Nobuharu Matsushita converted the reverse grid pole position into a dominant victory around the streets of Monaco on Saturday for his second career GP2 Series victory.
The Japanese racer made a sluggish start but was able to retain the lead into the first corner, with the ART Grand Prix driver running away with the race, winning by 13.660 seconds at the end of the 30-lap race.
Matsushita held off the challenge of fellow front row starter Marvin Kirchhöfer into the first corner, but the German driver withstood almost race long pressure from Raffaele Marciello to claim second for Carlin at the chequered flag, his first podium finish in GP2 since his step up from GP3.
Marciello finished on the bottom step of the podium, only settling for third in the closing stages for Russian Time, while Mitch Evans drove a lonely race to fourth for Campos Racing.
Alex Lynn led home a quartet of drivers separated by a little over 1.3 seconds, with the DAMS driver being followed home by the Feature race podium finishers, Norman Nato, Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.
Whereas many drivers were forced to hold position on track, Sergio Canamasas lit up the afternoons race with impressive overtaking manoeuvres on Pierre Gasly, Gustav Malja and Daniel de Jong to move into the top ten, but unfortunately for the Carlin driver he was unable to score any points with only the top eight scoring points in the Sprint race.
Whereas Matsushita was celebrating on his side of the garage, his ART Grand Prix team-mate Sergey Sirotkin will be disappointed once more after retiring for the third time in four races, with the points he earned from pole position in Monaco on Thursday his only points of the season so far.
After five virtual safety cars during the Feature race on Friday, there was only one brief one on Saturday, caused when Sean Gelael crashed his Campos Racing car at Ste Devote.
As well as Sirotkin and Gelael, both Nicholas Latifi of DAMS and Philo Paz Armand of Trident were forced to retire, with the latter being forced into the barriers by Jordan King that earned the Arden International driver a ten-second penalty.
Monaco Sprint Race Result
|1||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||41:59.392|
|3||9||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Russian Time||+15.453|
|4||7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Campos Racing||+20.894|
|6||3||Norman Nato||FRA||Racing Engineering||+33.038|
|7||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||MP Motorsport||+33.594|
|8||10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+33.874|
|11||23||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||+54.291|
|13||21||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Prema Racing||+55.981|
|15||25||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Arden International||+58.682|
|16||4||Jordan King||GBR||Racing Engineering||+1:09.193|
|17||24||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Arden International||+1:17.922|
|18||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Prema Racing||+1:17.997|
|RET||2||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||Retired|
|RET||8||Sean Gelael||INO||Campos Racing||Retired|
|RET||14||Philo Paz Armand||INO||Trident||Retired|