McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne has continued his unbeaten streak in the GP2 Feature Races by claiming his fourth win in a row, cruising to an 11-second victory ahead of Rapax’s Sergey Sirotkin.
Alex Lynn denied Vandoorne’s teammate Nobuharu Matsushita his first GP2 podium, as he passed the ART driver with two laps remaining for third position.
Most of the top ten qualifiers opted to start the race on the quicker Super Soft tyre, with Pierre Gasly, Rio Haryanto, Artem Markelov and Lynn choosing the alternate strategy of starting on the Medium compound tyre to run a longer stint first.
Alexander Rossi took advantage of drivers starting on the Medium tyre, as he enjoyed a quick getaway from twelfth position on his Super Softs to end the first lap six positions ahead.
Hilmer’s Nick Yelloly was another driver who jumped off the starting line, moving from seventh to fourth on the opening lap.
On the second lap of the race, the virtual safety car was brought out due to debris from Gasly’s front wing left on the main straight. Both Yelloly and Raffaele Marciello were caught out at the restart of the race and lost positions, the latter dropping from fifth to eighth.
Vandoorne, Yelloly and Arthur Pic were the first of the Super Soft runners to pit on lap six. Vandoorne had trouble with one of his rear tyres costing him time in the pits; this opened up a window for Sirotkin and Rossi to pass Vandoorne with quicker pit stops of their own.
Sirotkin, Rossi and Matsushita pitted a lap after Vandoorne and all came out in front of the Belgian, but it wasn’t long before Vandoorne put his warmer tyres to good use, easily disposing of his teammate and Rossi before passing Sirotkin a lap later.
Gasly, Lynn and Markelov were the new leaders of the race after starting on the Medium compound tyre. Lynn’s pace was far better than leader Gasly’s, who was still struggling for downforce after he lost part of his front wing. Eventually, Lynn passed his teammate, set a fastest lap of the race once in clean air, and quickly pulled a five-second buffer to Gasly, while Markelov snuck passed the DAMS driver for second.
Markelov was the first of the front-running drivers to pit for a set of Super Softs on Lap 31, coming out 16 seconds behind Vandoorne. Lynn pitted two laps later and rejoined the race behind Rossi and Matsushita.
By this point Rossi had used all the grip in his tyres in his fight through the field and Matsushita took third from him with five laps left to run. The Racing Engineering driver fell to sixth as Markelov also passed him on a fresh set of Super Softs as well.
Nick Yelloly finished the race in eighth and will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race in pole position.
|2015 GP2 Series Austria – Feature Race Final Classification (40 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||40||53:42.694|
|2.||Sergey Sirotkin||Rapax||40||+ 11.788|
|3.||Alex Lynn||DAMS||40||+ 15.318|
|4.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||40||+ 15.849|
|5.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||40||+ 19.420|
|6.||Alexander Rossi||Racing Engineering||40||+ 21.154|
|7.||Rio Haryanto||Campos Racing||40||+ 22.583|
|8.||Nick Yelloly||Hilmer Motorsport||40||+ 26.697|
|9.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||40||+ 35.069|
|10.||Mitch Evans||Russian Time||40||+ 38.649|
|11.||Robert Vișoiu||Rapax||40||+ 42.068|
|12.||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||40||+ 42.569|
|13.||Pierre Gasly||DAMS||40||+ 44.489|
|14.||Julián Leal||Carlin||40||+ 49.600|
|15.||Raffaele Marciello||Trident||40||+ 50.336|
|16.||André Negrão||Arden International||40||+ 50.729|
|17.||René Binder||Trident||40||+ 54.619|
|18.||Marco Sørenson||Carlin||40||+ 55.933|
|19.||Marlon Stöckinger||Status Grand Prix||40||+ 59.209|
|20.||Norman Nato||Arden International||40||+ 59.505|
|21.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||40||+ 1:02.603|
|22.||Simon Trummer||Hilmer Motorsport||40||+ 1:15.237|
|23.||Richie Stanaway||Status Grand Prix||39||1 lap behind|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Nathanaël Berthon||Daiko Team Lazarus||1||Accident|
|WD.||Zoël Amberg||Daiko Team Lazarus||unwell|
Images via GP2 Series Media