Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto Jr stormed through from 16th on the grid to take victory in the feature race around the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. The Trident Racing driver used his tyre strategy to perfection to overtake long-time leader Jolyon Palmer who was forced to settle for second.
In a race full of incident, Cecotto make an excellent start, staying out of trouble, and used a tyre strategy of hard to soft when most of those in front of him went soft to hard. Once he made his compulsory pit stop, he chased down DAMS driverr Palmer and took the lead with seven laps to go, eventually winning by 3.409s for his third career GP2 Series win.
It was an eventful start to the race, when the initial start was aborted when Stoffel Vandoorne stalled on the grid in his ART Grand Prix machine, and when the drivers were instructed to go round for a second formation lap, pole sitter Stephane Richelmi also stalled, resulting in both drivers starting from the pit lane.
In the run down to the first corner, Racing Engineering’s Stefano Coletti and Russian Times’ Mitch Evans attacked the de-facto pole sitter Palmer. Coletti unfortunately tagged Palmer resulting in the Monegasque driver spinning and suffering a puncture, while Evans was also caught in the melee resulting in damage to the New Zealanders car as well. Both drivers were forced into the pits for repairs.
For the third race in a row, Ferrari protégé Raffaele Marciello had a dreadful start, losing many places. Unfortunately for the second Racing Engineering driver, his race would end later on the lap when he tangled with Hilmer Motorsport drivers Daniel Abt and Facu Regalia that would end all of their races and result in the introduction of the safety car.
The drivers who began on the soft tyres went into the pits virtually as soon as the pit window opened on lap six, but the drivers who began on the harder tyre went further into the race, and came back fighting towards the end, much like in Bahrain. For Palmer, beginning on the soft tyre ended up being a hindrance, with Cecotto easing up to the back of him quickly and overtaking him almost immediately. Palmer had to hold off the challenge of Felipe Nasr in the leading Carlin machine to take second, while the second Carlin of Julian Leal was fourth behind his team-mate.
Rio Haryanto took his and EQ8 Caterham Racing’s first points of the season with fifth place, holding of Arthur Pic of Campos Racing, Rene Binder of Arden International and Tio Ellinas of MP Motorsport in a close race to the flag. Ellinas, on his GP2 debut after replacing Jon Lancaster, will start tomorrow’s sprint race from pole position, and will be confident after impressing today.
Tom Dillmann took ninth for Arden International in his role of stand-in driver for the injured Andre Negrao, while Adrian Quaife-Hobbs climbed to tenth for Rapax after qualifying outside the top twenty, but had to hold off the recovering Richelmi and Coletti at the end.
Alexander Rossi was on course for his first points of the season when running just on the tail of team-mate Haryanto, but a mechanical failure saw him grind to a halt. Daniel de Jong also retired when his rear wheel detached itself from his car just after the MP Motorsport driver had made his pit stop.
Barcelona Feature Race Result
|1||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Trident Racing||1h00m28.853s|
|5||Rio Haryanto||INO||EQ8 Caterham Racing||+15.895s|
|6||Arthur Pic||FRA||Campos Racing||+16.842s|
|7||Rene Binder||AUT||Arden International||+17.682s|
|8||Tio Ellinas||CYP||MP Motorsport||+18.407s|
|9||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Arden International||+20.565s|
|12||Stefano Coletti||MON||Racing Engineering||+21.847s|
|13||Artem Markelov||RUS||RT Russian Time||+22.233s|
|15||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||ART Grand Prix||+23.397s|
|16||Mitch Evans||NZL||RT Russian Time||+23.630s|
|17||Conor Daly||USA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+25.415s|
|18||Sergio Canamasas||ESP||Trident Racing||+42.769s|
|19||Kimiya Sato||JAP||Campos Racing||+48.653s|
|20||Takuya Izawa||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+52.965s|
|RET||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||26 Laps|
|RET||Alexander Rossi||USA||EQ8 Caterham Racing||18 Laps|
|RET||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||3 Laps|
|RET||Daniel Abt||GER||Hilmer Motorsport||1 Lap|
|RET||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Racing Engineering||0 Laps|
|RET||Facu Regalia||ARG||Hilmer Motorsport||0 Laps|