Reigning GP3 champion and Williams Formula 1 protege Alex Lynn has claimed his first win in the GP2 series, holding off Feature Race winner Stoffel Vandoorne.
The start of the race was disrupted when Arthur Pic lined up in the wrong grid box, causing Nobuharu Matsushita to stall behind him. The confusion came as a result of Mitch Evans’ Russian Time breaking down on the way to the grid, since Evans wasn’t in his grid spot pic went to occupy it but realised a bit too late that he was in the wrong position.
The grid was forced to abandon the start and complete another formation lap, the stalled ART of Matsushita was wheeled into the pits to start from pit-lane while Pic was eventually handed a five-second time penalty.
Starting in fourth position, Lynn took advantage of the slow starts from his team-mate Pierre Gasly and Trident’s Raffaele Marciello to take second position by the first corner. Starting from eighth position, Vandoorne scorched off the line to fourth benefitting from the absent Evans.
A first lap crash between Rene Binder and Andre Negrao brought out the virtual safety car. Arden’s Norman Nato, who started the race from pole position, slowed the grid down to what looked like a crawl as the cars were cleared from the circuit.
When racing resumed in the final sector, Marciello got caught by the sudden restart and spun, gifting third place to Vandoorne and sending the Italian down to 19th.
On the seventh lap of the race Lynn proved to be far quicker than Nato who was struggling for speed. The Briton passed Nato into Turn One with help from the DRS. Vandoorne followed suit a lap later at the same corner.
By this point it was clear Nato didn’t have the race pace as the other leaders and plunged down the order, eventually finishing the race in seventh place.
The battle for the lead became a two-horse race between Lynn and Vandoorne. Vandoorne pressed Lynn hard for a few laps before backing off to save his tyres for another chance at the lead. However with two laps two go Vandoorne’s tyres had completely gone handing the race win to Lynn.
Alexander Rossi finished fourth for Racing Engineering while Artem Markelov had his best finish of his GP2 career finishing in fifth ahead of Rio Haryanto.
Stoffel Vandoorne now sits 37 points clear of Rio Haryanto in the championship and 40 points ahead of Alexander Rossi.
Images via GP2 Series Media