Stoffel Vandoorne has held off Mitch Evans and Alexander Rossi in a faultless drive to win the Spanish Grand Prix.
Vandoorne started the race from pole position on the soft compound tyre along with most of the grid. Evans and Rossi started on the hard compound tyre to run a long first stint and make a charge for the lead at the end of the race.
DAMS pair Alex Lynn and Pierre Gasly both made fantastic getaways from second and third place, although it was Gasly who got the better of Lynn at Turn One, taking second place from Lynn. The two battled for the first few laps on their soft compound tyres while Vandoorne extended his lead.
Vandoorne was the first of the soft compound runners to pit on lap seven along with Gasly. Despite having a slow pit-stop, Vandoorne managed to retain his lead over Gasly as the exited the pits. Lynn pitted a lap later and rejoined behind both Vandoorne and Gasly.
On lap eight the DRS failed on all cars, leaving the field to make their passes the old-fashioned way.
Evans was leading the race from Rossi at this point, with both drivers trying to make a gap big enough to Vandoorne so they could pit and come out as close as they could to the ART driver.
Vandoorne was tasked with passing all the drivers who were yet to pit in order to make his way back to the front of the grid and limit the gap to Evans. Gasly and Lynn were following suit, attempting to navigate their way through traffic and mid-pack battles.
The first retirement of the race came when Julian Leál turned in on Nick Yelloly while attempting a pass on the Hilmer rookie. Leal subsequently spun while the damage brought on by the incident put Yelloly out of the race.
Raffaele Marciello was the first to get rid of his hard compound tyres for a set of softs on lap 26, leaving him with 11 laps to run. Rossi pitted a lap later and made the undercut on Evans work, as Evans re-joined the track a lap later behind Rossi.
At this point the DRS started working for drivers again, just in time for Rossi and Evans to make their charge on Vandoorne, Gasly and Lynn, who were on old tyres.
Both Rossi and Evans were able to pass the DAMS drivers without any trouble, leaving the pair to scrap between themselves for fourth position. During their intense battle, Rio Haryanto snuck in to pass Lynn for fifth position and eventually Gasly for fourth.
On the second last lap Evans made a lunge towards Rossi on the inside of Turn One, demoting the Racing Engineering driver to third place. Evans then had one lap to try and catch Vandoorne, but his advantage of having fresh soft tyres had worn out after his fight with the DAMS pair and Rossi.
Vandoorne managed his tyres just enough to hold Evans off securing his second consecutive Feature Race win.
Norman Nato relegated Arthur Pic on the last lap to ninth position, which means Nato will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race from pole position.
Images via GP2 Series Media