Before the 201st GP2 Series got underway, the heavens well and truly opened over the Hockenheimring and the circuit was absolutely drenched. Most drivers elected to start on the wet tyres but some, Johnny Cecotto, Simon Trummer, Felipe Nasr, Julián Leal and Stefano Coletti to name a few, started the race on slick tyres.
When the race got underway all of the drivers who began on slick tyres bogged down massively while those on the wet Pirelli tyres stormed ahead. Yesterday’s winner Mitch Evans launched up to P2 behind pole sitter Nat Berthon as Marco Sørensen came from ninth to sit behind the pair. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Johnny Cecotto sandwiched Stéphane Richelmi at the first corner with the Monegasque driver coming off worst; his radiator was damaged and the car caught fire bringing out the safety car.
Among other drivers on wet tyres who exploited the conditions on the first lap were Tom Dillmann who got up into the points paying positions along with Stoffel Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello. The safety car stayed out for four laps and when it came back into the pits Berthon dropped like a stone to P5 immediately. Evans took the lead but made a mistake one lap later and Vandoorne picked up the pieces with relative ease. Marciello made a mistake on the wet track and ran off into the gravel. Things got worse for the Italian when his Racing Engineering car got stuck in sixth gear and he was forced to retire.
The track quickly began to dry and the drivers on wet tyres saw the benefit switching to slicks. Tom Dillmann was the first to make the jump along with Palmer and Evans. Stefano Coletti who started on the slick tyres was the fastest man on the track at the halfway stage and was picking drivers off one by one. The safety car came out for an unforeseen reason for one lap and then came back into the pits again and allowed Coletti to lead the field away.
With two safety car periods the race was limited by time and as there was eight minutes remaining, all drivers charged. Felipe Nasr who had also started on the slick tyres had more climatic experience than Vandoorne and, after two failed attempts, got past the Belgian for second place.
45 minutes of racing came to an end with Stefano Coletti taking his first victory since that magical day in May 2013 when he took victory at his home race in Monaco. Felipe Nasr’s send place cut Jolyon Palmer’s championship lead by a handful of points while Stoffel Vandoorne secured his first points in a GP2 Sprint Race in third place.
|1||S. Coletti||Racing Engineering||45:31.696|
|3||S. Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||5.531|
|4||M. Sørensen||MP Motorsport||15.656|
|5||J. Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||17.961|
|7||A. Rossi||Campos Racing||19.840|
|9||T. Dillmann||EQ8 Caterham Racing||25.438|
|10||R. Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||36.088|
|11||M. Evans||RT RUSSIAN TIME||39.177|
|12||A. Markelov||RT RUSSIAN TIME||40.186|
|15||D. Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||54.865|
|16||D. De Jong||MP Motorsport||55.552|
|17||N. Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||56.878|
|19||T. Izawa||ART Grand Prix||68.828|
|20||C. Daly||Venezuela GP Lazarus||69.713|
|21||A. Negrão||Arden International||72.677|
|22||R. Binder||Arden International||75.032|
|24||A. Pic||Campos Racing||DNF|
|25||R. Marciello||Racing Engineering||DNF|