Trident's Johnny Cecotto took victory in the GP2 Sprint Race in Austria
Palmer stretches championship lead after Nasr retires
By William Esler
Last Updated: 22/06/14 3:10pm
Johnny Cecotto bounced back from the disappointment of Saturday to take victory in the GP2 Sprint Race in Austria.
The Venezuelan took advantage of a slow start from frontrow men Alexander Rossi and Mitch Evans to take the lead into Turn One and that put him on course for his second win of the season, albeit it was far from a cruise to the finish.
Cecotto had to withstand heavy pressure from first Rossi then both Racing Engineering cars of Raffaele Marciello and Stefano Coletti, but the 24-year-old kept a cool head, looked after his tyres when he could to take a victory which moved him to within eight points of second in the Drivers’ Championship.
The man currently in that second spot is Felipe Nasr who had a nightmare Sunday at the Red Bull Ring. The Feature Race winner sustained front wing damage in the opening exchanges and was shown the black and orange flag due to the loose piece of carbon fibre. That subsequently fell off two corners before he entered the pits, but the Carlin driver retired from the race.
With the Brazilian out, Jolyon Palmer thus had a great opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the standings, but having lost out to both Racing Engineering cars at the start, the DAMS man could only finish sixth, scoring four points.
Having secured not only his first GP2 points, but also his first podium finish on Saturday, Ferrari protégé Marciello could smell his first win in Austria. A series of qualifying style laps saw him surge past team-mate Coletti and Caterham's Rossi in the opening seven laps and close right onto the gearbox of Cecotto. However, with track temperatures higher than the preceding day, the Italian had taken too much life out of his Pirelli’s and after being passed by Coletti, Marciello did well to hold onto the final podium spot after intense pressure from Evans.
Having being gentler on his tyres, Coletti was the next man to try and find a way past Cecotto and the battle went right to the final corner, but the Monegasque driver eventually finished seven tenths shy of the Venezuelan.
The next rounds of the GP2 Series take place at Silverstone on July 4-6 and you can see all the action live on Sky Sports F1.
GP2 Sprint Race – Austria
1) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) – Trident – 36:14.395
2) Stefano Coletti (MON) – Racing Engineering - +0.742
3) Raffaele Marciello (ITA) – Racing Engineering - +6.813
4) Mitch Evans (NZL) – Russian Time - +7.139
5) Alexander Rossi (USA) – Caterham Racing - +7.990
6) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) – DAMS - +8.828
7) Julian Leal (COL) – Carlin - +9.317
8) Takuya Izawa (JAP) – ART Grand Prix - +19.410
9) Sergio Canamasas (ESP) – Trident - +26.716
10) Stephane Richelmi (MON) – DAMS - +27.062
18) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) – Rapax - +37.139
Felipe Nasr (BRA) – Carlin – Not Classified
1) Jolyon Palmer – 117
2) Felipe Nasr – 84
3) Johnny Cecotto – 76
4) Julian Leal – 50
5) Stoffel Vandoorne - 43