Johnny Cecotto Jr. has driven a composed race to pick up his first win since Germany 2012 in the Spanish GP2 feature race.

Cecotto, who qualified in sixteenth position, benefited from starting on prime tyres and an early Safety Car caused by a racing incident involving Raffaele Marciello, Julián Leal and Facu Regalia.

The beginning of the race was aborted at the very last second, as pole sitter Stéphane Richelmi stalled on the grid along with Stoffel Vandoorne, Regalia, Takuya Izawa and Marciello. All four were wheeled into the pits to start from pit lane, with Marciello and Vandoorne taking the opportunity to switch strategies and put on the prime tyres.

Jolyon Palmer assumed pole position and lead into the first corner on the restart alongside Mitch Evans in the RT Russian Time.

Stefano Coletti, who had moved up to second position following Richelmi’s grid stall, carried the momentum he received from having a gap in front of him at the start and flew into the first corner, hitting Evans’ front wing.

The fast-starting Coletti collides with Evans at Turn 1.

The fast-starting Coletti collides with Evans at Turn 1.

Coletti received a puncture from the incident and pitted the following lap while the damage to Evans’ wing required attention and pitted a few laps later under the safety car.

After his starting woes, Marciello found himself tipped into a spin by Daniel Abt. Regalia was also caught out; all three retired and the crash brought out the safety car.

Five laps into the race and both Palmer and Nasr pitted from first and second to jump on the prime tyres. Cecotto, who had started on the primes, took the lead.

Tom Dillmann, who was an incredibly late call up to replace the injured Negrao, drove a great race finishing in ninth position. Not even a loose engine cover could slow his lap times, but the black and orange flag however, did.

Alexander Rossi’s dreadful start to the year continued; just as the Caterhams were showing great signs of improvement in overall pace, Rossi’s engine blew and forced him into retirement on lap 19.

There were similar scenes from yesterday’s Formula One practice as a wheel detached itself from Daniël de Jong’s MP Motorsport racer. He was subsequently issued with the mandatory ten-place grid penalty for his car being released from the pits in an unsafe condition. As his 21st-placed starting position for Sunday’s Sprint Race means he is unable to serve the full penalty, he will be forced to start the race from pit lane.

Nathanaël Berthon was the other retirement of the race after he reported to the team that he had a brake failure.

The FIA Stewards were kept busy after such an incident-filled race, and on top of the penalty handed out to de Jong, they also issued post-race penalties to Binder, Daly, and Coletti for their various infractions.

Binder and Daly were slapped with 20-second post-race time penalties after being deemed guilty of failing to slow sufficiently through a yellow flag zone. Coletti was handed a similar penalty for his wild off-track driving trying to avoid the Marciello-Abt crash, which saw him come close to collecting a trackside marshal who was trying to direct the cars around the crash site.

The results have major implications for Binder, who was set to have started from the front row for Sunday’s Sprint Race as a result of provisionally finishing in seventh place (the first eight finishers’ start from reverse grid order). His penalty means that stand-in drivers Tio Ellinas and Tom Dillmann now share the front row of the grid.


2014 GP2 Series Race of Spain – Feature Race Result (36 laps)

Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident Racing 36 1:00:28.853
2. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 36 + 3.409
3. Felipe Nasr Carlin Motorsport 36 + 3.750
4. Julián Leal Carlin Motorsport 36 + 6.128
5. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 36 + 15.895
6. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 36 + 16.842
7. Tio Ellinas cy MP Motorsport 36 + 18.407
8. Tom Dillmann Arden International 36 + 20.565
9. Andrew Quaife-Hobbs Rapax Team 36 + 21.265
10. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 36 + 21.460
11. Artem Markelov RT Russian Time 36 + 22.233
12. Simon Trummer Rapax Team 36 + 22.804
13. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 36 + 23.397
14. Mitch Evans RT Russian Time 36 + 23.630
15. René Binder* Arden International 36 + 37.682
16. Stefano Coletti* Racing Engineering 36 + 41.847
17. Sergio Canamasas es Trident Racing 36 + 42.769
18. Conor Daly* Venezuela GP Lazarus 36 + 45.415
19. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 36 + 48.653
20. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 36 + 52.965
Not Classified
DNF. Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 26 Lost Wheel
DNF. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 18 Engine
DNF. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 4 Brakes
DNF. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1 Collision
DNF. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 0 Collision
DNF. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 0 Collision

* Denotes 20-second time penalties applied post-race

Images via Motorsport.com 

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Josh Kruse

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