Red Bull Ring GP2: King controls wet sprint race for maiden win

Racing Engineering driver Jordan King picked up his first victory in GP2 in a rainy Sunday sprint at the Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull Ring GP2: King controls wet sprint race for maiden win

Racing Engineering driver Jordan King picked up his first victory in GP2 in a rainy Sunday sprint at the Red Bull Ring.

Having inherited reverse-grid pole after Sergey Sirotkin got a post-race penalty on Saturday, Manor development driver King looked extremely comfortable in the wet conditions, his win in little doubt after the first few laps.

Just like the GP3 race earlier, Sunday's GP2 sprint kicked off under safety car, with the race neutralised for the first three laps.

But the first green-flag run did not last more than a few corners - as King led the field and teammate Norman Nato fought to keep Oliver Rowland at bay, Arthur Pic punted Saturday's runner-up Sean Gelael in the gravel at Schlossgold, necessitating a return of the safety car.

Yet Gelael's stranded GP2/11 machine was cleared in no time and the racing resumed just as fast.

Shortly after the restart, Nato fell prey to a rapid-looking Rowland into Turn 3, with Raffaele Marciello and Luca Ghiotto picking off the Frenchman shortly thereafter.

However, none of them had much of an answer for the early pace of race leader King, who had checked out during the restart and continued to manage his advantage over the field.

As Nato continued to fall down the order, DAMS driver Alex Lynn was moving in the opposite direction, scything his way through a five-car battle for fifth and then quickly catching Ghiotto for fourth.

The Briton passed Ghiotto into Turn 1, only for the Italian to retake the spot on the straight before Lynn finally completed the move for good at Remus.

Out front, as King's advantage had risen to four seconds, Nicholas Latifi beached himself in the gravel while running 10th. The safety car was back out once again, King's advantage was gone and a number of drivers further back opted for an ultimately fruitless gamble on slacks.

King, however, was unperturbed, continuing to set the pace out front after the race restarted with six laps remaining.

In fact, in the final stint, King's lead had ballooned to a race-best six seconds as the Manor development driver led an all-British podium, completed by Rowland and Lynn, who had passed Marciello at Turn 3 after the last restart.

Marciello settled for fourth, just hanging on from a very rapid Antonio Giovinazzi, who had been only ninth with six laps to go.

Ghiotto was set to finish sixth but spun in the final corner, allowing Sergey Sirotkin, Pierre Gasly - who had started 20th - and Mitch Evans through into the final points-paying positions.

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