GP2 Austria: Vandoorne maintains 100% Feature Race win record

McLaren protege Stoffel Vandoorne scored his fourth GP2 Series Feature Race win of the season, and his fifth in succession, despite a slow pitstop that meant he had to fight for his victory at the Red Bull Ring.

From his record-setting pole position, Vandoorne led Sergey Sirotkin, Nobuharu Matsushita and Raffaele Marciello, and held a 1.1s lead at the end of the opening lap – despite having locked up badly at Turn 2.

Pierre Gasly – who made a poor start from third and was the first car on the medium-compound tyre – broke his front wing in the opening lap skirmishes, which caused an early virtual safety car as a piece of it fell off on the start/finish straight.

Alexander Rossi passed Arthur Pic for eighth at the end of the opening lap, while Nick Yelloly passed Marciello for fourth at Turn 2 on lap two.

Nick Yelloly lost two positions at the restart from the VSC as did Marciello, Yelloly regaining one from Gasly at Turn 2 on lap four. Rossi passed Rio Haryanto for sixth on lap five, and then passed Gasly a lap later at Turn 2.

Vandoorne pitted on lap seven to switch to the medium-compound tyre, but suffered a slow left-rear tyre change. Sirotkin and Matsushita pitted a lap later.

Sirotkin just beat Matsushita out of the pits, and Vandoorne was effectively down to third after his slow stop. Vandoorne quickly passed Matsushita, and attacked Sirotkin for the net race lead.

Vandoorne lunged past Sirotkin into Turn 1, aided by DRS, but Sirotkin got DRS into Turn 3, where Vandoorne just managed to hold him off.

Lynn passed Marciello with an amazing move around the outside of Turn 5 to take fourth. Then Lynn passed Haryanto and Markelov on the following lap, moving him up to second behind the leading medium-tyre runner Gasly.

Lynn caught DAMS teammate Gasly for the race lead for the medium-tyre starters, but Gasly refused to let him through. Lynn had to lunge past at Turn 2 on lap 19.

Markelov drove around the outside of Gasly at Turn 3 moments later to run second.

Lynn kept good pace in clean air, as Vandoorne had to battle through the long-running medium-tyre runners.

Vandoorne’s biggest scare came at half distance when he caught some tardy midfielders, and almost got squeezed onto the grass approaching Turn 3.

While he made it past, a huge battle developed for the net second place, as Sirotkin, Matsushita and Rossi ran three-wide into Turn 3, with Rossi nipping past Matsushita as Sirotkin held on.

Lynn pitted from the lead on lap 32, rejoining third behind Vandoorne and Sirotkin. Rossi and Matsushita passed him into Turn 3, as Lynn struggled to get temperature into his new tyres.

Rossi had to give up third to Matsushita in the closing stages with a great switchback move into Turn 6, and then Lynn charged past him at Turn 3 a lap later. Rossi believed he had a puncture, having brushed wheels with Matsushita, and Markelov also passed him for fifth.

The final battle was for third, as Lynn’s supersoft tyres came into their own to attack Matsushita, and he swept majestically past him at Turn 3 on the penultimate tour to claim the final spot on the podium.

Race results:

1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 53m42.694
2 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 11.788
3 Alex Lynn DAMS 15.318
4 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 15.849
5 Artem Markelov Russian Time 19.420
6 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 21.154
7 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 22.583
8 Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 26.897
9 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 35.069
10 Mitch Evans Russian Time 38.649
11 Robert Visoiu Rapax 42.068
12 Jordan King Racing Engineering 42.569
13 Pierre Gasly DAMS 44.489
14 Julian Leal Carlin 49.600
15 Raffaele Marciello Trident 50.336
16 Andre Negrao Arden International 50.729
17 Rene Binder Trident 54.619
18 Marco Sorensen Carlin 55.933
19 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 59.209
20 Norman Nato Arden International 59.505
21 Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 62.603
22 Simon Trummer Hilmer Motorsport 75.237
23 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1 Lap
Ret Nathanael Berthon Lazarus -
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About this article
Series FIA F2
Event Spielberg
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Alex Lynn , Sergey Sirotkin , Stoffel Vandoorne
Article type Race report