Ferrari academy driver Raffaele Marciello has denied Stoffel Vandoorne a win at his home Grand Prix in the GP2 Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Belgian started the race from pole and made a fantastic getaway, jumping second placed Jolyon Palmer who bogged down on the start line.

The majority of the grid chose to start the race on the wet tyres, except Stéphane Richelmi, Takuya Izawa and Daniël de Jong. Their gamble did not pay off as rain started to fall on the first lap.

The intensity of the rain escalated quite quickly, catching out Conor Daly who slid off the track and beached his car at Fagnes.

The safety car was brought out moments later due to the extreme wet conditions, with the race eventually being red flagged as conditions deteriorated.

GP2 Spa podium

Mitch Evans suffered some poor luck right before the race stopped, as he spun his Russian Time right before the red flag was shown, meaning he wasn’t able to hold on to his third place at race restart.

The delay lasted around 15 minutes and was eventually resumed behind the Safety Car with 20 laps to run.

When the race resumed Johnny Cecotto Jr was able to pass race leader Vandoorne when he ran wide at La Source. However he was instructed by his team to hand the position back after he made a mistake at Les Combes and cut the chicane.

Vandoorne then pulled away in the lead leaving Cecotto to fend off a charging Marciello. Just a lap later Marciello made a gutsy move on the outside of Cecotto at Les Combes.

A collision between Nathanaël Berthon and Simon Trummer saw Trummer’s wing damaged and hanging by a thread. Berthon was found guilty of the incident and handed a drive through penalty.

The only other investigation will take place post-race involving Artem Markelov and Tom Dillmann. Markelov made an outstanding move on the outside of Dillmann at the exit of Rivage and on the wet kerbs, however there was minor contact made between the pair.

With the two leaders Vandoorne and Marciello lapping a massive two seconds a lap faster than the rest of the field, it was a battle between Ferrari and McLaren’s development drivers going down to strategy of when to make their mandatory pit stops.

Vandoorne pitted first and stayed on the wet tyres like the rest of the field, with Marciello opting to gain time on the Belgian by staying out an extra two laps.

The choice to stay out paid off for the Italian as he closed the four second gap down to two, and after a few mistake by Vandoorne the two were battling fiercely for the lead.

It was clear that Marciello had more grip than Vandoorne and after a few failed attempts, made his move for P1 stick with three laps to go, claiming his first and long-awaited win in GP2.

2014 GP2 Series Race of Belgium – Feature Race Result (25 laps)

  Driver   Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 25 1:19:29.116
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 25 + 2.088
3. Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident Racing 25 + 35.375
4. Felipe Nasr Carlin Motorsport 25 + 39.831
5. Mitch Evans RT Russian Time 25 + 50.526
6. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 25 + 1:00.123
7. Artem Markelov RT Russian Time 25 + 1:01.166
8. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 25 + 1:01.776
9. Andre Negrão Arden International 25 + 1:02.872
10. Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 25 + 1:05.435
11. Andrew Quaife-Hobbs Rapax Team 25 + 1:21.224
12. Tom Dillman EQ8 Caterham Racing 25 + 1:26.681
13. Julián Leal Carlin Motorsport 25 + 1:27.071
14. Marco Sørensen dk MP Motorsport 25 + 1:28.325
15. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 25 + 1:28.578
16. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 25 + 1:29.110
17. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 25 + 1:21.789
18. Simon Trummer Rapax Team 25 + 1:22.766
19. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 25 + 1:32.099
20. Sergio Canamasas es Trident Racing 25 + 1:33.957
21. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 25 + 1:34.528
22. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 25 + 1:40.554
  Not Classified        
DNF. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 21 Accident
DNF. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 11 Accident
DNF. René Binder Arden International 5 Accident
DNF. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 0 Spin

Images via GP2 Media

Images via GP2 Media

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Josh Kruse

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