Silverstone GP2: Sirotkin ends Vandoorne's feature race streak

Sergey Sirotkin took a commanding maiden win on Saturday afternoon at Silverstone, curtailing points leader Stoffel Vandoorne's five-round streak of feature race victories.

Sirotkin and Vandoorne were in a league of their own in qualifying, yet both were sluggish off the line at the race start, allowing Richie Stanaway to dart between them and into the lead.

With Vandoorne also slipping behind teammate Nobuharu Matsushita and having a run-in with unhappy rival Alexander Rossi, the safety car immediately came out for the wrecked car of Nathanael Berthon, who was spun around and collected by Artem Markelov.

The race restarted at the end of lap three and Sirotkin instantly attempted an audacious move on Stanaway, working his way round the outside of the Kiwi, with Matsushita also taking advantage of the move to pick up second.

However, the Japanese driver soon began to lose time and had to pull to the side of the track, his race undone due to an apparent engine issue.

The race settled down as it approached halfway point. By that time, Sirotkin had established a four-second lead over Stanaway, who was closely followed by Vandoorne and Rossi.

It was then that Stanaway began to visibly struggle for pace, losing several tenths per lap to the race leader and seemingly holding up Vandoorne. This allowed Rossi to pounce, the American finding a way through in the Loop.

And Rossi then wasted little time passing Stanaway, working his way around the outside of the Kiwi at Brooklands. Vandoorne pulled off the exact same move next time by, after which both him and Stanaway opted to take their mandatory stop.

Rossi decided to cover for the Belgian's strategy with a stop the lap after, while Sirotkin, enjoying a whopping nine-second lead, went around the track one more time before his tyre change.

A scrappy out-lap, however, meant that the Russian was only five seconds up the road from Rossi after the stops cycled through.

But five seconds proved more than sufficient from Sirotkin, who eased to the finish line to claim his first win in the series.

Early-stop strategies placed rookies Jordan King and Nick Yelloly ahead of Vandoorne for third place when the latter rejoined. On fresher tyres, the Belgian made quick work of Yelloly and then passed King into Copse with six laps to go, settling into third.

King, meanwhile, had to continue defending, with late-stopping DAMS duo of Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn coming up quick. After several laps of frustration, Red Bull junior Gasly finally wound a way past into Brooklands, with Lynn then demoting King through Luffield.

With the DAMS duo completing the top five, King was tapped into a spin by Arthur Pic in the final corner of the last lap.

Pic provisionally took sixth, ahead of Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello and Yelloly.

Formula Renault 3.5 points leader Oliver Rowland was ninth on his GP2 debut, beating Rio Haryanto to the line. The Briton could move up to reverse-grid pole should Pic be penalised after the race.

Of the remaining retirements, Stanaway saw his bid for a good finish end with a suspension failure in the second stint, while his compatriot and pre-season favorite Mitch Evans was out of contention early on when his headrest flew out of the car.

Pos   Driver   Team  Laps   Time/Gap 
Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 29 53'13.597 
Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 29 5.989
S.Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 29 13.566
Pierre Gasly DAMS 29 16.729
Alex Lynn DAMS 29 20.546
Arthur Pic Campos Racing 29 22.922
R.Marciello Trident 29 23.550
Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 29 23.879
Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 29 25.161
10  Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 29 25.437
11  Julián Leal Carlin 29 28.753
12  Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 29 30.373
13  Robert Visoiu Rapax 29 36.922
14  J.Cecotto Jr. Carlin 29 37.436
15  Sergio Canamasas Lazarus 29 44.277
16  Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 29 49.850
17  Rene Binder Trident 29 53.663
18  Norman Nato Arden International 29 57.444
19  M.Stöckinger Status Grand Prix 29 1'00.867
20  André Negrão Arden International 29 1'04.399
21  Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 29 1'26.692
22  Jordan King Racing Engineering 28  
Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 22  
Mitchell Evans RUSSIAN TIME 9  
N.Matsushita ART Grand Prix 6  
N.Berthon Lazarus 0

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About this article
Series GP2
Event Silverstone
Sub-event Saturday race
Track Silverstone
Drivers Sergey Sirotkin
Article type Race report