Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin stormed to his maiden GP2 win in an enthralling Feature Race at Silverstone.
Sirotkin, who started from pole position, initially lost out to a fast starting Richie Stanaway after he made a stunning start from third on the grid to barge between the Russian and points leader Stoffel Vandoorne, to lead into Turn 1.
His lead didn’t last long though. Contact between Lazarus driver Nathanael Berthon and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov brought out the safety car on the opening lap.
On the safety car restart Stanaway was caught napping which gave Sirotkin the chance to dive down the inside at Stowe and take the lead. ART Grand Prix driver Nobuharu Matsushita also capitalised on Stanaway’s mistake and followed the Rapax driver through into second.
From that point on Sirotkin pulled away with ease. Despite having never raced at Silverstone before the Russian crossed the line a commanding 5.9s clear of Alexander Rossi to take his first GP2 win and Rapax’s first since 2013.
Rossi finished in second after a strong drive which saw him pull off several bold maneuvers, most notably on his championship rival Vandoorne, to move up to second place.
McLaren protege Vandoorne had a tricky race after falling down to fourth at the start. He recovered well and was helped out by the retirement of Stanaway, who had left-rear suspension damage, and team-mate Matsushita who had technical issues.
After the first round of stops Vandoorne fought his way back through the field, finally clinching third place from early stopper Jordan King in the closing stages.
DAMS team-mates Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn fought hard with each other throughout the race while they pushed though the field and eventually came home fifth and sixth respectively.
Arthur Pic finished sixth but is under investigation for his contact with King after a bold move on the final lap left the Brit pointing the wrong way and, agonisingly, out of the race.
Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello followed Pic across the line seventh ahead of Nick Yelloly in eighth who secured reverse grid pole position.
Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Oliver Rowland finished strong in ninth place on his GP2 debut ahead of Rio Haryanto who rounded out the top 10.
Mitch Evans’ miserable luck showed no signs of stopping as a piece of bodywork from his cockpit flew up into the air and forced the Russian Time driver to retire.