Rio Haryanto has cruised to a lights to flag victory and the third sprint race win of his career, finishing two seconds clear of Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello.
Starting from a gifted reverse grid pole, where a post-race penalty for Oliver Rowland saw Haryanto elevated to eighth position for yesterday’s Feature Race, the Campos driver’s lead was never threatened throughout the 21 laps.
Nick Yelloly started the race in second position, although a slow start saw him drop to sixth position behind both of the DAMS drivers of Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn as well as Alexander Rossi.
Rossi was on a charge after starting the race seventh, promoting himself to fifth on the opening lap, then passing Lynn for fourth with a brave move on the outside of Turn Nine. However the Stewards eventually penalised Rossi for the move with a five-second time penalty, as he put all four tyres outside of the track.
His team-mate in the other Racing Engineering car Jordan King was also putting the cars pace to good use. King started the race in 22nd position, but after a great start as well as some gutsy late braking moves into Luffield, finished the race in 10th position, two places shy off the points.
Yelloly spent the majority of his race hounding the back of Lynn’s car, as the Hilmer seemed to have much better pace than the DAMS car. In the last five laps it looked like Yelloly was about to pass Lynn to take fifth position, however, Sergey Sirotkin – who was closely following the battle between the two Briton drivers – snuck a move on the inside of Yelloly at the end of lap 16.
The Feature Race winner didn’t hold the position long though, such was the speed of Yelloly’s Hilmer that he retook sixth position on the final lap. Then finally passed Lynn for fifth who was struggling with his rear tyres.
Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne was well off the pace throughout the whole Sprint Race. He lost three places on the opening lap which saw him drop to ninth position, then after demoting Daniel De Jong, spent most of the race trying to keep Rowland behind.
Rowland’s pace was too good for Vandoorne and he passed him on the 17th lap. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series leader then made a pass on Sirotkin on the final lap to finish in seventh position.
Images via GP2 Series Media