Vandoorne's perfect Bahrain GP2 weekend denied by Haryanto
After an interesting feature race yesterday, the 32 laps long GP2 Bahrain sprint race started around 14:15 local time with Julian Leal on pole position. Sergey Sirotkin stalled on the grid during the formation lap and hat to start from the pits. Mitch Evans immediately started attacking Leal, but the Colombian managed to hold him off. Feature race winner Stoffel Vandoorne was patiently driving behind Matsushita and Negrao who were battling hard and soon managed to overtake the Brazillian driver. Trident Motorsports’ Binder was out of the race on lap 3 because of problems with his car.
The first collision of the race occurred between Jordan King and Sergio Canamasas who both ran wide. That caused a yellow flag because of on-track debris. King returned to the race on P2 just behind Richie Stanaway, but Canamasas lost his front wing and was out of the race. The race resumed with 17 laps to go. Rio Haryanto used DRS in the start-finish straight overtaking Leal. The Colombian battled hard to keep his second position, and defended his position when Mitch Evans locked brakes and lost third place while trying to overtake him. With 14 laps to go, Evans suffered a puncture when he bumped Leal, which caused some damage for Leal as well. Matsushita got to third, and Evans went to pits, with his chances for a podium drastically lowered. In the meantime, Visoiu went to second, behind the leading Haryanto. Vandoorne went to fourth, and Mastushita has soon overtaken Visoiu with 10 laps to go.
Vandoorne has managed to overtake Visoiu at Turn one, climbing to third. With 7 laps to go Haryanto had a stable 3+ seconds lead. However, Vandoorne had time to pass his team mate and try to overtake the leader. With 6 laps to go, ART Grand Prix driver overtook Matsushita and went to claim the first. With five laps to go, Haryanto’s lead was decreased to 2,5s. With four laps to go, Alexander Rossi went to third and Haryanto increased his lead to over 3 seconds. Rossi and Berthon battled for third and French driver managed to overtake the American, getting a podium. Haryanto managed to maintain his leading position, and crossed the finish line with Vandoorne and Berthon behind him. That was the first GP2 victory for Haryanto. Rossi was quite disappointed on fourth, and behind him was Julian Leal. Despite not having his perfect weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne congratulated Haryanto on his win, proving his great sportsmanship. In a friendly exchange of tweets, second placed ART Grand Prix and winners from Campos Racing have promised great driving in Barcelona as well and we can’t wait for the next weekend to come!