Spa GP2: Ferrari's Marciello beats McLaren's Vandoorne for win
|By Charles Bradley||Saturday, August 23rd 2014, 15:29 GMT|
Ferrari Formula 1 protege Raffaele Marciello scored his first GP2 Series victory by defeating McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne in a thrilling wet-weather duel at Spa-Francorchamps.
Racing Engineering driver Marciello ran third in the early going, as the race was interrupted by a heavy rainstorm that briefly halted the event after three laps.
At the restart, leader Vandoorne (ART) briefly lost top spot to Trident's Johnny Cecotto Jr at La Source, but the latter then straightlined Les Combes moments later, and didn't back off enough and was ordered to let Vandoorne past again, a call he later questioned.
Marciello passed Cecotto for second around the outside of Les Combes on lap nine, but was 4.6s behind Vandoorne when the leader took his mandatory pitstop.
Marciello stayed out two laps longer, and rejoined within 2s of Vandoorne.
He closed the gap and they entered the last four laps nose-to-tail.
Marciello attacked numerous times, despite going off briefly at Les Combes, and finally got the job done at Rivage with two laps to go.
He went on to win by 2s from Vandoorne, with Cecotto 33s in arrears in third.
"It was a really hard race, and I'm really happy to win," said Marciello. "After the pitstop I had more grip, I was faster through Eau Rouge, and that helped a lot."
Carlin's Felipe Nasr finished fourth from 11th on the grid after an aggressive opening few laps, during which he passed title rival Jolyon Palmer's DAMS car.
Russian Time's Mitch Evans took fifth, and was lucky that the race was red-flagged as his car lapsed into safety mode under the safety car, which cost him his early second place.
Palmer finished sixth, equalling his second-worst finish of the season, ahead of a charging Artem Markelov and Daniel Abt, the latter grabbing reversed-grid pole for Sunday's race at the start of the final lap from Andre Negrao.
Follow the second Spa GP2 race as it happens with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 9.30am UK time on Sunday
Results - 25 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1h19m29.116s 2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART +2.088s 3. Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident +35.375s 4. Felipe Nasr Carlin +39.831s 5. Mitch Evans Russian Time +50.526s 6. Jolyon Palmer DAMS +1m00.123s 7. Artem Markelov Russian Time +1m01.166s 8. Daniel Abt Hilmer +1m01.776s 9. Andre Negrao Arden +1m02.872s 10. Daniel de Jong MP +1m05.435s 11. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax +1m11.224s 12. Tom Dillmann Caterham +1m16.681s 13. Julian Leal Carlin +1m17.071s 14. Marco Sorensen MP +1m18.325s 15. Arthur Pic Campos +1m18.578s 16. Takuya Izawa ART +1m19.110s 17. Kimiya Sato Campos +1m21.789s 18. Simon Trummer Rapax +1m22.766s 19. Jon Lancaster Hilmer +1m32.099s 20. Sergio Canamasas Trident +1m33.957s 21. Stephane Richelmi DAMS +1m34.528s 22. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus +1m50.554s Retirements: Rio Haryanto Caterham 21 laps Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 11 laps Rene Binder Arden 5 laps Conor Daly Lazarus 0 laps