GP2 Austria: Stoffel Vandoorne easily wins the feature race
Stoffel Vandoorne won the feature race after starting from pole position. The 40 laps long GP2 race began 15:40PM GMT +2 under cloudy skies and on a dry track with Stoffel Vandoorne in the lead and Nathanel Berthon stalling his car. The first yellow flag flew on lap 1 after Pierre Gasly suffered damage to his car, causing a virtual safety car on lap 2 when his front wing flew on start-end straight. GP2 championship leader Vandoorne was closely followed by Sergey Sirotkin and Matsushita. The race restarted on lap 4 with an interesting battle for sixth between Alexander Rossi and Rio Haryanto. Pierre Gasly couldn’t keep his spot so Rossi climbed to fifth. MP Motorsports’ Daniel de Jong spun but luckily managed to return to the track without damaging his car. Matsushita was battling Sirotkin for second, and Russian went to the lead when Vandoorne pitted. However, both Sirotkin and Matsushita went to the pits as well, and in an exciting pit exit, Sirotkin managed to hold onto the lead, which he soon lost to Vandoorne.
On lap 12, Markelov, Lynn and Haryanto had a three way battle for the third and Lynn emerged as the winner, but the leading pack had to pit yet. Halfway into the race, team mates Lynn and Gasly battled for the lead and Markelov used the battle to get to second, behind Lynn who dropped to third. Vandoorne was almost swiped off by De Jong, but made it through unscratched and continued the race anticipating the mandatory pits. Alex Lynn was delaying his pit stop to get to the best restart position possible.
By lap 30, Lynn still hasn’t went to the pits and was trying hard to increase his lead over Vandoorne who was climbing up as many drivers went to the pits. On lap 32, Lynn pitted, dropping to fifth in front of Artem Markelov. Rossi exited the pits on third and Vandoorne was again back in the lead. Matsushita made a fantastic move on Rossi and climbed to third. Lynn moved up to fourth and Rossi dropped to fifth as Markelov took advantage of American’s tire puncture to overtake him.
Lynn was attacking Matsushita and on lap 39 he went up to third, stripping Matsushita of his first podium position. Vandoorne held a stable lead and won the race 11.7 seconds in front of Sirotkin. Alex Lynn kept his third in front of Matsushita and Markelov. Rossi finished the race on sixth in front of Haryanto, Yelloly, Pic and Evans. The detailed results are the following: