Mark Webber's protege Mitch Evans won his second GP2 sprint race of the season at Bahrain, passing Alex Lynn with a great move just after half distance.
From reversed-grid pole position, Lynn (DAMS) made a fine start to lead ahead of ART’s Nobuharu Matushita, who was clipped into a spin by Rio Haryanto at Turn 1, with Piere Gasly and Jordan King being forced wide to avoid the incident.
Vandoorne (ART) was promoted up to second from Russian Time's Evans, Nathanael Berthon, Arthur Pic and Nicholas Latifi.
The Safety Car was called for moments later, however, as Oliver Rowland suffered a huge accident over the back of Rene Binder – the Briton fortunate not to roll as he vaulted over Binder's car and landed heavily before smashing into the Armco.
At the restart, Lynn pulled away from Vandoorne, getting out of DRS range. Evans passed Vandoorne for second on the run to Turn 4 on lap seven, while Marciello passed Latifi for sixth.
Vandoorne then came under pressure from Berthon, as Evans chipped away at Lynn’s lead. Evans got into DRS range of Lynn on lap 11, and Lynn was forced to defend from lap 12.
Evans lunged past Lynn at Turn 1 on lap 13, but the Briton was able to repass him neatly into Turn 2.
Evans tried again on the following lap, and successfully made it past with a bold lunge down the inside at Turn 4, and Lynn was unable to respond this time. Lynn fell prey to Vandoorne a few laps later.
Evans’s teammate Artem Markelov was also on the charge, and from 15th on the grid was up to fourth by lap 15.
Marciello and Berthon fought out a great duel for fifth, with Marciello moving ahead at Turn 6 on lap 17 – with Berthon retiring to the pits soon after. Marciello passed Markelov for fourth with three laps remaining.
Sergey Sirotkin, who lost time on the opening lap, battled back to sixth by this point, passing Pic on lap 18. Markelov’s tyres were well past their best, and Sirotkin DRS-ed past him with ease to snatch fifth, as Markelov tumbled down the order to eighth.
Pic pitted for new rubber, which promoted Gasly and Alex Rossi into the points. Rossi was passed by Racing Engineering teammate King with a handful of laps to go, King also getting by Gasly on the final lap to claim sixth.
Evans won by 1.8s over Vandoorne and Lynn, with Sirotkin – now third in the standings – passing Marciello for fourth on the final lap with an amazing round-the-outside move at Turn 12.
King, Gasly and Markelov rounded out the point scorers.