Home Formula 2 Vandoorne claims sensational win on GP2 debut

Vandoorne claims sensational win on GP2 debut

by Peter Allen
Photo: Sam Bloxham / LAT Photographic

Photo: Sam Bloxham / LAT Photographic

Stoffel Vandoorne claimed a superb victory on his GP2 debut in the first race of the 2014 season in Bahrain.

The ART driver took the lead at the start as pole-sitter Jolyon Palmer fell backwards at the start. He held off Stephane Richelmi in the opening laps until the safety car came out following a collision between Kimiya Sato and Axcil Jefferies.

At the restart, many drivers opted to make their pitstops but Vandoorne stayed out a few laps longer, helping him to rejoin with a decent gap over Palmer and Julian Leal, who both made up significant ground with quick stops as others fell back.

Vandoorne did not return to the lead until two laps to go, when Simon Trummer (who stalled on the formation lap and began from the pits) finally switched his harder tyres for softs.

Stoffel Vandoorne Q&A: ?I want to learn? and I want to win?

Leal got past Palmer late on to finish in second place after starting 12th. Stefano Coletti finished fourth, scoring his first points since the Nurburgring round last July.

Arthur Pic was one of several drivers who were strong on the hard tyres late on, coming through to finish fifth on his debut and Campos Racing’s return to GP2. Another debutant Takuya Izawa started on the hards but was able to make up ground after switching to softs late in the race and finished sixth ahead of Trummer, who was able to surge past Felipe Nasr and team-mate Adrian Quaife-Hobbs after his late stop. Rene Binder was also quick at the end, taking ninth ahead of Quaife-Hobbs.

Mitch Evans, Rio Haryanto and Richelmi were in the mix for the podium places early on but struggled to keep the life in their tyres and slipped backwards to 14th, 16th and 19th respectively.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 32 laps in 59:57.41
2 Julian Leal Carlin +1.551
3 Jolyon Palmer DAMS +5.880
4 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering +6.317
5 Arthur Pic Campos Racing +15.10
6 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix +21.729
7 Simon Trummer Rapax +21.979
8 Felipe Nasr Carlin +24.425
9 Rene Binder Arden International +24.861
10 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax +26.194
11 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport +27.034
12 Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus +31.931
13 Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport +36.231
14 Mitch Evans Russian Time +36.997
15 Artem Markelov Russian Time +41.030
16 Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing +41.714
17 Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport +42.412
18 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering +46.849
19 Stephane Richelmi DAMS +49.656
20 Andre Negrao Arden International +1:02.35
21 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Trident +1:13.45
22 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing +1:34.56
23 Nathanael Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus +2 laps
Not classified
Kimiya Sato Campos Racing +5 laps
Axcil Jefferies Trident +30 laps
Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport +32 laps