Raffaele Marciello was left frustrated after seeing a potential podium finish in the Feature race at the Sepang International Circuit go begging, with a slow pit stop seeing the Italian drop four places, and he was ultimately forced to settle for sixth.
The Russian Time driver felt he had been conserving his tyres well during the race and was looking to attack for the win, but the slow pit stop put paid to his chances of a first GP2 Series win since 2014.
“That was frustrating. I made a really strong start and led into Turn 1 but a lock-up to the left front in Turn 2 meant I was third at the end of the first lap,” said Marciello on rus-time.com.
“I was conserving my tyres and looking assured of at least a podium when I had a problem with the left-front at my tyre stop, which dropped me four places down the order.”
Marciello finished second in Sunday’s Sprint race behind fellow Italian Luca Ghiotto, but admitted it was hard to get close enough to the Trident racer in order to attempt a pass. Marciello remains with an outside chance of the title in Abu Dhabi but is now seeking to consolidate third place as he believes Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly are out of reach.
“Today the car was good and I was able to catch Luca and almost pass him, but it was a bit tricky to stay close enough through the high-speed sections to take advantage of the DRS,” said Marciello.
“If the race had run another couple of laps maybe I would have passed him but second is still okay for the championship. The first two positions look out of reach but it helps me to try to secure a place in the top three.”