Fifth win of the season in Singapore keeps Sam firmly in the GP2 title hunt
Sam took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in Singapore on Sunday, in a race that he controlled throughout.
But the win was built on a battling performance in Saturday's race one, where he earned the reverse grid pole for Sunday despite being forced as far down the field as 16th.
Speaking about Sunday's victory, he said: "The start was good and then it was just about controlling my lead. With the level of degradation here, it was about being very disciplined and judging the gap.
"Ericsson could catch up a bit, but I could take it easy and when he was getting too close I could pull away.
"But the real achievement this weekend was yesterday. Without the drive yesterday, I would not be in this position today to do what I did."
The RUSSIAN TIME driver had faced a challenge in Saturday's race one after being impeded in qualifying. Although the offending driver was penalised, the incident still left Sam starting from 10th on the grid.
A wheel gun failure during his pitstop dropped him further down the field, but a combination of controlled aggression, expert overtaking and mature tyre management enabled him to battle back.
The superb recovery drive saw him snatch the coveted eighth-place finish, earning him pole position for Sunday's race two - under GP2's rules, the top eight finishers from Saturday's race are reversed to form the front of the race two grid.
He said: "Overall, I think it was a strong weekend considering what we went through. It's nice to win races, but the bigger picture is to win the teams' championship and hopefully the drivers' one as well. At the moment we are still leading the teams' and it's very close in the drivers'. Fingers crossed."
Sam lies second in the drivers' title race, seven points off the lead, with a total of 48 points up for grabs at the final round in Abu Dhabi, on 1-3 November during the Formula One Grand Prix weekend. RUSSIAN TIME lead the teams' championship.