Confident Cecotto Clinches Catalunya Victory


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 TimesMitch 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

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME/Laps
1 Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN Trident Racing 1h00m28.853s
2 Jolyon Palmer GBR DAMS +3.409s
3 Felipe Nasr BRZ Carlin +3.750s
4 Julian Leal COL Carlin +6.128s
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
10 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs GBR Rapax +21.265s
11 Stephane Richelmi MON DAMS +21.460s
12 Stefano Coletti MON Racing Engineering +21.847s
13 Artem Markelov RUS RT Russian Time +22.233s
14 Simon Trummer SWI Rapax +22.804s
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