• GP2 - Austrian GP - Race One

Nasr records thumping victory in Austria

ESPN Staff
June 21, 2014
© Sutton Images

Felipe Nasr led from the first corner to the finish after turning in a masterful drive to win his second GP2 victory, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello in the feature race in Austria.

Nasr's getaway off the start line ultimately set up the victory, passing pole-sitter Johnny Cecotto and championship leader Jolyon Palmer on the run up to Turn 1. From that point on Williams reserve driver Nasr was in complete control, taking the win after fellow countryman Felipe Massa had secured pole for tomorrow's F1 race.

For Vandoorne and Marciello the decision to start on option tyres and pit before the rest of the leaders proved decisive. The start could have been much worse for Palmer, surviving contact from Mitch Evans after being squeezed three abreast into the first corner by the Russian Time driver and Stefano Coletti.

Evans was behind Coletti and Palmer and, as he was on the prime tyre, was soon reeled in by Vandoorne - who quickly got by with a lovely move at Turn 3. Cecotto's race immediately began to unravel up ahead as he was passed by Coletti and Palmer.

Vandoorne was the first of the leading pack to pit and was immediately lapping a second faster than the likes of Palmer, but the championship leader inexplicably stayed out for three laps before coming in for his prime tyre. While Palmer emerged from his stop in between Vandoorne and Marciello, Nasr was out in front with comfortable breathing space over Coletti.

Behind the leading pack Vandoorne was spearheading a drive through the pitted cars but Nasr and Coletti stayed out until lap 30. While Nasr emerged in clean air, Coletti came out on cold tyres right in front of the Vandoorne-led pack behind and was unable to hold off the Belgian into Turn 2. Behind that Marciello had dispatched team-mate Palmer at Turn 1 and then repeated the move on Coletti a lap later with an identical move to secure himself a spot on the podium.

While all that was unfolding behind him, Nasr was in a world of his own, coming home three seconds clear of Vandoorne. Despite clearly struggling on his tyres Coletti was able to hold off Palmer as his pace dropped off, claiming fourth position - though fifth means Palmer maintains a lead of 29 points over Nasr in the championship. Behind that Cecotto managed to hold sixth ahead of Evans, while Alexander Rossi came home eighth.

"It was a perfect win for us today," Nasr said. "Everything started off the line and I was able to take advantage of those around me. I knew that I had to hold the position in the opening corners and take it from there.

"We did that and kept the lead and the car felt perfect - it felt so good to drive and did everything I asked of it. After that I made sure to set the quick laps that I needed before we came in for our pit stop to put us in a good position for the rest of the race. [Stoffel] Vandoorne got close but we were able to hold him off and take the victory. The team did a brilliant job again today and I'm very happy to be on the top step again."

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