Racing Engineering and occasional Manor Marussia F1 Team driver Alexander Rossi claimed his third race win of the year around the Sochi Autodrom after DAMS’ Alex Lynn crashed out on his way to victory from his pole position start. In a dramatic and eventful Feature Race, the twenty two-year-old American took the top step over Pierre Gasly and GP2 Series Leader Stoffel Vandoorne.
Lynn started well from pole position ahead of Vandoorne who appeared to drop back behind Rossi, Gasly and the Campos Racing car of France’s Arthur Pic before the race was shown a red flag after damage was caused the barriers at Turn 3. Jordan King found himself losing control of his Racing Engineering machine and Russia’s Artem Markelov caused an incident with Marlon Stockinger and Sergio Canamasas which meant a long thirty minute red flag period.
The decision came, before the 17:17 [local time] restart, that the 28 lap race would be cut to just 15 laps as the sun continued to set over the 2014 Winter Olympic Park causing a worry about driver’s visibility.
The race got underway behind the Safety Car for one lap before drivers were given the green light to get going and Lynn took full advantage, pulling a gap of almost 2.7s ahead of Rossi behind him. A lap later, DAMS chose to pit the leading Brit and despite a small issue with the front right wheel, he got going again and began to heat up his tyres ahead of his closest rivals making their stops. Gasly made his own stop on Lap 8.
A lap after Gasly, Rossi made his mandatory pit stop and despite the great work by his Racing Engineering mechanics, he lost out to Lynn due to cold tyres.
Three laps later Lynn made a mistake into Turn 13, the corner where Carlos Sainz Jr had a big accident in Formula 1 Free Practice earlier in the day, which saw the British driver retire after such a great run and a cool head. The disappointing retirement saw Rossi move into the lead of the race with Frenchman Gasly closely behind.
In the end, America’s Alexander Rossi crossed the line ahead of Gasly and Vandoorne with Russia’s Sergey Sirotkin missing out on a podium position in fourth position at his home Grand Prix.
Rio Haryanto finished in fifth place ahead of Raffaele Marciello, Richie Stanaway and Arthur Pic who, by finishing eighth, was granted reverse grid pole for Sunday’s Sprint Race.
GP3 Series graduate Dean Stoneman had a brilliant GP2 debut when he crossed the line to take the final set of points for Carlin.