Raffaele Marciello: “The restarts were a mess”

Raffaele Marciello - Credit: Andy Hone/GP2 Series Media Service

After leading seventeen laps of Saturday’s Feature race around the Baku Street Circuit, Raffaele Marciello was forced to settle for third after first finding himself passed for the lead by Antonio Giovinazzi, and then on the run down to the finish he lost second to Sergey Sirotkin.

The Russian Time driver was happy to secure his first Feature race podium for the team to add to the Sprint race third place he earned in Monaco, but was amongst the drivers to criticise the safety car restarts that were at times he believed were verging on being dangerous.

“I had a good start and led the race but Giovinazzi passed me,” said Marciello. “I was not too impressed by the stop/start tactics at the final restart, which felt a bit dangerous, but it was great to score more points, take a feature race podium and move into the championship top three.”

The safety car restarts were a point of contention again during Sunday’s Sprint race, and Marciello was on course for another podium before clashing with race leader Nobuharu Matsushita on the final restart, dropping him outside the points and back down to fifth in the championship standings.

“I’m frustrated not to score strong points today,” said Marciello. “The restarts were a mess again and with the contact I was surprised when Matushita seemed to brake early.

“The stewards, though, deemed it a racing incident. I will be looking to bounce back in Austria.”