Mitch Evans claimed victory around the historic Monza circuit ahead of Arthur Pic, the driver from New Zealand snatching victory from the Frenchman on the final lap of the GP2 series Sprint Race whilst championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne claimed the final podium position just behind Pic.
Evans claimed it was “hard to put into words” how he felt after the Sunday morning race win which came one day after he had fought from the back of the grid to a Feature Race podium in a driver of the day style performance.
On the start it was Pic who had made the strong getaway to storm into the lead ahead of slow starting poleman Jordan King; the Racing Engineering driver losing out to the Campos Racing man on the run into the first chicane. King then came together with Norman Nato, breaking his own front wing whilst Nato was forced to retire on the spot.
After his win the day before, Alexander Rossi was extremely eager to add to his strong points tally that weekend. The American was able to make an easy run on the inside of Robert Visiou through the Curva Grande before the Romanian came together with his rival after running too deep and a safety car emerged in order for both stricken cars to be cleared.
Two laps later, the race was live again with the top three seemingly trading their fastest lap times as they cleared a gap from the rest of the field behind.
Pic looked to have the upper hand on his rivals but was unable to ditch Evans but through the inside of Rettifilo, the RUSSIAN TIME driver managed to snake his way through and take the lead. In an attempt to take back first position, Pic had to fight hard to keep Vandoorne at bay. At the flag, it was Evans ahead of Pic and Vandoorne; the Frenchman holding off the Belgian. In the end, only one second was between the top three.
Richie Stanaway, who raced a lonely race, finished a strong fourth position ahead of Sergey Sirotkin and Sergio Canamasas; the Russian stealing fifth position from the Spaniard on the penultimate lap.
“It’s hard to put into words, to be honest,” said Evans after the race. “After a lot of things: obviously qualifying was a huge disappointment, we were really gutter after that because we had the pace to be on or near the front row, it was genuine and a minor thing hurt us and got us excluded, but the recovery yesterday and the win today to top it off is just incredible. It’s been a really tough season so it’s really great to repay the team like this, and get my season slash career back on track.
I didn’t really lose faith, but I was getting to a point where I was getting really frustrated with everything, so this is really sparked me back up, and it just shows that we’ve got the pace to be up the front, and we’re more than capable of giving it to the guys at the top of the championship. I think if we had this sort of pace at the start of the championship we should have been fighting Stoffel for the championship. It’s a massive turnaround, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of it, and I’m sure we can be really strong and end on a high.”
The next race takes place in September around the humid Singapore circuit.