleman Grosjean got away well at the lights whilst second place starter Sam Bird dropped back immediately. The Englishman, who had been the quickest driver for much of the practice  running, would eventually exit the race on lap seven.

From there Grosjean faced no pressure for the win, eventually coming home a whopping 15 seconds clear of his nearest competitor.

Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Media Service

Runner-up spot went to Dutchman Giedo van der Garde, with Ferrari tester Jules Bianchi taking the final podium spot. The points were completed by Michael Herck, Stefano Coletti, Lotus reserve Davide Valsecchi, Fabio Leimer and Dani Clos.

The result means that Grosjean – who claimed the GP2 Asia title at his first attempt in 2008 – heads in to tomorrow’s championship-deciding sprint race five points clear of Bianchi, his fellow Frenchman now the only driver who can prevent him taking the crown. Grsojean will start the partially reversed grid event eighth with Bianchi two places ahead in sixth.