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.
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||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||Trident Racing||25||+ 1:33.957|
|21.||Stéphane Richelmi||DAMS||25||+ 1:34.528|
|22.||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||25||+ 1:40.554|
|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