24 May 2015

Stanaway wins Monaco GP2

11:12 am on 24 May 2015

The New Zealand driver Richie Stanaway won the GP2 sprint race at Monaco, giving the Status team its first win in the Formula 1 feeder series.

The New Zealand driver Richie Stanaway.

The New Zealand driver Richie Stanaway. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

From the outside of the front row, Stanaway powered a past bogged down polesitter Raffaele Marciello away from the lights.

Sergey Sirotkin slotted in ahead of third-qualifier Julian Leal into Sainte Devote, and the top-three would remain static until the chequered flag.

As in the Monaco feature race yesterday, Sergio Canamasas was in feisty and inspired form, making a bold pass on Leal into Sainte Devote on lap seven.

Canamasas just made the corner, and once past he pulled eight seconds clear to back up his feature race podium with another strong points haul.

A congested first lap conspired to produce multiple incidents and retirements.

Championship challenger Alexander Rossi, in sixth, was fortunate to survive nose-butting the rear of Arthur Pic's Campos machine at Sainte Devote, and the American escaped apparently with just cosmetic damage.

A more spectacular accident occurred at the tail of the field on the run up to Massenet, when Lazarus GP driver Zoel Amberg became entangled with former Monaco GP2 winner Johnny Cecotto Jr and found the barriers.

Both drivers were joined in retirement by Bahrain sprint race winner Rio Haryanto, who was squeezed very wide on the exit of the hairpin by Norman Nato.

Haryanto was unable to complete the corner, and a virtual safety-car was deployed as the three stricken cars were removed from the circuit.

On the restart, Stanaway demonstrated a clear, if tight, pace advantage over Marciello, and by mid-distance his lead stood at three seconds.

Ferrari Academy driver Marciello, in turn, held a comfortable two second lead over Sirotkin, as the leaders fanned out.

After eventual sixth-placed finisher Pic dropped back in his efforts to wrest fifth from Leal, the closest battles on track were disputed by a train of cars behind Red Bull Junior racer Pierre Gasly in 10th and a slightly tardy Rene Binder in 15th.

Former British Formula 3 champion Jordan King's attempts at pressurising Gasly into a mistake went dramatically wrong six laps from home, when he made contact with the rear of the DAMS machine into the chicane.

King was launched into the air and exited the race at high speed down the escape road.

Championship leader and feature race victor Stoffel Vandoorne achieved two bonus points for fastest lap, and extends his lead in the drivers' standings to 114 points, 44 ahead of Rossi.

For the second sprint race in succession, New Zealand's Mitch Evans was unable to take the start after his Russian Time car stopped out on track on the way to the grid.