Top positions stabilized afterwards until pit-stops highlighted the different strategies.
An eventful race with pit-stop strategies playing a crucial role awarded Stefano Coletti with some more points in Barcelona which will turn out to be quite handy for the classification of the GP2 Series that is currently led by the Monegasque.
Top positions stabilized afterwards until pit-stops highlighted the different strategies. The choice of pitting early allowed Frijns (Hilmer), Bird (Carlin), Palmer (Carlin) and Rossi (Caterham) to rejoin ahead of Coletti. During lap ten the driver of team Rapax re-gained the fifth position just a few instants before Ericsson's retirement.
At that point Coletti was fourth leading Nasr and queued behind Bird for the following twenty laps without finding the right chance to move an attack. The front tyres of his Dallara suffered from the reduced aerodynamics load originated by Bird's slipstream and their wearing allowed Nasr to make up some lost ground.
The race was eventually won by Robin Frijns (Hilmer), followed by Felipe Nasr (Carlin) and Jolyon Palmer (Carlin). The fourth place was obtained by John Lancaster (Hilmer), while Coletti crossed the finish line in fifth place keeping an eye to the championship standings. Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering), one of Coletti's main rivals for the title, suffered a stop as he ended only eighteenth due to a contact at the start.
Coletti keeps the lead of the standings with 74 points. Nasr follows at 66 and Leimer at 54.
Stefano Coletti: "The fifth position on the starting grid allowed me to start on the clean side of the track. I managed to get the most out of the grip in the first meters and the long straight allowed me to make good use of the higher speed I built up. The race was decided by pit-stops strategies though: in some occasions I tried to attack Bird but he managed not to make any mistakes.
In some places I also tried to allow a bit more space between his and my car to increase a bit the aerodynamics load and decrease the stress on tyres but degradation kicked in in the finale anyway. Overall, thinking at the classification the race result is quite positive especially considering that tomorrow I will start the feature race from the second row".