Marciello Storms to Maiden GP2 Win in Belgium


For the first time in his relatively short GP2 Series career, Raffaele Marciello took victory as the Racing Engineering driver beat ART Grand Prix driver and long time race leader Stoffel Vandoorne at a very wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

It was the first time that Marciello, a Ferrari Driver Academy driver, and Vandoorne, the McLaren F1 reserve driver, went head to head for the win, and it was the Italian who came out on top after a great battle by just over two seconds.

The race began on a relatively dry track, and three drivers – Stephane Richelmi of DAMS, Daniel de Jong of MP Motorsport and Takuya Izawa of ART Grand Prix – gambled on dry weather tyres. Unfortunately for those three, the heavens opened up shortly after the start, and on lap three the safety car was deployed and then a red flag shown as the rain turned torrential.

Vandoorne led at the restart but dropped briefly behind Johnny Cecotto Jr of Trident Racing before reassuming the lead when the Venezuelan was given instructions to let the Belgian back through after straight-lining Les Combes and apparently gaining an advantage.

Marciello then passed Cecotto for second, and was 4.6 seconds adrift of Vandoorne when the Belgian went into the pits for his mandatory pit stop. The Italian stayed out for two extra laps, and was only 2 seconds adrift after his own stop, and then closed the gap down to nothing, before sweeping into the lead at Rivage with two laps to go.

Cecotto remained in third but was more than half a minute adrift at the flag, with Felipe Nasr fourth for Carlin four seconds behind the Venezuelan. Mitch Evans recovered to fifth after his Russian Time machine switched into safety mode behind the safety car when running second.

Jolyon Palmer equalled his worst result of the season in sixth for DAMS, but kept up his run of scoring points in every race so far in 2014. He held off one of the stars of the race Artem Markelov over the closing stages, with the young Russian Time driver scoring his first points of the year. His highlight of the race was an amazing pass around the outside of Tom Dillmann of EQ8 Caterham Racing.

Hilmer Motorsport’s Daniel Abt grabbed eighth place and the Sprint race pole position from Arden International’s Andre Negrao at the Bus Stop Chicane on the penultimate lap, while de Jong recovered from making two pit stops (one compulsory, the other to switch from dry to wet tyres at the end of lap one) to take the final point in tenth away from Rapax driver Adrian Quaife-Hobbs on the final lap.

Spa-Francorchamps Feature Race Result

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME/Laps
1 Raffaele Marciello ITA Racing Engineering 1h19m29.116s
2 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL ART Grand Prix +2.088s
3 Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN Trident Racing +35.375s
4 Felipe Nasr BRZ Carlin +39.831s
5 Mitch Evans NZL RT Russian Time +50.526s
6 Jolyon Palmer GBR DAMS +1m00.123s
7 Artem Markelov RUS RT Russian Time +1m01.166s
8 Daniel Abt GER Hilmer Motprsort +1m01.776s
9 Andre Negrao BRZ Arden International +1m02.872s
10 Daniel de Jong NED MP Motorsport +1m05.435s
11 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs GBR Rapax +1m11.224s
12 Tom Dillmann FRA EQ8 Caterham Racing +1m16.681s
13 Julian Leal COL Carlin +1m17.071s
14 Marco Sorensen DEN MP Motorsport +1m18.325s
15 Arthur Pic FRA Campos Racing +1m18.578s
16 Takuya Izawa JAP ART Grand Prix +1m19.110s
17 Kimiya Sato JAP Campos Racing +1m21.789s
18 Simon Trummer SWI Rapax +1m22.766s
19 Jon Lancaster GBR Hilmer Motorsport +1m32.099s
20 Sergio Canamasas ESP Trident Racing +1m33.957s
21 Stephane Richelmi MON DAMS +1m34.528s
22 Nathanael Berthon FRA Venezuela GP Lazarus +1m50.554s
RET Rio Haryanto INO EQ8 Caterham Racing 21 Laps
RET Stefano Coletti MON Racing Engineering 11 Laps
RET Rene Binder AUT Arden International 5 Laps
RET Conor Daly USA Venezuela GP Lazarus 0 Laps