Haryanto holds off Vandoorne for maiden GP2 victory

Indonesia’s Rio Haryanto won his first-ever GP2 victory in his 70th start in the series, charging through from seventh on the grid and holding off the challenge of yesterday’s winner Stoffel Vandoorne.

Haryanto made a blinding start from P7 to grab third position into Turn 1, as poleman Julian Leal led a fast-starting Mitch Evans.

Leal pushed hard in the early stages, and extended a 2.1s lead as Haryanto passed Evans for second at Turn 1 on lap four.

Haryanto quickly closed down Leal, and took the lead at Turn 1 on lap eight. Evans then attacked Leal, but during their battle they touched on the exit of the Turn 8 hairpin, Evans being sent pitwards with a puncture.

Robert Visoiu briefly held second, after passing Leal at Turn 1 on lap 10, but the ART cars were ominously marching their way towards the front. Nobuharu Matsushita led yesterday’s winner Vandoorne for much of the race, but the Belgian had cannily managed his tyres in the early stages, and unleashed his true pace in the latter stages.

After DRS-ing past his Japanese teammate with six laps to go, Vandoorne attempted to close down leader Haryanto.

The prize was becoming only the third man in history to win both feature and sprint races on the same weekend, but Haryanto kept the gap at 3s. “I just couldn’t catch him at the end,” Vandoorne admitted.

Alexander Rossi shadowed Vandoorne’s moves after a poor start, coming through to run third in the closing stages.

But Nathanael Berthon, who made a terrible start from the front row, came into his own in the last few laps, and charged back to fourth. He grabbed the final spot on the podium with a DRS-assisted pass on Rossi at the start of the final lap.

Matsushita’s early push cost him dearly in the latter stages, and he tumbled back to fifth, ahead of Leal and Visoiu.

The main incident of the race was when Jordan King clashed with Sergio Canamasas on the exit of Turn 4, both lucky to avoid a huge accident. King recovered to finish ninth.

PosDriverTeamTime/Gap
1 R. Haryanto Campos Racing 41:35.490
2 S. Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 3.004
3 N. Berthon Lazarus 5.639
4 A. Rossi Racing Engineering 6.258
5 J. Leal Carlin 13.945
6 N. Matsushita ART Grand Prix 15.923
7 R. Visoiu Rapax 19.794
8 A. Negrao Arden International 20.159
9 J. King Racing Engineering 21.101
10 A. Pic Campos Racing 25.690
11 R. Stanaway Status Grand Prix 32.040
12 A. Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 33.200
13 D. De Jong MP Motorsport 34.335
14 S. Sirotkin Rapax 34.361
15 A. Lynn DAMS 35.050
16 N. Nato Arden International 39.501
17 M. Evans RUSSIAN TIME 39.536
18 Z. Amberg Lazarus 41.084
19 M. Stöckinger Status Grand Prix 43.390
20 R. Marciello Trident 47.545
21 M. Sorensen Carlin 49.715
22 P. Gasly DAMS 56.504
  Retirements    
  S. Canamasas MP Motorsport DNF
  R. Binder Trident DNF

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About this article
Series GP2
Event Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Alexander Rossi , Nathanael Berthon , Julian Leal , Rio Haryanto , Sergio Canamasas , Jordan King , Mitch Evans , Robert Visoiu , Stoffel Vandoorne , Nobuharu Matsushita
Article type Race report