Mitch Evans secured his first victory of the season as he led a Campos Racing 1-2 in the opening GP2 Series race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
The New Zealander survived the tricky conditions at the Austrian track to lead team-mate Sean Gelael to the top two spots on the podium, with the duo some of the fastest cars on track when the track had some moisture due to a rain shower at just one part of the circuit.
Evans had no answer to why the team were so quick at that stage, but after taking over the lead following the resumption of the race after the red flag period, he was able to consolidate his position and bring the car home for the victory.
“It was really a bizarre race,” said Evans. “The qualifying session was good, we were quite strong. We were not that fast compared to the others but I managed to qualify P10 which was good for the Feature Race.
“At the start, I dropped a few places, I think around four or five. I started on the Option and I think that pretty much all the field started with on Prime. I knew I had to keep calm so I could make a good stint and then go on the Prime tyres and try to recover some of the lost ground from the start.
“I wasn’t attacking too much when I was on the Prime and the car felt pretty strong. I had a similar pace to Pierre [Gasly] and Antonio [Giovinazzi] and then it started to rain and I thought it was going to be a complete disaster as I thought we were going to do two pit stops and lose over thirty seconds. Fortunately, it only rained on half of the track which saved us.
“Sean and I were massively fast compared to the others in those conditions, I’m not sure why. After the safety car and the red flag, I was theoretically P1. I just wanted to get a good restart and bring the cars home in 1-2.”