Briton Jolyon Palmer held off the challenge of Simon Trummer and Julian Leal to clinch the victory in the sprint race at the Bahrain International Circuit. The DAMS driver overtook the Rapax of Trummer at the turn one at the beginning of lap two and held off the Swiss driver for the remainder of the race. Colombian Leal finished third for Carlin for the second time of the weekend, and was never off the gearbox of the front two.
The second Carlin of pole-sitter Felipe Nasr had a terrible start and dropped down the field but fought back to finish fourth, overtaking the second Rapax of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the closing stages as the Brit began to struggle with his tyres. The second DAMS car of Stephane Richelmi also overtook Quaife-Hobbs on the final lap to take fifth.
New Zealander Mitch Evans took seventh for Russian Time, while Austrian Rene Binder took advantage of a touch from Richelmi onto the back Arthur Pic to take the final point in eighth in an exciting battle that went right to the wire that involved everyone from Richelmi in fifth, Quaife-Hobbs, Evans, Binder, Pic, Artem Markelov, Daniel de Jong and Takuya Izawa. There were battles up and down the field as the drivers who could conserve their tyres early in the race put pressure on the ones who didn’t later in the race.
Feature race winner Stoffel Vandoorne of the ART Grand Prix team had a very different race compared to his Saturday triumph, the Belgian finishing a lowly 22nd after breaking his front wing on the back of MP Motorsport’s de Jong early on. Racing Engineering’s Stefano Coletti did not even get off the line and began the race at the back from the pit lane. Others to struggle included Raffaele Marciello and Alexander Rossi, who finished 24th and 25th respectively and both were lapped. The only retirement was that of the second American in the field of Conor Daly, when he stopped his Venezuela GP Lazarus entry in the pits on lap sixteen.
But it was ultimately Palmer’s day, and the British driver leaves Bahrain with the championship. Trummer will also leave Bahrain a happy driver, having started the feature race on Saturday from the pitlane and grabbing his maiden podium finish on Sunday.
Bahrain Sprint Race Results
|7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Russian Time||+18.012s|
|8||Rene Binder||AUT||Arden International||+19.791s|
|9||Arthur Pic||FRA||Campos Racing||+19.977s|
|10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+20.678s|
|11||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||+21.086s|
|12||Takuya Izawa||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+21.713s|
|13||Daniel Abt||GER||Hilmer Motorsport||+29.171s|
|14||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Trident Racing||+33.500s|
|15||Jon Lancaster||GBR||MP Motorsport||+34.017s|
|16||Rio Haryanto||INO||EQ8 Caterham Racing||+35.778s|
|17||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+38.028s|
|18||Andre Negrao||BRZ||Arden International||+38.524s|
|19||Kimiya Sato||JAP||Campos Racing||+39.439s|
|20||Facu Regalia||ARG||Hilmer Motorsport||+44.065s|
|21||Axcil Jefferies||ZIM||Trident Racing||+48.583s|
|22||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||ART Grand Prix||+49.324s|
|23||Stefano Coletti||MON||Racing Engineering||+1m20.944s|
|24||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Racing Engineering||+1 Lap|
|25||Alexander Rossi||USA||EQ8 Caterham Racing||+1 Lap|
|RET||Conor Daly||USA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||16 Laps|