Stoffel Vandoorne wins in Monaco Feature Race

  • M. Evans, 2015 Monaco GP2

After the rainy qualifying, the morning after was reserved for the Monaco GP2 Feature race which started precisely at 11:15. After a long battle and a somewhat controversial pitlane move, Vandoorne won the race over Alexander Rossi. The most prestigious race of the season was led by Alexander Rossi on the pole, but Nobuharu Matsushita and Artem Markelov stalled their engines, as well as Andre Negrao, Johnny Cecotto, Stanaway and Norman Nato. Luckily, all the cars restarted in their original positions, apart from Pierre Gasly who had to start from the pit lane because he was found guilty for the chaos in the first start. The new formation lap started at 11:35, and the race lasted for 40 laps.

Raffaele Marciello immediately overtook Rossi and made a two second gap over him. Meanwhile, Rio Haryanto, Robert Visoiu and Marlon Stockinger cut the track on truck 1 and were facing penalties. Rossi was making better times than Marciello, and on lap 7 the American was in his tail, aiming for the pass. However, Arthur Pic and Stoffel Vandoorne were also extremely close, putting pressure on Rossi. A collision between Matsushita and De Jong caused a yellow flag which was quickly cleared, so the race restarted on lap 10.

Marciello went to pits on the mandatory stop, enabling Rossi to jump ahead of him, followed by Vandoorne on the second. Arthur Pic returned from the pits on 10th place, Marco Sorensen had to finish the race early when Nato bumped him nose front into the wall. Artem Markelov also had an early finish, and was also under investigation with Nick Yelloly for overtaking during the yellow flag. Nato received a 10s penalty for causing Sorensen to crash. A virtual safety car was on power when Mitch Evans crashed into Nick Yelloly in the chicane, which left him out of the race. Vandoorne beat Rossi in the dramatic pitlane battle and Rossi complained about the Belgian making an unsafe release, but the officials ruled out the complaints.

Leal, Pic, Canamasas and Sirotkin were chasing the top two who were approaching traffic. The chase had to be slowed down due to a virtual safety car on lap 27. Canamasas made a great move to overtake Pic on Turn 1, and climbed to fourth. As Leal suffered a 10s penalty for unsafe release in the pits, Canamasas had increased his chances of a podium finish. In the last laps, Vandoorne has increased his gap over Rossi who struggled with tires, providing him with an easy win on lap 39. The third podium place went to Canamasas who was ahead of Pic and Sirotkin who heroically drove in spite of damage to his car. Julian Leal dropped to sixth, in front of Stanaway, Marciello, Jordan King and Nick Yelloly. The full list is the following:

2015-Monaco-GP2-Feature-List

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