Stefano Coletti has won an eventful Sprint Race in Hockenheim to take both his and Racing Engineering’s first win of the season.
As rain fell prior to the start of the race, the field was split on strategy as half of the drivers took a gamble to start on slick tyres.
Reverse pole sitter Nathaniel Berthon started on wets while Johnny Cecotto Jr. Simon Trummer, Felipe Nasr and Coletti all chose the slick prime tyre.
Before the race had even started it seemed that drivers who opted for slicks made the wrong decision when Julian Leal spun his Carlin on the formation lap.
When the lights went out every driver not on the wet tyre plummeted through the order, including Cecotto in second position. After bogging down at the start he tangled with a fast starting Stefano Richelmi at Turn One, ending Richelmi’s race as the impact caused his engine to catch fire.
The collision brought out the safety car before the first lap had been completed, this gave drivers on the slick tyre a chance to pit for wet weather tyres, however not one driver did as they relied on the track drying out.
Cecotto’s race went from bad to worse as he couldn’t find grip and spun under safety car conditions, proving just how slippery the surface of the track was.
Feature race winner Mitch Evans made a blinding start, jumping from eighth to second before the first corner, then into the lead after passing an ailing Berthon at Turn Six.
Evans’ lead was short-lived however, as RT Russian Time set their car up for a dry race, which meant Evans had little grip through the corners but a fast straight line speed.
The low downforce of his car caught him out as Stoffel Vandoorne breezed past him, along with Marco Sorensen and Raffaele Marciello.
Marciello continued his streak of bad luck as he out-braked himself trying to get past Sorensen for third position. The run off on to the grass damaged his gearbox and caused it to become stuck in fifth gear, ending Marciello’s race.
With 17 laps left to run and the track starting to dry out, Jolyon Palmer was the first of the leaders on wets to pit for a set of slicks. He was followed by Tom Dillmann a lap later.
Drivers who were on the slick tyres since the start began to post competitive lap times and get themselves back into the race, while the leaders had to pit for slick tyres.
The safety car was brought out for a second time when Arthur Pic spun and stalled his car on track just after making the swap to slick tyres.
Racing resumed with 14 laps to go and it was Coletti who made the jump on Vandoorne for the lead after the ART driver made a mistake. Coletti having the experience coping with the low grip the slick tyre provided on a damp track and using it to his advantage.
Nasr also capitalised on Vandoorne’s mistake and took P2 from the Belgian.
With only a handful of laps to go, Nasr was catching Coletti at a rate of half a second per lap. Realising this, Coletti started posting purple sectors and held off the Brazilian to score his first win in over a year, taking fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
2014 GP2 Series Race of Germany – Sprint Race Result (26 laps)
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Stefano Coletti||Racing Engineering||26||45:31.696|
|2.||Felipe Nasr||Carlin Motorsport||26||+ 1.238|
|3.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||26||+ 5.531|
|4.||Marco Sørensen||MP Motorsport||26||+ 15.656|
|5.||Jon Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||26||+ 17.961|
|6.||Jolyon Palmer||DAMS||26||+ 18.401|
|7.||Alexander Rossi||Campos Racing||26||+ 19.840|
|8.||Andrew Quaife-Hobbs||Rapax Team||26||+ 24.222|
|9.||Tom Dillman||EQ8 Caterham Racing||26||+ 25.438|
|10.||Rio Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||26||+ 36.088|
|11.||Mitch Evans||RT Russian Time||26||+ 39.177|
|12.||Artem Markelov||RT Russian Time||26||+ 40.186|
|13.||Sergio Canamasas||Trident Racing||26||+ 45.938|
|14.||Simon Trummer||Rapax Team||26||+ 52.486|
|15.||Daniel Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||26||+ 54.865|
|16.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||26||+ 55.552|
|17.||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||26||+ 56.878|
|18.||Julián Leal||Carlin Motorsport||26||+ 1:03.994|
|19.||Takuya Izawa||ART Grand Prix||26||+ 1:08.828|
|20.||Conor Daly||Venezuela GP Lazarus||26||+ 1:09.713|
|21.||Andre Negrão||Arden International||26||+ 1:12.677|
|22.||René Binder||Arden International||26||+ 1:15.032|
|DNF.||Johnny Cecotto Jr||Trident Racing||21||Accident|
|DNF.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||11||Spin|
|DNF.||Raffaele Marciello||Racing Engineering||7||Gearbox|
Images via GP2 Media