Home Formula 2 Evans beats Vandoorne to claim second straight GP2 feature race

Evans beats Vandoorne to claim second straight GP2 feature race

by Peter Allen
GP2 Hockenheim

Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

Mitch Evans claimed his second straight feature race win in GP2 with a superb strategic drive from 15th on the grid in a thrilling race at a hot Hockenheim.

Stoffel Vandoorne had led much of the race after getting the jump on pole-sitter Jolyon Palmer at the start, with both starting on the harder prime tyre.

Evans began on the softer option tyre and had got up to fifth by the time he made his pitstop, as the last of the option-starters to do so. He raced his way to the front of those who had already stopped, and then had to clear some of the slower prime-starting traffic. His pace was such that when Vandoorne and Palmer made their tyre change, he rejoined ahead of them.

Vandoorne closed to within 0.4 seconds at the finish, but Evans had kept enough life in his tyres to hold on up front.

Championship leader Palmer rejoined fourth from his pitstop, behind early-stopping DAMS team-mate?Stephane Richelmi. Palmer was easily to able clear him and then spent a while right behind the leading duo, before dropping back to a comfortable third.

Richelmi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs failed to preserve their tyres and fell back from fourth and fifth to tenth and 14th respectively. Johnny Cecotto made a relatively early switch from primes to option in comparison to the leaders, and this initially enabled him to get up to fifth place.

However, he lacked pace towards the end and was attacked by Felipe Nasr into the stadium section. Cecotto tried to give the Brazilian no space against the inside wall, but the Williams tester still forced his way through and Cecotto slid off into the gravel.

That allowed Stefano Coletti through. The Racing Engineering man spent much of the race in his starting position of third, between Palmer and Nasr, until both fell down the order at their pitstops behind some of the earlier stoppers. The pair had many adventures as they worked their way past the slower cars and traded places several times, with Coletti eventually triumphing and claiming fourth at the very end.

Simon Trummer was the last driver to stop, and used his fresh rubber to charge from 14th to sixth in the closing stages ahead of Cecotto. Nathanael Berthon scored his first points of the season in eighth – a repeat of the feat he managed nearly a year ago in Hungary, when he went on to win the sprint race from reverse grid pole position. After starting 24th, Marco Sorensen got up to ninth on the last lap past Richelmi.

Arthur Pic and Raffaele Marciello sat fifth and sixth during the opening laps and were the leading drivers to start on the option tyres, but when they pitted together to change rubber, both cars died and they ended up finishing 19th and 17th respectively. With the engines seemingly shutting down due to the warm temperatures, others were later warned to keep their engine revs up during their stops.

Race results
Pos Driver? Team Time/Gap?
1 Mitch Evans Russian Time 38 laps in 58:15.099
2 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix +0.414
3 Jolyon Palmer DAMS +2.755
4 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering +20.191
5 Felipe Nasr Carlin +20.687
6 Simon Trummer Rapax +23.432
7 Johnny Cecotto Trident +30.583
8 Nathanael Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus +33.160
9 Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport +35.879
10 Stephane Richelmi DAMS +36.857
11 Rene Binder Arden International +37.111
12 Tom Dillmann EQ8 Caterham Racing +38.081
13 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix +43.096
14 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax +47.572
15 Sergio Canamasas Trident +49.996
16 Julian Leal Carlin +58.217
17 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering +1:02.333
18 Andre Negrao Arden International +1:04.818
19 Arthur Pic Campos Racing +1:05.181
20 Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport +1:09.082
21 Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus +1:09.244
22 Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing +1 lap
Not classified
Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport +14 laps
Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport +26 laps
Alexander Rossi Campos Racing +33 laps
Artem Markelov Russian Time +38 laps